Corona Theatre School

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Corona Theatre School
Closed 2013
Type Independent Theatre School
Location The Kingsway Business Park
Oldfield Road

TW12 2HD
Coordinates: 51°29′38″N 0°14′00″W / 51.49375°N 0.23324°W / 51.49375; -0.23324
DfE URN 100367
Gender Coeducational
Ages 11–16
Colours Green & Gold

Corona Theatre School (formerly Corona Academy) was originally founded in 1957 as a performing arts academy operating in the region of west London. It reopened as Ravenscourt Theatre School in 1989 and became known as Corona Theatre School in April 2010. The school announced in February 2013 that it would close.


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. Corona was a very successful drama school running for some forty years in Hammersmith and producing top stars of stage and screen.

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

W6 0LT
Local authority Hammersmith and Fulham
DfE URN 100367
Gender Coeducational
Ages 7–19

Ravenscourt Theatre School[edit]

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 and the retirement of its principal, Rona Knight.

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).


In April 2010 reopened as Ravenscourt became known as Corona Theatre School. The school announced in February 2013 that it would close.[2]

Students either attended the school on a full-time, part-time or holiday school basis. The full-time school admitted both boys and girls from the age of 11 and had a curriculum that pivoted around performing arts. Students had the opportunity to study six GCSEs as well as advanced training in all aspects of performing arts (Acting, Dance and Singing) and the opportunity to study towards a BTEC National Diploma in Performing Arts at the age of 16.

Students were admitted to the school by audition, personal interview and a written examination.

Notable former pupils[edit]

Corona Management[edit]

Corona Theatre School ran a school agency, for both all the full-time students, past students and some actors and actresses from outside the school. The agency was run by James Spicer.


  1. ^ a b Roe, William P., "The Corona Stage Academy", Brentford & Chiswick Local History Journal, 7 (1998).
  2. ^ "Corona Theatre School forced to close", BBC London, 11 February 2013.