Between 2005 and 2007, Peter Reid of Cumbria attended Razzamataz (Whitehaven branch) where he excelled in the performing arts. Charlotte Young, principle of the organisation realised his extraordinary talent early on. “Peter was propelled forward to the West End by his hard work and natural talent at the performing arts.”
After several auditions Peter landed a role in ‘We Will Rock You,’ a show using the music of Queen. On getting the role Peter says, “It is a delight to be cast in such a great show as ‘We Will Rock You’. I am excited and very fortunate to be soon making my debut on the West End. I have my training and teachers at Razzamataz to thank for helping me secure this role, as finding work of this calibre is very hard.”
There is a growing list of Razzamataz alumni who are making it into professional theatre. The Whitehaven branch has a particularly high level of notable talent; past students have included Cory Spedding, a runner up for Young Eurovision. Brad Kavanghana was in Billy Elliot and now is being described as a British Zac Efron. Razzamataz was founded ten years ago and is often a stepping stone for studying the performing arts in college.
Other professionals to come out of Razzamataz include Sarah Story a dance artist and professional singer Gemma Barrass. Building the confidence to appear on the stage is a large part of Razzamataz’s process for encouraging young talent to succeed. Hutton-Gosney, of Razzamataz says, “Our commitment is to the students, this is our priority. We decided this early on and since then have not wavered from this commitment.”
Students, who wish to develop as young artists at Razzamataz can be involved in the Arts Awards. This is a qualification recognised by the UCAS points system. Bronze, silver and gold Arts Awards are offered at several of Razzamataz’s locations offering different numbers of UCAS points. The students are assessed on review and planning skills and are encouraged to explore many arts including, visual arts, media, multimedia and the performing arts.
Razzamataz came to prominence in January 2007 when Hutton-Gosney appeared on the hit show Dragons Den. Dragon Duncan Bannatyne became part of the organisation and since that time the business has become more and more successful. The organisation is run as a franchise and currently there are 40 Razzamataz Theatres across the country.