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Andrew's Prep

SPARK Courses

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St Andrew’s Prep and Eastbourne College offer an exciting programme of world-class performing arts and sports courses for children aged 5-16 years who have an incredible opportunity to be coached in outstanding facilities and stunning settings by nationally recognised coaches, players and visiting performers and practitioners.

Our team have combined their many years of experience to create unique programmes in sports and performing arts that simply cannot be beaten when it comes to developing passionate and skilful players and performers.

Our SPARK courses offer:

  • expert coaching
  • a structured programme that develops confidence and skill
  • access to world-class facilities
  • having fun and making new friends
  • helping children find their own superb


SPARK cricket

Monday 18 – Wednesday 20 July
Monday 1 – Wednesday 3 August

Course Information

6-9 year olds (softball) 9.00-12.00 each day. Equipment will be provided.
Ages 10-13 year olds (hardball) 13.00-16.00 each day. Participants will be required to supply their own kit, including bat, helmet and pads.

£25 a session 

Eastbourne College Sports Hall




Junior Course and Extended Junior Course 
Children will work with Francesca Leyland, professional musical theatre actor and theatrical agent. Francesca has worked in professional shows  from Les Miserables to pantomime and is an experienced dance and musical theatre teacher for children of all ages. Francesca will be joined by Music Specialist Jenny Jones and actors who are in their final year of musical theatre training in London.

In the regular sessions, pupils will enjoy a variety of music, dance and drama games and learn a few routines for a short performance at 12:15pm on the final day of the course. Those children staying for the extended session will join Jenny Jones as she oversees a fun series of activities and games to promote creativity and musicianship. 

Dates and times
Junior Course: Monday 25 – Wednesday 27 July: 9:30am –12:30pm daily
Extended Junior Course
Monday 25, Tuesday 26 July 9:30am – 3:15pm and Wednesday 27 July 9:30am – 12:30pm 
Open to pupils in Year 1 to Year 3 
Junior Course: £95
Extended Junior Course: £135. NB Participants should bring a packed lunch which they will eat over a supervised lunch break. 

The Durlacher, St Andrew’s Prep

junior course booking form – MONDAY 25 – WEDNESDAY 27 JULY  

The Middles Course
Children will work with Robert Cousins (West End musical director) and professional singer and musical theatre performers Chloe Shearer and Paula Pout. West End actor, Abigail Brodie (Wind In The Willows, Guys And Dolls, The Addams Family, The Producers) will be giving a workshop  and actors in their final year of musical theatre training will also join the team. In addition, Debbie Adams will be choreographing a number from Shrek The Musical and, to top it all, the children will visit the Congress Theatre on the penultimate day* of the course to see the musical live (a Rattonions production) where we plan to meet some of the cast. 

The course will culminate in a performance at 3:45pm on the final day.

Book your space quickly!

*On Thursday 28 July, the course will end at approximately 5:00pm. The cost of the ticket to Shrek the Musical is included in the cost of the course.

Dates and times
Monday 25 – Friday 29 July 2022:  10:00am – 16:00pm daily*
Open to pupils in Years 4 to Year 8
£265 Mid-morning snacks and a hot lunch are provided every day in the Eastbourne College dining room.
Birley Centre, Eastbourne College


Seniors Course

Pupils will spend time working with specialist staff Robert Cousins (West End Musical Director), alongside professional singer and musical theatre performers Mia Longman and Chloe Shearer.

We are also delighted to welcome special guest tutor – West End performer Clare Rickard (Cats, 42nd Street, Oliver and currently appearing in Mary Poppins).

This course is specially designed for any pupils currently in Year 9 or above who love musical theatre and may even be considering a future career or further training in musical theatre after school.

This course is designed to build your confidence and develop areas you like to improve. .Pupils will be given the opportunity to take part in a drama school style mock audition, where they will need to perform a song and monologue which they will need to have pre-prepared.  Strong dancers will be able to take part in a masterclass and everyone will meet a professional theatrical agent to get their perspective on the professional world of show business.  We will be working in the amazing professional recording studio at the Birley Centre as part of the course and participants will learn some routines from hit musicals as a whole group.

Places on this course are limited. Please sign up as soon as possible and we will then be in touch to find out a little more about you. When you sign up you are asked to list your main strength: singing, acting or dancing to help us programme the daily programme. If you are not sure what your main strength is – you can choose ‘all-round’.

Dates and times
Monday 22 – Wednesday 24 August, 10:30am – 16:30pm daily

Open to pupils in Year 9 to Year 13
£165  A mid-morning snack/drink and a hot lunch daily in the Eastbourne College Dining room is included within the cost. 
Birley Centre, Eastbourne College





Robert Cousins



Robert Cousins has worked as a professional musical director for over 20 years. Highlights include Calamity Jane and Mack and Mabel in the West End and National Tours of Joseph and the Technicolor Dreamcoat, Grease, 42nd Street , Oklahoma, High Society and Singing In The Rain., amongst many others. Robert has taught all ages at various schools and conservatoires including at Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts. He is currently Director of Music and Performing Arts at St Andrew’s Prep Eastbourne as well as delivering GCSE and A Level classes at Eastbourne College. Robert is Musical Supervisor for Jordan Productions and has overseen the music for over 100 professional musicals and pantomimes, including the last 20 highly respected Eastbourne Pantomimes.

Chloe Shearer


Chloe trained and worked professionally in the performing arts industry before becoming a teacher, her specialty being musical theatre. She has been teaching individuals and group classes privately, in both state and private schools, and performing arts schools for over 10 years. Her experience spreads across a variety of performing arts subjects including, musical theatre, dance drama and choirs for ages 4 – adult. She holds a 1st Class honours degree in Childhood and Youth: Theory and Practice with a pathway in Education studies, and a Distinction ALCM in Music Theatre gained at D&B Performing Arts Academy. Chloe now runs her own singing studio ‘Chloe Shearer Singing’ and is hugely passionate about sharing her love for performing arts with the next generation.

Clare Rickard


Clare is currently performing as Gwendolyn in Disney’s Mary Poppins at The Prince Edward Theatre in London’s West End.
Previous Theatre includes: 42nd Street (Theatre Royal, Drury Lane & UK tour), Funny Girl (Savoy Theatre), Cats (London Palladium, UK & European Tour), White Christmas (UK Tour), The Lost Musicals/The Bandwagon (Sadlers Wells), Gotta Sing/Gotta Dance (UK Tour), Original Revival cast of Oliver! (Theatre Royal Drury Lane), Barbara Cook and Friends World AIDS day Concert (London Coliseum).

TV/Concerts include:- The One Show, Sunday Night Live at the Palladium, The Olivier Awards (Royal Albert Hall & Royal Opera House), ITV’s This Morning, Totally Frank (Endemol).

Recordings include: 42nd Street, Funny Girl, Oliver!

Voiceovers: Cognassist, Great British Podcast Awards, Victor Mobile, Royal College of Nursing, Megaphone, Childcare, Flytdex, Pukka Pies, Hitaachi, Harper Collins (English Educational DVD).

Audio Books: The Spectacular Safari, Cinque Terre, Imbroglio Pretense.

Francescsa Leyland


Francesca originates the Shetland Islands.  She trained at the Dance School of Scotland in Glasgow and ArtsEd, London gaining a BA (Hons) Degree in Musical Theatre.  Francesca gained a place in the 25th Anniversary cast of Les Miserables at the Queens Theatre London and was also part of the anniversary performance at the 02 screened live in cinemas worldwide and released on DVD.   She also recorded vocals for the Les Mis movie directed by Tom Hooper.  Francesca played Simone in The Baker’s wife at the Union Theatre in London before taking on her first role with Jordan Productions in Robin Hood in Eastbourne in 2011 and has worked for the company as principal girl for 10 years now, choreographing 3 productions.  Francesca has also been part of various workshops and cast recordings including Once Upon a Time at the Adelphi and the Original London Cast Recording of One Touch of Venus. Other credits include The Light Princess, London, Alice in Wonderland at the Gordon Craig Theatre and The Fix at the Union Theatre (London). Francesca is a qualified ISTD Ballet and Tap teacher to DDE level and a singing teacher teaching the London College of Music and Trinity Musical Theatre syllabus.  Francesca owns a children’s TV, Film and Theatre agency called Bijou Talent.  She currently has children in the following projects:  The Crown (Netflix), Matilda (West End), ASDA (commercial), Midwich Cuckoos (SKY), ALDI (commercial) to name a few! 

Abigail Brodie


Abigail graduated from Arts Educational Schools London with a BA (Hons) in Musical Theatre. Whilst there, she was awarded the Worshipful Company of Musicians Silver Medal for Outstanding Achievement. She made her professional debut aged five as Gretl in The Sound of Music (West Yorkshire Playhouse).

Theatre includes: The Addams Family (UK Tour), The Wind in the Willows (London Palladium, UK Tour), Guys and Dolls (Savoy Theatre, Phoenix Theatre, UK Tour), The Producers (UK Tour), Singin’ in the Rain (UK/Ireland/Japan Tour), The Writer and The OAP (ALRA Theatre), Hello, Dolly! (Curve Theatre, Leicester), Hair (Deutsches Theater, Munich), Dick Whittington (Theatre Royal, Bath), A Chorus Line (Opera House, Tel Aviv), Love Never Dies (Adelphi Theatre, London) and Lend Me A Tenor (Theatre Royal, Plymouth).

Other work includes: London 2012 Olympic Opening Ceremony

Paula Pout


Paula began singing and dancing here in Eastbourne at the age of 6 and appeared as juvenile leads in a number of shows before training in Musical Theatre at Guildford School of Acting.

Paula has worked as a singing teacher and vocal coach for over 13 years, specialising in Musical Theatre. She has taught at a number of schools in Eastbourne, including St Andrews and has coached productions for the Rattonian Youth Group and other theatre groups.

She has performed professionally in a number of summer seasons and regional pantomimes as a singer and dance captain. In 1998 Paula spent 8 years as lead production and cabaret vocalist for some of the most prestigious cruise lines including Cunard, Oceania Cruises, Orient Lines and Fred Olsen.

Since her return to the UK, Paula has continued to sing professionally with her husband in their duo ‘Duality’ and function bands ‘The Rhythm Crew’ and ‘Tempo One’, entertaining throughout the Southeast.

In 2021, she appeared in ‘There’s No Business Like Show Business’ for Trapdoor Theatre Productions and ‘Sunday Night Live!’ for Duality Productions. This Easter, she played ‘Flower Fairy’ in Rapunzel, for Neon Productions and is at present performing in the Royal Hippodromes summer season, ‘Strictly Showtime’.

Jenny Jones



Jenny gained scholarship awards to study at Music College in London, she has a degree from Trinity College of Music and a PgDip from the Royal Academy of Music, where she was also awarded the brass solo prize that year.

After Graduating Jenny worked on the London music scene playing the trumpet for some of London’s finest professional orchestras, West End shows and Pop bands. She then gained a job in an orchestra in Portugal and spent four happy years working for the Orquestra do Algarve and freelancing throughout Europe. More recently Jenny has gained much experience working with children. She teaches trumpet, recorder and theory to pupils at St Andrew’s Prep, and was the former Head of Junior Music at Moira House, responsible for children’s performances in various musicals concerts, nativities and plays. Jenny is particularly interested in both musical theatre and orchestral classical music and has worked on countless musicals. Over the last 20 years the professional pantomime at the Devonshire Park Theatre Eastbourne.

Mia Longman


Mia trained in Performing Arts at the Institute of Contemporary Theatre in Brighton.

Her credits include: Ensemble Dancer in Jordan Productions’ Sleeping Beauty (Devonshire Park Theatre, Eastbourne), Vocalist in Sunday Night Live in 2018 and 2021 (Royal Hippodrome Theatre, Eastbourne) and Ensemble Dancer in Qdos Entertainment’s Aladdin (White Rock Theatre, Hastings).
Credits in training include: The Fox in The Little Prince (ICTheatre, Brighton), Blodwyn/Roman Soldier in Boudica (ICTheatre, Brighton) and Bebe Benzenheimer in A Chorus Line (Old Market Theatre, Brighton).

Mia has been teaching musical theatre for nine years and alongside this, she is a children’s party entertainer.

Raphy McDavitt-Lowe


Raphy has recently graduated from The Urdang Academy in London, with a degree in Professional Dance and Musical Theatre. During her training, she has taken on roles such as Yonah in ‘Children of Eden’, as well as Assistant Director and Ensemble in ‘Legally Blonde’.

Megan Clarke


Megan is currently in her third year of training on the Degree course at Emil Dale Academy. Credits in professional musical theatre include Les Miserables (2011), Shrek (2012), UK tours of The Sound Of Music (2009/10 and 2015/16).

Debbie Adams



Debbie Adams has been working in youth theatre as a Director, Producer and Choreographer for over 30 years. She has worked across the South East for amateur companies and  now runs The Royal Hippodrome Theatre in Eastbourne, alongside her husband, Alex. Debbie is the in-house professional choreographer for the Summer Season and for the Christmas and Easter Pantomimes at the Theatre, as well as being the safeguarding officer. Alongside this Debbie is the Principal of The Royal Hippodrome’s Trapdoor Theatre School, which is approaching its 15th year. Teaching over 100 students a week as well as running the Theatre keeps her very busy!