Children in need

November 17, 2014

Children In Need 2014 was a Big Night for Phoenix

by Conor O'Sullivan

in Professional Work

Students and Tutors Involved with TV Event


Children in Need is always a BIG night, but last Friday turned out to be an especially big night for Phoenix as no fewer than 4 tutors and students appeared on the TV spectacular. One of the first performances of the evening came in the form of an excerpt from the West End production of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and millions of viewers saw the angelic face of Phoenix student Jake Poolman appear on their screens (left).  Jake is currently performing in the role of Charlie after having played Gavroche in Les Miserables and Nipper in the Cameron Macintosh national tour of Oliver! Jake has been a Phoenix student for several years now, currently taking LAMDA monologue lesson from Phoenix principal Phil Dale. Many people will know Jake from his title role appearance in the Phoenix Theatre Arts production of Oliver! at the Rhodes in 2012.

Another big moment came when super group One Direction appeared on a rooftop overlooking Albert Square to the delight of thousands of screaming fans. Eagle eyed Phoenix fans may well have spotted former Blast Summer School musical tutor Jon Shone on keyboards (right). Jon, who was MD on the last production of Dick Whittington as well as working on two Blast Summer Schools including Dosh. The Musical, is currently musical director for One Direction.

Later in the evening saw an excerpt from the new West End musical Made in Dagenham starring Gemma Arterton. Performing with the cast was former Phoenix Musical Theatre tutor Kate Coysten, who recently played the Fairy Godmother in the Phoenix production of Cinderella as well as overseeing last years Phoenix entry into the Glee Club Challenge, steering the group to the Grand Final at the O2. The Phoenix involvement didn’t actually end there as former Phoenix Drama Tutor and close friend of principal Phil Dale Michael Fentiman is actually Associate Director of Made in Dagenham and had taken responsibility for staging the excerpt at the BBC TV Studio.

“It was such a treat to see so many Phoenix faces involved with this great event” said Principal Phil Dale. “I’ve known Mike since he was about 14 and his single minded approach to anything theatrical set him out as a bit special from a very early age. It’s great to see him doing so well. In many ways Jake was the same. I remember playing Squire Basil Nasty in Jack and the Beanstalk and Jake was a tiny member of the junior chorus. Only tiny in stature however, his commitment to the role made it clear that he would go onto bigger things!”

Children in Need proved to be a great night for all involved but also proved to be an example of how Phoenix offers the best chances and opportunities by employing the very best in the business to work with our students.

To watch the Charlie and the Chocolate factory clip, click here.

To watch the Made In Dagenham clip, click here.

To watch One Direction, click here.