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Laine Theatre Arts celebrates 40 years with gala production in Epsom
One of Britain's top performing arts college is celebrating its 40th anniversary in style with a dazzling gala production.
Victoria Beckham, Billy Elliot the Musical’s Ruthie Henshall and Sarah Hadland, from TV series Miranda, all started out as students at Laine Theatre Arts in Epsom.
Now the college’s alumni, including West End and TV stars, are set to return to Epsom for a champagne reception and special performance to mark its anniversary.
The alumni evening will follow a week-long run of its song and dance spectacular, Flying in at 40, at the Epsom Playhouse.
Founder Betty Laine, who had a career as a dancer, singer and actress herself, says it feels "awesome" to be celebrating 40 years of performing arts excellence.
She says: "Extremely grateful to have had the opportunity to nurture so much talent, developing it through to the highest calibre of employment in the West End, and throughout the world."
"Also having the pleasure of maintaining contact with so many hundreds of graduates through social media.
"Many graduates return to our studios in Epsom to give workshops and talk-ins regarding the field of entertainment. I enjoy many visits to musicals, ballet and plays where our graduates are appearing."
The alumni gala event will take place on Sunday, June 15, in aid of Cancer Research UK and will be closed to the public. Henshall, Hadland and Louise Dearman, from the musical Wicked, are expected to attend.
The college says: "The West End comes to Epsom for this glamorous gathering of stars.
"Since 1974 Laine Theatre Art’s graduates have graced the boards of stage and screen and populated casts and creative teams in the West End, Broadway and beyond."
Actor Ben Richards, who has starred in police drama the Bill, Coronation Street’s Hayley Tamaddon and musical theatre actress Kerry Ellis, also studied at the college.
And the dreams of stardom continue as more than 200 students from 20 different countries pursue their studies at the college in East Street, Epsom.
Flying in at 40
Epsom Playhouse, Ashley Avenue, Epsom
Saturday June 7, Tuesday June 10, Wednesday June 11, Thursday June 12, Friday June 13, Saturday June 14 - 7.30pm
Sunday June 8 - 6pm Saturday June 14 - 2.30pm
Call 0208 395 9835
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