The Razzamataz Theatre Schools network continues to grow with the launch of two new London schools as well as a school in the North East, bringing more children the chance to participate in affordable, fun and very current styles of performing arts.
Kayleigh Redford age 28 is gearing up for her school launch in Newcastle on September 10th and has already created a lot of interest in the area. An experienced performer and teacher, Kayleigh had always known that she wanted to work in performing arts. After becoming a mum to her little boy, her goal was to create a successful business to offer him a good future as well as being able to inspire the younger generation to follow their own dreams.
"I believe to open up a theatre school you have to have a strong support network behind you. I’ve not lived in Newcastle for very long to have built up a working knowledge of the area but by choosing a franchise I can rely on all the expertise and experience that comes with helping schools launch all over the UK."
Investing in the Razzamataz brand was a decision made from the heart and head as Kayleigh explains:
"The brand is second to none and the values they have are very close to my heart. You are valued, listened to and encouraged. The support from Head Office is so helpful. I love having deadlines to spur me on to get things done and motivate me. If I was doing this on my own it would be a lot harder. I also love having people around to use as second opinions for difficult decisions."
After the intensive training week where new Principals took part in sessions to help with every aspect of running a theatre school from PR and Marketing, Health and Safety, Social Media, Recruitment, Insurance, Financial and many more,
Kayleigh has been busy promoting Razzamataz Newcastle:
"It is so easy to spend money and budgeting is so important, which is something that we learnt during training. Time management is really necessary because tasks always take longer than you think."
Learning from other Principals in the network is also something that Razzamataz firmly believes in and Kayleigh has spent the last few weeks helping out at end of term shows:
"Some of these Principals had students in their shows that had been attending classes for more than ten years. To have played such a big part in that child’s life and to watch them grow and develop into confident young adults is very special."
At just 20 years old, Sophie Atkins is one of the youngest Principals in the network and is soon to launch Razzamataz Wimbledon. However, Sophie has worked for Razzamataz since she was 16 and since that first day, knew that she wanted to be a Principal.
"Buying into a franchise means I get to follow a proven model that I already know works. Lots of people know the name Razzamataz and there is so much support at Head Office that I know if I ever need it, help is there. I also love being part of an organization that prides itself on making many amazing partnerships and offering students such wonderful opportunities."
Although organisation has always been Sophie’s strong point, she now realises how important these skills are to running a business:
"Everything is colour-coded and I now have a proper office just for Razzamataz. I am unfortunately one of those people who likes to take everything on themselves and I have realised over the past couple of weeks that some things I do need help with."
The support from Head Office has been a huge help to Sophie as she explains:
"I don’t know how I would be doing this without them. Everything from helping me to liaise with my venue to arranging party bags at the last moment has been swiftly dealt with.
Having worked at two other Razzamataz schools I have had to say goodbye twice to an amazing bunch of kids and I am so looking forward to never having to do that again. I'm really excited about coming up with show ideas and watching Razzamataz Wimbledon kids grow, develop and learn week by week. It's the only thing I wanted to do for so long and I consider myself extremely lucky that this is now my job."
Marc Berridge, age 30 is the new owner of Razzamataz Hackney and has come from a strong performing arts career having worked in many shows across the UK. His passion now lies in passing on his knowledge and experience to young people in Hackney.
"I’ve taught in drama schools and primary schools all over London and wanted the chance to run my own and develop my own ideas. I have a passion for providing children with a performing arts education because I think they are vital skills to learn, which can be transferred into all areas of life giving people self-belief, integrity and excellent communication skills."
Although Marc has a strong performing arts background, he wanted the support from an established business:
"There are so many other things to running a theatre school than what is on the surface and it’s a lot harder than you think. It’s very important to get your name out there and provide people with the right information. I have spoken to lots of people that have heard of the Razzamataz name and are very interested that it will be coming to Hackney.
I chose Razzamataz because it has a brilliant brand model and fantastic brand awareness. I wanted to help build the name in the capital where there are so many opportunities to work within the performing arts."
In preparation for his September launch, Marc has found the support from Head Office incredible as he explains:
"They help you at every step of the way passing on their knowledge and support. There are 40 other franchisees and the are always offering advice and views from personal experience. It is like having a really large extended family. I get regular support calls from different specialists within the company that are able to help you with different aspects of your launch."
Marc is looking forward to providing students with as many opportunities as possible including workshops, trips and local performances. These will help the children flourish and become performers in their own right:
"I’m looking forward to meeting many talented children and building their skills. I hope that Razzamataz Hackney becomes very involved with the community and we make some great links. We are already working hard with the Petchey Academy, who really believe in what we have to offer."
Razzamataz Theatre School is a franchise business that shot to prominence in 2007 after an investment from Duncan Bannantyne on BBC’s Dragons’ Den. There are more than 40 part-time theatre schools up and down the country with more opening each year including another new opening in Reading.
Many people have have found a rewarding long term career through franchising with Razzamataz Theatre Schools.
Razzamataz Theatre Schools franchise, with almost 50 schools throughout the UK, has many retired performers as Principals.
Nick Furlong and Gemma Hextall bought Razzamataz Sutton Coldfield in June 2015.
Jessica Chandler Smith has seen her Razzamataz franchise in Brentwood achieve huge success in just a few short weeks.
Lauren Kirkbride joined Razzamataz Theatre Schools as a student and now runs her own franchise.
The new Principals at Razzamataz are all set for their September openings after completing a week long extensive training session.
Michael French launched Razzamataz Barnet in April 2012 and has recently renewed his franchise agreement for a further five years.
Debbi Ledwith, Principal of Razzamataz Newbury, launched her school to allow her to spend more time with her three children.
Proving that age is really just a number, Pam Dixon, has run her Razzamataz Theatre Schools franchise since 2008.
Charlotte Young, the Principal of Razzamataz West Cumbria first became a franchisee in October 2006.
At Razzamataz's recent training week, three new franchisees who have bought franchise re-sales, joined the franchisees who are launching in new territories.
Razzamataz have a number of franchisees who are either former teachers or combining part-time teaching with being a Razzamataz franchisee.
I don’t have a business background so after deciding to retire from professionally performing it was the memories of Razzamataz on Dragons’ Den that set the wheels in motion. I was really inspired by the brand and the business model and because it is a franchise business we receive a lot of help and support from Head Office as well as on-going training so I can make Razzamataz Barnet the success that I believe it can be. In the last 12 months, I have doubled my student numbers in a very competitive market and I have now clear plans on how I would like my business to progress this year.Michael French, Razzamataz Barnet
It was 10 years ago that I left hairdressing and for anyone thinking that it is too late to change their careers I would say step out of your comfort zone and just do it. I never thought I would be able to and it’s the best thing I have done and wished I’d done it years ago!Pam Dixon, Razzamataz Dumfries
The support from Head Office is fantastic and they are always there to listen and to guide you through. You are getting advertising/marketing ideas, contacts and systems provided for you that you may not have if you were to open an independent school.Amy Latchman, Razzamataz Rickmansworth.
One of Dragons Den most successful investments!
Affordable part time performing arts lessons
TWO franchises for the price of ONE!