South Manchester Helen O’Grady Drama Academy Official Launch Week
South Manchester Helen O'Grady

This week is the official launch of the South Manchester Helen O’Grady Drama Academy. Helen O’Grady UK and Ireland are assisting with the launch of this new business venture in the local area. There are over 50,000 students attending Helen O’Grady Drama classes each week, throughout twenty six countries. In 1994, four Academies were established in the UK and there are now forty nine in operation. Over 15,000 children each week attend classes in the UK; it is anticipated there will be approximately 50,000 students per week attending classes over the next few years.

The Academy, known locally as SMHOG, has been taken over by a new Principal teacher. The business has now become a family concern for Andrew and Jane Kielty who are Joint Principal and Business Director, a son and mother combination with Jane’s Husband, Aidan, undertaking website content, Facebook and marketing opportunities for the business and other son Richard who is responsible for website development the whole family is now part of this business. Even Andrew’s girlfriend Melanie Drinkwater is part of the academy with a responsibility for their Casting Agency, Aardvark Casting South Manchester. This follows the recent retirement of previous owner Gill Hollis.

Andrew, Aidan and Richard are well known in the theatrical arena locally having all performed at various times in various roles for various local theatres. Jane and Mel are more inclined back stage.

The company operates drama and acting classes at studios in various parts of South Manchester and Cheshire with venues in Altrincham, Bramhall, Cheadle Hulme, Chorlton, Gatley, Sale, Stretford, Timperley and Urmston. With more venues hoping to be opened they are looking to expand the classes from their current 5 to 17 year old age range to include adult classes. They also operate Kindy Classes for 2 to 5 year olds at locations in Timperley and Hale.

Andrew states, “As the Principal of this Academy, I am honoured to be part of a world-wide organisation which has been in existence for over 30 years. South Manchester Helen O’Grady is a successful business providing these lessons locally in the heart of the community. With my other teaching staff I hope to use the classes to instil confidence and self-esteem in children, a seemingly essential life skill nowadays as more jobs and studying opportunities use interview as part of the selection process. There is a lot of emphasis on children being active but resources are channelled into sports whereas drama and acting can provide exercise for the body and mind for those children not sports minded”

Each term runs alongside the normal school term. There are studio performances for parents at the end of term’s 1 and 2 with a stage performance and the end of term 3 at a local venue. Andrew states, “This year we have a brand new curriculum, together with new scripts and new music. We also have a special parent’s day where we will be asking parents to take part in the classes with their children and undertake their role playing, mime or script work. Should be great fun!”

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