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Showstop Theatre School to open in Maidenhead

A new theatre school for children opens in Maidenhead next month.

‘Showstop Theatre School’ for aspiring stage performers aged seven to 17 will be based at Altwood Church of England School in Altwood Road on Sunday mornings from Sunday, September 20.  

Jo Hawes, one of the school’s directors, has been a children's casting director for 25 years.

She has cast Mary Poppins, Les Miserables, Joseph and the Technicolour Dreamcoat, and more, and has recently won an Olivier award for her special contribution to the industry. 

The school’s other directors are stage performer and Musical Theatre graduate Claire MacDonald, and Jo’s son, Matt, a former child actor and aspiring director who assists Jo in casting.

Jo says Showstop Theatre School, is ‘different from other stage schools’.

“They usually focus exclusively on singing, dancing and acting, and whilst this is the core of what we all do, there are many other skills that young performers need.”

Each term students will benefit from workshops focusing on audition technique, stage combat, puppetry, make-up, circus skills, gymnastics, and song writing.

The workshops will be run by industry professionals, including Mark Hedges, resident director of the Phantom of the Opera in London’s West End and children’s director on the 'Les Miserables' UK Tour. 

Fees per child for a 10-week term are £300.

For further details and to book a place go to or email 

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