Youngsters can get their first taste of acting at a series of drama classes opening in Hounslow and Ealing.

The Helen O'Grady Drama Academy is launching six weekly groups for children aged five to 11 at sites across the two boroughs from January 12.

The principal will be Adam Damerell, who graduated from the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama in 2005 and who is currently appearing in an advert for CBBC. He has been running classes for the academy for six years.

Graduates of the academy's classes elsewhere have gone on to appear in the likes of Mission Impossible and the Harry Potter films, but he says the classes are about more than setting youngsters on the road to stardom.

Their introduction to the stage, he insists, helps boost their self-esteem and can rub off at school, improving their language and creative skills and giving them the confidence to speak up in lessons.

"Drama isn't just for those children who have a natural talent. We use it to boost confidence and self-esteem," he says.

"It improves their language and public speaking skills, which are important in life. The best part of the job is seeing children get that confidence boost and the difference it makes at school."

Students attend a one hour lesson each week during the school year and in the summer term begin rehearsing a play to perform. More than 50,000 children attend one of the academy's classes across the world each week.

The weekly classes in Hounslow and Ealing will take place at the following locations from January 12:

Monday: Isleworth - The Blue School, New Hall, South Street

Tuesday: Hanwell - Hanwell Methodist Church, Church Road

Wednesday: Hounslow Central - Maswell Park Church, Heath Road

Thursday: Heston - St Leonard's Church Hall, Heston Road

Friday: Greenford - Greenford Baptist Church, Beechwood Avenue

Saturday: Feltham - Reach Academy, 53-55 High Street

* For more information about the new classes, call 020 8432 6637, email or visit

* You can get a free trial lesson and getwestlondon readers can take advantage of a 10 per cent discount on the first term by mentioning the code 'drama10'.