Falkirk’s Hannah secures place at London drama school

Ready Steady Show, at the Falkirk Town Hall
Ready Steady Show, at the Falkirk Town Hall

A schoolgirl from Falkirk has been accepted at a full-time drama school run by Birds of a Feather actress Pauline Quirke.

Hannah Howland (15) will attend PQA Studios London in September, after wowing a panel of industry judges at her audition earlier this year.

She will now enjoy studying under teachers who have performed at hugely successful West End shows.

No stranger to performing on the big stage, Hannah has played Veruca Salt in the musical of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory at the Theatre Royal in London for 18 months.

She also played the role of Louise in Carousel with Alfie Boe and Katherine Jenkins last year.

Hannah went to Comely Park Primary in Falkirk, before attending the Sylvia Young Theatre School in London.

Her passion for performing began at a very young age, with her talent catching eyes early on.

Hannah’s mother Lindsey Howland said: “Hannah started dancing when she was aged three and she enrolled at McKechnie School of Dance and Performing Arts in Grangemouth.

“The minute she walked into the studio dance principal Nadine McKenzie Judge spotted her talent.

“She nurtured and developed Hannah’s dance and performance skills.”

The proud mother said her daughter is still thankful that Nadine put in the effort to nurture her talent.

Lindsey said: “Nadine gave her endless opportunities to perform in front of an audience and she thrived in this environment.

“Hannah is eternally grateful for all the support and encouragement given by Nadine.”

The PQA Studios is for young performers aged 16 and over, and the opportunity to study at the new academy has excited Hannah.

She said: “When I came for the audition, I was impressed with the atmosphere as it was a very positive, nurturing environment.

“The staff seemed really friendly and I felt that I will be developed and challenged at PQA Studios London.

“I am desperate to work in TV and film and would love to work on a global scale.

“I know that I have high hopes but I am completely committed.”

Closer to home, the opportunity for the next generation of stars to shine is available at the Falkirk Town Hall.

The Musical Theatre Summer School will run from July 16-20 and will be taught by the likes of musical director Kerry Quinn, who was director of musical theatre at the BRIT School of Performing Arts and Technology, teaching the likes of Amy Winehouse and Jessie J.

No experience is needed to take part for the school aimed at seven to 18-year-olds, with participation costing £80 for the full week, and a musical theatre performance on the Friday by participants.

To book a place, call 01324 506850 or email bookings@falkirkcommunitytrust.org.