Dame Arlene Phillips is a world-famous choreographer and theatre director who has worked extensively across West End, Broadway and film. Amongst countless others, Arlene has choreographed Starlight Express, Wizard of Oz, Joseph, Jesus Christ Superstar, The Sound of Music, We Will Rock You, Grease and Flashdance! Arlene has been nominated for Emmy, Tony and Laurence Olivier awards and in 2023 won a WhatsOnStage Award for Best Choreography for Grease at the Dominion Theatre. As such a legendary household name and incredible artist, we could not be happier for Dame Arlene Phillips to be a part of CAPA College.
Shanay Holmes is a West-End star and award-winning producer! Shanay has starred in Thriller Live, Get Up Stand Up! The Bob Marley Musical and The Bodyguard amongst many others and it has recently been announced that she will be starring as ‘Ellen’ in the new production of Miss Saigon at Sheffield’s Crucible theatre.
Shanay is also director and co-founder of MusicalCon, the West End’s official musical theatre fan convention! Recently Shanay was awarded Best Producer and Best Production for West End Musical Celebration at the Black British Theatre Awards!
“I am honoured to be a patron of CAPA College, a home to nurturing explosive, exciting, new, diverse and developing talent. We can only strive to be the change we wish to see; this is a principle I hold at the upmost importance and know CAPA college does too. This industry’s future depends on the building of brave and inspiring talent which is what CAPA strive for. I hope I can be, if only in a small way someone who has proven that no matter where you’re from and regardless of your race, background or sexuality that there is a place for you within this glorious industry and that you are capable of achieving whatever you set your mind to.”
Kerry Ellis is an award-winning, world-renowned theatre across West End, Broadway and the music industry! She has fast become recognised as the leading lady after originating the role of ‘Meat’ in Queens We Will Rock You and was the first British Elphaba in the West End Smash Wicked, for which she won the WhatsOnStage Award for Best Takeover in a Role. She has also starred in countless roles such as ‘Nancy’ in Oliver, ‘Fantine’ in Les Miserables and ‘Eliza Doolittle’ in My Fair Lady.
Since then, Kerry Ellis has performed internationally promoting her album Wicked In Rock after reaching No.15 in the UK album chart and No.10 in the UK Pop Charts.
Morgan Large is an Olivier award-winning designer who has worked across the Musical Theatre industry on countless productions.
Morgan boasts an extensive list of design credits including Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat (London Palladium/UK Tour/Australian Tour/Princess of Wales Theatre, Toronto), as well as Disney’s Newsies, Guys and Dolls and Sister Act.
Morgan’s awards include the UK Theatre Award for Best Design for Wonderland and Olivier Award for Best Revival of a Play for Cat on a Hot Tin Roof.
Dermot Daly is a director, author and senior lecturer who’s work can be seen across theatre and radio. He is the Associate Artistic Director of Freedom Studios and is chair of One Tenth Human; creative associate of the Geraldine Connor Foundation and proud trustee of Wrongsemble and Mikron Theatre Company.
Dermot’s many credits include work with Red Ladder theatre Company on My Voice Was Heard But It Was Ignored, Freedom Studios on Aaliyah After Antigone and BBC Radio 4 on Rise. As a performer he has worked with Netflix, BBC Television, ITV and Channel 4 amongst many others.
In 2022 he was nominated as Best Director for My Voice Was Heard But It Was Ignored at the Black British Theatre Awards!
“I’m honoured to become a patron of CAPA. The performing arts is for us all and sometimes that gets forgotten. I’m excited to help and challenge the college to be the best that it can be; it’s hugely important for ladders to be thrown back down to diversify the stories and the storytellers on our stages, screens and in our ears.”
Since graduating Laine Theatre Arts, Tom has danced for many international artists including Jason Derulo, Rita Ora, Rihanna, Take that and Mariah Carey in iconic venues such as the London Palladium, Wembley stadium and London’s iconic 02 Arena! He has performed at countless music festivals including Capital’s Summertime Ball. Radio 1’s Big Weekend and V Festival and has appeared on hugely popular TV shows including The X Factor, Britain’s Got Talent and was top 5 in So You Think You Can Dance UK.
Tom is the Co-Founder of Can You Dance? The UK’s Biggest Touring Dance Convention, alongside his close friend Matt Flint. Tom is proud to have created so many opportunities for young dancers through Can You Dance? including scholarships, artist & ambassador awards and the CYD? Dance Star Company.
Amara Okereke is an award-winning West End Star and Leading Lady. Since training at Arts Educational Schools, Amara’s theatre credits include Eliza Doolittle in My Fair Lady, Wendla in Spring Awakening and Laurey in Oklahoma! Amara also starred as Cosette in Les Miserables, for which she won Best Actress in a Musical at The Stage Debut Awards!
Edward Watson is a former principal dancer and current répétiteur with the Royal Ballet in London. During Edward’s time with the Royal Ballet, he has performed in many major roles in works for Wayne McGregor, Kenneth MacMillan and Frederick Ashton amongst others. Works include Chroma, Lewis Carroll/The White Rabbit in Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Strapless and Raven Girl.
During his incredible career, Edward has won many awards including Best Male Dancer at the National Theatre Awards and the Olivier Award for Outstanding Achievement in Dance for his performance as Gregor Samsa in Arthur Pita’s interpretation of Franz Kafka’s Metamorphosis. Most recently, Edward won Prix Benois de la Danse for his performance as Leontes in The Winter’s Tale at the Royal Ballet!
Hannah Starkey is a photographer whose work is meticulously crafted and women oriented, capturing “explorations of everyday experiences and observations of inner-city life from a female perspective.” Hannah has had numerous publications and solo exhibitions that are held in public collections including the Tate Modern and Victoria and Albert Museum in London. In 2019, she was awarded an Honorary Fellowship of the Royal Photographic Society.
One of Hannah’s most recent collections was In Real Life, featuring CAPA College students! In Real Life was exhibited at The Hepworth Wakefield in 2023.