Children were all smiles as they were introduced to the world of stage at the launch of a performing arts academy in Bedfont.

About a dozen youngsters aged between seven and 11 enjoyed the drama, dance and singing activities led by professional actors at the opening session of the Young Performers Academy at the Southville Community Centre.

Founded by actress, writer and drama facilitator Terri Ann Bailey, the first class on Wednesday (February 25) gave the ambitious boys and girls a taster of future fun in store for them, and for parents a chance to see their child in the act.

Towards the end of the 90-minute session, everyone indulged in a slice of cake to celebrate the launch of the Academy.

Ms Ann Bailey who has been in commercials, music videos, short films and plays has also worked in schools from directing musical adaptations of Shakespeare plays to running after school drama clubs.

She set up a theatre company in 2013, and last year re-launched it as Tale Be Told Theatre, combining her drama facilitation work with her production work.

Young Performers Academy classes are held every Wednesday. Classes cost £5.50 a session with sibling discount available.

At the end of each term parents will be invited to watch a presentation of their children's work.

A free trial class is offered to all new beginners, regardless of when they start in the term.

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