St Albans teenagers pursuing dreams at prestigious drama school

Sam Jackson-Hale. Picture: JohnClarkPhotography

Sam Jackson-Hale. Picture: JohnClarkPhotography - Credit: Archant

Two St Albans students will be learning their craft at a prestigious full-time drama school in London.

Victoria Beavis. Picture: Darlene Beavis

Victoria Beavis. Picture: Darlene Beavis - Credit: Archant

16-year-olds Sam Jackson-Hale, who goes to St Columba’s College, and Victoria Beavis, who attends Marlborough Science Academy will be enrolling at PQA Studios London next academic year.

They wowed industry judges at auditions and in September will start to work towards an OCR Cambridge Technical Extended Diploma in Performing Arts Level Three - the equivalent of three A-levels.

Victoria said: “I am thrilled to be given the opportunity to fulfil my passion with a fantastic team of teachers who I know are going to train me to be the absolute best I can be.”

Sam added: “I have been set on this path to achieve my dream of a career in performing arts for years so I am very excited about the future.

“I am hugely excited to be given the opportunity to meet and work with such an amazing group of people and in London too.”

Both the teenagers attended the St Albans Pauline Quirke Academy weekend stage school, which is just one of 170 branches nationwide.

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Pauline, who is best known for her role as Sharon in BBC sitcom Birds of a Feather, set up the PQA Studios in London.

Sam’s parents, Matt and Jo, added: “The new PQA Studios London has been our first choice since we first heard about it. The weekend PQA school in St Albans, led by David Jenkins, has been brilliant and we just know that this is going to give Sam the best opportunity to pursue his dreams.”

The academy is for performers over 16 who want to access higher education.

It is based in the former Poor School on Pentonville Road which closed last year after three decades.

The building has been renovated by Pauline - it now has a fully equipped in-house theatre and several large, high spec studio spaces.

PQA Studios London opens for the first year in September.

The next audition round for September’s entry is on June 14. Applicants must have five GCSEs A* - C and be available for the whole day.

Partial and fully-funded scholarships are available. Find out more at