Ravenscourt Theatre School

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Ravenscourt Theatre School
Established 1989
Closed 2010
Type Other Independent School
Location 8-30 Galena Road
Hammersmith

London
W6 0LT
 England Coordinates: 51°29′38″N 0°14′00″W / 51.49375°N 0.23324°W / 51.49375; -0.23324
Local authority Hammersmith and Fulham
DfE URN 100367
Gender Coeducational
Ages 7–19
Website www.ravenscourt.net

Ravenscourt Theatre School was a stage school in London for children aged 7 to 19 years old. The School was founded in 1989 by Sir Robin Phillips Bt following the closure of the Corona Stage Academy following the retirement of its principal, Rona Knight. Corona was a very successful drama school running for some forty years in Hammersmith and producing top stars of stage and screen.

History[edit]

Corona Stage Academy[edit]

Rona Knight[edit]

Rona Knight was born on 22 June 1911, the daughter of Leonard and Ellen Edith Speck Knight. She made her first stage appearance at age 11, at a Sunday School benefit. At the age of fourteen she opened the Corona Dancing School, which proved successful. The dancing and singing group became known as the "Corona Babes" (later known as the "Corona Kids") and in the early 1930s, began to perform professionally all around the country. During the Second World War Rona joined the hospital section of ENSA (Entertainments National Service Association). She chose the stage name of Rona Brandon and became well known as a BBC and recording soprano.[1]

After the War Rona attended the Paris school of mime, dance and drama and in 1950 opened The Corona Academy of Stage Training in Wellesley Road, Chiswick. In 1955 the Corona Academy to larger facilities at 16 Ravenscourt Avenue, Hammersmith. The Corona Academy supplied the young cast for Lionel Bart’s Oliver and consistently fed the Royal Shakespeare Company with new young talent.[1] The Corona Academy of Stage Training closed in 1989 following Miss Knight's retirement.

Ravenscourt Theatre School[edit]

Sir Robin ran the Corona agency for many years and most of the traditions of Corona were incorporated into the Ravenscourt Theatre School including the uniform and the teaching format, which had full academic studies in the morning and vocational training in the afternoon. For much of its life the school was situated next to Ravenscourt Park tube station, in what is now the Ravenscourt Baptist Church. It moved to Kew in 2009 and in 2010 became the Corona Theatre School, partially retaking its former name.

Many children who have attended Ravenscourt have gone on to have successful careers. The following list was confirmed by Ravenscourt Theatre School:Leona Lewis (International Singer) Daniela Denby-Ashe (Eastenders and My Family), Dean Gaffney (Eastenders), Peter Kin Kelly (The Wild House), Charlie Brooks (EastEnders), Celena Cherry (Honeyz), Simon Fenton (The Power Of One, Matinee), Montanna Thompson (The Story Of Tracy Beaker), Oliver Hopkins (Harry Potter Movie Series).

References[edit]