David Essex OBE

Arlene Phillips CBE

David Wood OBE



We want to say a HUGE congratulations to eight Full-Time Students who have successfully passed their Teachers Freestyle Associate Examinations all with Distinction.

#BeTheBest #LiveTheDream


3rd Year West End Showcase – Leicester Square Theatre

The 3rd Year London Showcase was held at the Leicester Square Theatre on Monday 22nd May 2017 at 1:30pm. We are pleased to report an amazing response from both Agents and Industry Professionals alike with some excellent offers coming in to our 3rd years for agency representation.

Good luck to all our 3rd years who have now flown the nest and are now working both here and internationally.

#LiveTheDream #BeTheBest


Nottingham Playhouse

Nottingham Playhouse Gala Showcase 2017

Midlands Academy of Dance & Drama (MADD) is celebrating 50 golden years of success and held a spectacular GALA SHOWCASE! It was an evening of show stopping performances by over 100 full time Professional Musical Theatre students showcasing their incredible versatility.

Directed by Emma Clayton and assisted by leading Professionals from the Performing Arts Industry, accompanied by a live band, this is a night of sheer entertainment for all the family.

Visit our Twitter site to read some of the AMAZING reviews.




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Celebrating 50 Years #MADD50

1967 – 2017 #MADD50

Midlands Academy of Dance and Drama

celebrates ITS 50th anniversary IN 2017


Media release: Tuesday 24 January 2017 – Midlands Academy of Dance and Drama, founded and headed by arts industry stalwart Frances Clayton, is one of the UK’s most successful and well respected performing arts colleges with its origins dating back an impressive fifty years to 1967.  Today, the Nottingham based college announces plans to mark its 50th anniversary with a range of exciting performances and events between February and October 2017.

The year-long commemoration marks the extraordinary 50-year milestone and culminates in an all-singing, all-dancing ‘dress to impress’ 50th Anniversary Celebration and Reunion Gala at the Grade I listed stately home Kelham Hall and Country Park in Nottinghamshire on Saturday 28th October 2017.

Frances Clayton, founder and Principal of Midlands Academy of Dance and Drama and affectionately known as ‘Miss C’ by students and staff, said:2017 marks a special time in MADD’s history. I am so grateful to family and friends who have supported the academy in its various stages over the last fifty years. And to all the wonderful students and staff from across five decades, this incredible milestone would not have been possible without each and every one of you! I hope everyone will join us throughout the year ahead to celebrate this very special anniversary.

Sue Sparham, former student and one of the academy’s current dance teachers, said:I graduated from MADD in 1994. Twenty three years later I am still part of the college, which I think speaks volumes, as regards to my love for the place and the people within it. Miss C has an energy and passion which is nothing short of inspirational.”

Midlands Academy of Dance and Drama, known as ‘MADD’, is located in Nottingham and was founded after Frances Clayton was asked by a handful of Nottingham parents to set up her own dance school in the late sixties. Originally offering part time classes for children in Theatre Dance and Ballroom, the seeds were sown, and fifty years later the school has grown into one of the word’s best musical theatre colleges. In 1988 a Three Year Musical Theatre Diploma Course was developed and is now accredited by the Council for Dance Education and Training (CDET) and validated by Trinity College London.

MADD offers additional courses: a One Year Foundation Musical Theatre Diploma; a One Year Post Graduate course; accredited evening courses in Teacher Training with the International Dance Teachers Association in Classical Ballet, Tap, Jazz and Freestyle Dance; and a Junior School (evenings & weekends) for Theatre Dance, Gymnastics, Freestyle, Musical Theatre and Drama is also offered for 3 – 18 year olds and holds Recognised School Status by the CDET.

MADD was granted charity status in 2007 and offers a number of scholarships and bursaries to enable talented students to reach their full potential to perform in the industry.

A vast range of alumni have gone on to successful careers in London’s West End, National and International tours, television and even found fame in one the world’s biggest boybands. After training at the college from 2006 – 2009, Jay McGuiness made his name in the massively successful boyband The Wanted. He went on to be crowned BBC One’s Strictly Come Dancing champion with dance partner Aliona Vilani in 2015 and is now starring in Big The Musical, heading to the West End in spring 2017.

Kicking off #MADD50 celebrations will be the 50th Anniversary Junior Showcase in the college’s very own MADD Theatre on Saturday 11th and Sunday 12th February 2017. On Monday 22nd May the 50th Anniversary Third Year Graduate Showcase for agency representation takes place at the Leicester Square Theatre in London’s West End.

The celebrations continue in the summer with MADD’s 50th Anniversary Gala Showcase at Nottingham Playhouse. Produced by MADD, and always a sell-out show (book your tickets soon!), this year’s commemorative Gala Showcase on Friday 30th June and Saturday 1st July promises to be bigger and better than ever before – an evening of show-stopping performances by over 100 full-time professional musical theatre students showcasing their incredible versatility.  Accompanied by a live band, this is a night of sheer entertainment for all the family.

Finally, on Saturday 28th October 2017, marking this 50 year milestone, is the 50th Anniversary #MADD Celebration and Reunion Gala – a celebratory evening for students and staff, past and present, and patrons and supporters of the academy.  Held in the grand The Dome room at Kelham Hall, situated in 44 acres of private grounds in Newark, Nottinghamshire, this promises to be a very special night in MADD’s fifty year history.


For Media Enquiries, Photographs and Interviews, please contact: Simon Harper, Simon Harper PR, or 07810 863408 @maddcollege #MADD50

Midlands Academy of Dance and Drama’S 50th Anniversary events IN 2017:

MADD’s 50th Anniversary Junior Showcase at MADD’s Studio Theatre, Nottingham

Saturday 11th at 7pm and Sunday 12th February at 2.30pm & 7pm

Tickets: £14 Adults, £10 Children // 0115 9110401


MADD’s 50th Anniversary Graduate Showcase for agency representation at Leicester Square Theatre, London

Monday 22nd May at 1.30 pm (time to be confirmed)

Tickets: 0115 9110401


MADD’s 50th Anniversary Gala Showcase at Nottingham Playhouse, Nottingham (ON SALE)

Friday 30 June & Saturday 1 July 2017 at 7.30pm

Tickets: £22, Under 16s £18 // 0115 941 9419 //


MADD’s 50th Anniversary Celebration and Reunion Gala at Kelham Hall, Main Road, Kelham

Newark, Nottinghamshire, NG23 5QX

Saturday 28th October at 6.30pm – midnight

By Invitation.

To express interest to attend, please call MADD on 0115 9110401 for more details.


Midlands Academy of Dance and Drama, known in the industry as MADD, is located in Nottingham, a vibrant, cosmopolitan, diverse and friendly city steeped in history and culture. MADD was founded in 1967 by Principal Frances Clayton and in 1988 a Three Year Musical Theatre Diploma Course was developed and is accredited by the Council for Dance Education and Training (CDET) and validated by Trinity College London. MADD offers additional courses; a One Year Foundation Musical Theatre Diploma, a One Year Post Graduate Musical Theatre Course and accredited evening courses in Teacher Training with the International Dance Teachers Association in Classical Ballet, Tap, Jazz and Freestyle Dance. A Junior Theatre School (evenings and weekends) is also offered between the ages of 3 to 18 years, holding Recognised School Status by the CDET. MADD headquarters is situated on the edge of the city and in addition to the 5000 square foot headquarter facilities, the College has a 15,500 square foot building opposite known as ‘The Factory’. This space also houses a 168 seat Studio Theatre. The Factory is also home to the ‘Nottingham Community Wardrobe’ which houses one of the biggest collections of Theatrical Costumes in the East Midlands with over 30,000 to choose from.


MADD prides itself on being a ‘College of Excellence’ providing one of the leading Musical Theatre courses in the UK. In addition to the thirty members of staff, the College is proud to welcome Guest Practitioners from the Industry including Directors, Choreographers, Casting Directors and Agents.


Frances Clayton Fellow & Examiner of the IDTA, LISTD, ANATD, FE Teaching Certificate. Frances has been teaching and nurturing the love of dance in children and students for pleasure or the profession for 55 years, founding the Midlands Academy of Dance and Drama (MADD) in 1967.  A Fellow and Examiner in the IDTA Theatre Faculties, but also highly qualified in Latin, Ballroom, Sequence and Freestyle, has also been awarded Life Memberships of the 3 prestigious dance teaching associations IDTA, ISTD and NATD.  Currently serving on the Board of Directors of the IDTA, enjoying representing dance teachers worldwide Frances was honoured to be awarded Le Classique de Danse Professional Theatre Award and the Carl Alan Lifetime Achievement Award in 2011. Frances has been a Theatre Examiner since 1972 examining extensively abroad and in the British Isles and was the first Theatre Examiner in Cyprus in the 1980’s.  She has served on the Freestyle Committee of the IDTA for many years helping produce the Freestyle Syllabus and has enjoyed developing the Musical Theatre Syllabus for children’s examinations.   Frances has three grown up children, one of whom Emma Clayton who is also dedicated to the profession as a Performer, Choreographer and Director and Olivier Award nominee.


In 1988 Frances developed the full time 3 Year Professional Musical Theatre Course and with the aid of talented industry professionals and has steered MADD College to be one of the leading Musical Theatre training establishments in the country, endorsed and accredited by the Council for Dance Education & Training London, David Essex OBE, Arlene Phillips CBE, David Wood OBE and Anthony Van Laast MBE- all College Patrons who actively support the development of the students training.


Students trained at MADD are appearing in the West End, Tours, Television and Films in the UK, Europe and Worldwide.


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Leading West End Choreographer Andrew Wright at MADD

We are so pleased that top West End Choreographer Andrew Wright came in to MADD and provided our students with an amazing workshop.

Andrew described his time with us and our students as  ‘a joyous day with all your inspiring students x’ once again showing that MADD College is top of the list when it comes to leading figures in our industry wanting to work with our hard-working students.

Andrew is a double Olivier Award nominee and was educated at Millfield School (Old Millfieldian of the year 2015, Distinguished Old Millfieldian 2012) and trained with the NYMT and Arts Ed.
Andrew will next choreograph Nativity (Birmingham and National tour).
He choreographed Half A Sixpence for Cameron Mackintosh (Chichester Festival Theatre, Noel Coward Theatre) Best Choreographer nomination WhatsOnStage Awards 2017, Singin’ In The Rain (Chichester Festival Theatre, Palace Theatre, UK national tour, Japan, Asia, Russia and Australia) winner of Best Choreographer WhatsOnStage Awards 2013 and nominated for Best Choreographer Olivier Awards 2012, Helpmann Awards 2016 and Broadway World Awards 2011/2016. Guys and Dolls (Chichester Festival Theatre Phoenix and Savoy Theatre and National Tour) Best Choreographer nomination Olivier Awards 2016 and Broadway World Awards 2014/16. Barnum (Theatre in the Park, Chichester and National Tour) Best Choreographer nomination Broadway World Awards 2013. 42nd Street (Chichester Festival Theatre and Curve, Leicester), The Critic/The Real Inspector Hound (Minerva Theatre), High Society (National Tour), Wonderful Town (National Tour), Betty Blue Eyes (National Tour), Saturday Night Fever (National Tour), A Little Night Music (Palace Theatre), Follies (Royal Albert Hall), the world premiere of Mrs Henderson Presents (Theatre Royal, Bath, Noel Coward Theatre and Toronto) Best Choreographer nomination Broadway World Awards 2016 and Oliver (Curve, Leicester).
The Showgirl Within (Garrick Theatre), Broadway to the Bay (WMC), Nunsense A-Men andNaked Boys Singing (Arts Theatre), Almost Like Being In Love (National Theatre), Stepping Out (Salisbury Playhouse), Once Upon A Time At The Adelphi (Liverpool Playhouse, Union Theatre and Trafalgar Studios) Best Choreographer nomination Broadway World Awards 2010, By Jeeves (Landor Theatre), I Sing (Union Theatre) and Soul Traders (Edinburgh Festival).
He directed and choreographed Happy Days (National Tour)  Best Director/Choreographer nomination Broadway World Awards 2014 and Moby Dick The Musical (Union Theatre) Best Director nomination BroadwayWorld Awards 2016
He was assistant director and co choreographer for Chess in Concert (Royal Albert Hall) starring Josh Groban and Idina Menzal and seven productions of The Night Of 1000 Voices (Royal Albert Hall and Odyssey Belfast). He choreographed The WhatsOnStage Awards 2008 (Lyric Theatre) 2009/10 (Prince Of Wales Theatre) and the new Cat Stevens musical Moonshadow (Drill Hall).Cantabile At Christmas (Delfont Room, Prince Of Wales Theatre), Elaine Paige’s 2006 Concert (Lyceum Theatre and European Tour), 1000 Voices At The Arena (Sheffield Arena) and Robot Wars – The Live Event (National Stadium Tour).
Workshop productions of A Painted Lady, The Stephanie Lawrence Project, The Ghost and Mrs Muir and Beach Radio.
Pantomimes include directed and choreographed Aladdin (Wyvern Theatre), Cinderella (London Palladium and Plymouth, Theatre Royal). Choreographed Dick Whittington and Cinderella (Bristol Hippodrome, Mayflower Southampton and Wyvern Theatre ), Snow White (Opera House, Manchester and Bristol Hippodrome).
Lysistrata, Godspell, Blood Wedding, The Canterbury Tales and Hot Mikado for Eton College (Farrer Theatre).
Betty Blue Eyes, Curtains, The Drowsy Chaperone, My Favorite Year, 42nd Street,Spend, Spend, Spend, Putting It Together and State Fair  (Arts Ed), My Favorite Year (Guildhall School of Music and Drama).
Andrew appeared on the Channel 4 documentary series The Sound Of Musicals.
Andrew’s past performance credits include Scrooge (London Palladium), Mary Poppins (Prince Edward), Anything Goes (Drury Lane), Cats (New London), Follies (Festival Hall), Disney’s Beauty and the Beast (Dominion and National Tour), La Cava (Piccadilly), Mack & Mabel (Piccadilly),Oliver (Sadler’s Wells),  Dick Whittington – London’s Musical (Sadler’s Wells), Fred Astaire – his daughters tribute (London Palladium), A Chorus Line (Derby Playhouse and National Tour),Pickwick (National Tour), The Time Of My Life (Bristol Old Vic). He appeared in two Royal Variety Performances and recorded five Original London Cast Recordings.
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50 Years of Maddness!

A HUGE CONGRATULATIONS to everybody involved in our Vocational School Showcase – another great show enjoyed by so many people. Keep up all the hard work!



MOVE IT 2017 – We loved saying hello to so many of you!

A HUGE thank you to all of you that came and said hello to us on our stand! Take a look at our highlights below:

MADD College At MOVE IT 2017


Another Successful Top Masterclass with Ria Jones

MADD held another successful Masterclass with one of the biggest names in Musical Theatre Ms Ria Jones – proving that once again, MADD is at the top of the list when it comes to professionals wanting to work and inspire our students. This only comes when a College has a proven pedigree in quality training and graduates go on to work in some of the biggest shows in the UK and abroad.

But don’t just take our word for it, here’s a quote from Ria herself:

‘What an amazing & inspiring day – great work’

#WorkHard #LiveTheDream #BeTheBest


MADD Alumnus Rakesh Boury

We are very proud to announce that Alumnus Rakesh Boury is joining the cast of ‘Wind In The Willows’ written by Julian Fellowes and starring Rufus Hound.

Kenneth Grahame’s wild tale about the thrill-seeking, lovable menace Mr Toad comes to life in a brand new stage musical with a book by Oscar-winning screenwriter and Downton Abbey creator Julian Fellowes and Olivier Award-winning composer and lyricist team George Stiles and Anthony Drewe.

Ratty, Badger and Mole join the exuberant Toad and embark on a series of adventures and misadventures caused by his insatiable need for speed! Imprisoned for theft and with his existence under threat from the inhabitants of the Wild Wood, Toad must attempt a daring escape to defend Toad Hall. Featuring spectacular stagecraft and a company of over fifty, this sparkling new musical with a glorious original score brings this treasured British classic to life in what is set to be 2016’s wildest theatrical adventure!

See the trailer here:

Interview with Rufus Hound:

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NEW! One Year Post Graduate Musical Theatre Diploma Course


An intensive Musical Theatre training course delivered in 31 weeks over three terms of focused practice, rehearsal and study. Each week will consist of 35 hours of tuition by leading Industry practitioners, giving students the essential elements of Musical Theatre, i.e. acting, singing and dance together with contextual studies to develop their performance and preparing them for a career in Musical Theatre.  To benefit from the course, class work must be backed up with rehearsal and practice in students’ own time.

Over the 3 terms students will take classes in key skills:

Acting for both Theatre and Screen Acting, Acting through Song, Singing in Performance Classes and individual one to one Singing lessons, Stage Combat, Voice, Sight Reading, Ballet, Tap, Jazz, Contemporary, Latin American, Ballroom and Pilates, together with musical theatre performance classes to demonstrate integration of disciplines to produce confident musical theatre performances.

Professional Development is also taught on a weekly basis over the 3 terms preparing students for entry into a competitive Industry. Essential guidance and information on “Obtaining Employment and Maintaining Employability”, Equity membership, Research relating to job opportunities, “Spotlight” presentation, Guest Workshops from Directors and Agents. Specific provision is also given for;

  • tax, insurance and accountancy
  • Employment contracts
  • Funding and professional bodies
  • CV compilation and photo acquisition
  • Internet and ICT skills

Students will have the opportunity to showcase their performances in the 3rd term.

Assessments take place at the end of each term and following each performance project, and these are central to the development and individual journey of each student.



Audition fee and workshop £45.00

One Year Post Graduate Musical Theatre Diploma Course £9200.00

On acceptance to the course a registration fee of £250.00 is required at the time of reserving a place (non-refundable).

Two terms’ written notice MUST be tendered for withdrawal from the Academy, or the full fees paid in lieu.  No fees are returnable in the case of any students leaving after the beginning of term for illness or any other reason.  The student provides text books, stationery etc.

Students must attend punctually to all classes and training may be terminated by the Principal if the student is not reaching the required standard of performance or behaviour.

If the College has to close in the term time due to reasons beyond its control, no fees can be returned or any compensation made for training lost.

Every help and assistance is given in finding suitable accommodation in the area of the Academy.

  • The College is affiliated to the National Union of Students
  • Scholarships and Bursaries can be applied for from the College and are means tested.
  • Every help will be given in assisting students to obtain financial help.