Principal: Rosalind Patterson
My love of all things theatrical began when at the age of 5 or 6, I was taken to see my father play the cello in the local orchestra. ‘The Carnival of the Animals’ by Saint-Saens was one of the main items on the programme, and I can still remember my delight as I imagined the various animals parading around the auditorium. As my mother was the director for a local drama group, I soon began to take part in her many productions. Later on, as a keen and dedicated pupil of the Joan Barnes Theatre School in Buckinghamshire, I became more passionate about acting, and achieved Gold Medals in LAMDA examinations in both Speech and Acting.
Working as a professional actress for Interplay Theatre Company in Northern Ireland, I toured in a production of ‘The Playboy of the Western World’ by J.M. Synge playing the female lead – Pegeen Mike. As a result – I achieved full membership of the British Actors’ Equity Association, and then went on to become a member of the resident theatre company based at the Riverside Theatre in Coleraine. Following this, I worked for Locomotive Theatre Company – touring the Midlands and the North of England (playing a robot most of the time – named UFFO!), and for Cambrian Productions, acting in a variety of plays whilst touring South and North Wales. Upon returning to Buckinghamshire, I became a member of Hampden House Arts Association - a theatrical company which specialized in performing Shakespeare.
Engaged as a speech and drama teacher at the Joan Barnes Theatre School intermittently throughout these years, I gained invaluable experience imparting my theatrical knowledge, and began to realise how much I relished working with children and young adults. At this time, I enjoyed choreographing major productions and also achieved an AIDTA qualification in Dance.
For the past ten years, having moved to Wiltshire, I have been working as a part-time teacher of the LAMDA syllabus at St. Mary’s School in Calne, and I consider it a privilege to direct and nurture the creative talent inherent in every child.
Calne Speech & Drama School has grown from strength to strength since its inception in March 2004. A very high percentage of pupils achieve Distinction marks in LAMDA examinations and during 2013, eight trophies were awarded to pupils for solo and duologue performances at Royal Wootton Bassett Arts Festival, together with trophies for group acting aged 14 and under, and also aged 18 and under. The school’s productions are always a highlight, and these have ranged from ‘Farmer Tumbledown's Pig,’ to Shakespeare’s ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ and ‘Thieves’ Carnival’ by Jean Anouilh. Drama classes are lively and creative, allowing each child to develop self-confidence through mime, drama games, story-telling and imaginative role-play. Students improve vocal skills and also progress to a more in-depth study of dramatic texts, in order to create spontaneous and true-to-life characterisations. It is a constant delight for me to watch these talented pupils grow and develop as they mature into skilled and consummate performers.