Crawley and Horsham

Leading Sussex Drama School to open In Horsham

Leading Sussex Drama School to open In Horsham

Ariel Company Theatre is delighted to announce that it is opening a new drama academy on Saturday 28th April based at the Roffey Millennium Hall.  Ariel is a family theatre company and a leading light in all aspects of theatrical training including dance, drama and singing, with established academies in Crawley, East Grinstead, Burgess Hill, Haywards Heath and Steyning.  The new academy will run every Saturday afternoon from 2.15pm to 5.00pm welcoming students aged 5 -19.

Ariel’s award winning academies strive to provide much more than just out of school activities to keep young people occupied.  Run by a team of dedicated tutors who enthuse the students with a love of performing, Ariel helps to develop skills for life such as confident public speaking, collaboration skills and teamwork.  Students have the opportunity to make new friends and perform in a variety of events including plays, musicals and community events and on the professional stages of the Capitol Theatre, The Hawth and Brighton Fringe Festival. Everyone is welcome to come along and there is no audition process.  Free taster sessions are available so bring along your friends!

Ariel’s top team for new Horsham Academy: Beth Gavin, Chelsea Hennessey, Ben Simpson and Kyle Brown.

The Horsham team is headed up by Principal Ben Simpson who brings with him a wealth of knowledge having trained at the London School of Musical Theatre.  Ben is an experienced producer and actor whose credits include shows at the Theatre Royal Brighton, Chichester Festival Theatre, The Brighton Fringe, The National Theatre and The Royal College of Music. Ben headed up the Ariel team when the Haywards Heath Academy opened in 2014 and this year will be bringing his expertise to Ariel’s debut at the Brighton Fringe, when he directs a double bill of plays; Bassett and The Grandfathers.

Ben said ‘I am very excited about the opening of the Horsham Academy. The students can develop their performance skills across all three disciplines with experienced teachers.  We are a very inclusive school, so whether you have heaps of experience or are a total novice you will be made welcome. 

We will be working on a wide range of material from great classic musicals to contemporary plays and current chart hits.  Whether you aspire to be a professional performer or just want some fun and to make new friends, come along for a taster session’.

Ben will be joined by a very experienced team compiling of Dance Tutor, Beth Gavin who graduated from Roehampton University with a First Class Honours degree in Drama, Theatre and Performance studies in 2014 and is an Associate Member of the British Ballet Organisation (BBO). Beth also works as a Theatre Agent, representing actors in theatre, television and film and enjoys sharing her professional working knowledge of the industry with her students

Drama will be taught by Kyle Brown who started his acting career at the age of 15 after being scouted by an agent during a drama workshop. Since then he’s appeared in a range of productions both on stage and screen. Stage credits include Carmen and original musical ‘Secrets’ at the Leicester Square Theatre plus TV work and commercials for Newsround, Disney, Virgin Airlines and Morrisons. Over the last few years Kyle has turned his focus on song writing and has been featured on BBC introducing.  Kyle has also been helping Ariel launch a new ‘Theatre in Education’ initiative.

Teaching singing skills will be tutor Chelsea Hennessey who has been with Ariel since its inception in 2004.  Starting as a student on Ariel’s very first day, eventually Chelsea moved on to teaching and has been working at the Burgess Hill Academy for four years. In addition Chelsea also teaches and works with Ariel’s special needs groups, the Othello’s and Othello’s Plus.  She has worked as Musical Director on a number of Ariel workshops and projects, including Annie, Junior Musicality and a performance at Her Majesty’s Theatre in the West End.

Ensuring the smooth running of the academy and providing a very warm welcome to students will be Administrator Becky Gallagher. Becky has lived in Horsham all her life and has grown up surrounded by Amateur Dramatics as her parents were founding members of HAODS. She grew up watching and performing in shows and her first part was as a Munchkin in The Wizard of Oz! Becky went on to do a number of shows with HAODS. Becky is really excited about the opening of the Horsham Academy and is hoping that in time her young daughter will follow her on to the stage!

With many productions and projects in the pipeline, now is a great time for students to join Ariel. Rehearsals for Ariel’s main musical productions ‘Les Misérables’ will soon be starting and the show will play at the Capitol Theatre, Horsham from

11th – 17th November. 

For more information on Ariel’s new Horsham  Academy or visit 

To register for a free trial contact Nicci Hopson on 01444 250407