Midlands AcAdemy of 
Dance & Drama - Est. 1967

David Essex OBE

David Essex - MADD Patron

David made his first record entitled “And the Tears Came Tumbling Down” for the Fontana label[4] in 1965. He then toured with a band called ‘David Essex and the Mood Indigo’ for two years and released a further seven singles in the 1960s. He also recorded two songs, ‘A Rose’ and ‘Leon and John and Billy and Me’ which remain unreleased, but exist as acetates. His first notable acting role aside from small appearances in the films Assault and All Coppers Are… was the lead in the stage musicalGodspell[5] in 1971 at the age of 23. Two years later, he starred in the film That’ll Be the Day (1973)[6] and recorded his international hit single, the self-penned “Rock On“, in the same year. It sold over one million copies, and was awarded a gold disc by the R.I.A.A. in March 1974. It was nominated for a Grammy and reached No. 5 on the Billboard Hot 100.[7] A second single, “Lamplight”, also reached the Top 10 in the UK Singles Chart.

In the 1970s, Essex emerged as a performer of some note. Contrary to his own biography his first concert was at East Ham Granada in East London on Saturday 2 November 1974 and not the Odeon. His biggest hits during this decade included two UK Number One singles: “Gonna Make You a Star” (1974) and “Hold Me Close” (1975). He also appeared in Stardust, a 1974 sequel to That’ll Be the Day.[8] The title song was another Top 10 hit. In 1976, Essex covered the Beatles song, “Yesterday“, for the musical documentary All This and World War II.

Essex’s pop idol looks gave him a strong female fan base and his British tours created scenes of hysteria reminiscent of Beatlemania. According to The Guinness Book of British Hit Singles,[9] he was voted the number one British male vocalist in 1974, and was a teen idol for more than a decade.

In December 1973, Essex appeared in the stage version of Tommy at London’s Rainbow Theatre.[10]

In 1978, he appeared on Jeff Wayne‘s concept album, a musical version of The War of the Worlds, as the Artilleryman. In the UK the two-record set remains a bestseller.[11]

In the same year, Essex played the character Che in the original production of the Andrew Lloyd Webber musical Evita,[12] and his recording of the show’s “Oh What a Circus[13] reached Number 3. Two years later, he starred in the motorcycle racing film Silver Dream Racer; and the soundtrack song “Silver Dream Machine” was yet another Top 3 hit in the UK Singles Chart. Essex, a keen motorcyclist, waived his fee for the then-new 1980 electric start Triumph Bonneville he had contracted to advertise on behalf of the struggling Triumph motorcycle workers’ co-operative.[14]

In 1981, he starred in Childe Byron, a play staged at the Young Vic theatre.

In 1985, he co-wrote and starred as Fletcher Christian in the West End musical Mutiny!, based on the novel Mutiny on the Bounty by Charles Nordhoff and James Norman Hall. The score produced two more hit singles, including “Tahiti,” his tenth Top 10 success.[15]

Essex continued to perform in all areas of show business. A 1988 sitcom, “The River“, achieved good ratings. In 1991, a compilation entitled His Greatest Hits reached Number 13; a 1993 album, Cover Shot, featuring a cover version of the Buzz Cason/Mac Gayden song “Everlasting Love“, peaked at Number 3. His autobiography, A Charmed Life, was published in 2002, and became a bestseller.

In 1999, Essex was named an Officer of the Order of the British Empire. He still tours the UK every year and releases albums through his website. Despite his long and successful British career, he remains largely unknown in the United States. “Rock On” reached Number 1 in 1974, and was his only US [Cash Box] Top 40 hit single.

Essex, who claims to come from a family of Irish Travellers, played a kind-hearted nomad in one episode of ITV1‘s 1960s Yorkshire-based drama Heartbeat in 2000.[16] Essex told Jake Bowers of the BBC’s Rokker Radio, a programme for Gypsies and Travellers, on 30 July 2006, that he has always been openly proud of his Traveller roots, but that, having moved to the US, he felt it inappropriate for him to continue as Patron of Britain’s National Gypsy Council, which works for equal rights, education, and services for Romany and Irish Travellers.[5]

In 2005, he appeared as a guest vocalist and wrote songs for  Saint Etienne‘s album Tales from Turnpike House.[17] Also that year, he appeared in the Channel 4 documentary Bring Back…The Christmas Number One.

Essex was due to join the cast of soap opera EastEnders, in early 2006, as new character Jack Edwards. However, the role was expanded beyond the three weeks planned, and Essex was unable to commit the time.[18] The role instead went to Nicky Henson.

A model and recording of Essex is featured in the museum of West Ham United Football Club. In the recording, he explains his reasons for supporting West Ham and his love of the team.

Essex spent six years as an ambassador for Voluntary Service Overseas, which earned him an OBE in 1999.[5]

In February 2016, Essex performed in The War Of The Worlds at the Dominion Theatre.[19]

Essex used to record and release records on his own ‘Lamplight’ record label. He has since changed the name of his company to Joseph Webster Ltd, named after his first grandchild. He tours regularly and continues to act, appearing in Boogie Nights 2Footloose and Andrew Lloyd Webber‘s musical Aspects of Love.[20] From September 2008 to the summer of 2009 he took his own musical, All the Fun of the Fair, on a tour of the United Kingdom. He followed this in the autumn with a sell-out tour of the UK, named the Secret Tour. Essex has released a DVD on his website of the last night of the tour, filmed in Bournemouth. He returned to London’s West End with his own hit musical All the Fun of the Fair but with a different ending to that performed in the Provinces.

On 20 September 2010, Essex married Welsh actress Susan Hallam-Wright, his third wife, 26 years his junior, born 1973, at St Cross Church, Talybont, near BangorNorth Wales. He first met her at the end of 2008 whilst she was auditioning for a role in Essex’s musical, All the Fun of the Fair. She got the part of Sally, then got promoted to the role of Mary, Jack’s girlfriend for the West End version at the Garrick Theatre in London in April 2010. He had previously been married to Maureen Neal (in 1971) and Carlotta Christy (in 1997).[21]

Essex has five children, two from his first marriage to Maureen Neal, Verity and Danny. He has twins with his second wife, Carlotta Christy, Billy and Kit, and more recently Sonny with his third wife, Susan Hallam-Wright.[citation needed]

In January 2011, it was announced that Essex had finally joined the cast of EastEnders as Eddie Moon, five years after he was initially supposed to appear in the show.[22] His first on-screen appearance was on 3 June 2011. Eddie left the square on 6 October 2011. He then wrote the music score for the film Traveller (2013), in which he co-starred with his son Billy Cook who played the main role as a half-gypsy trying to find his identity.

 

Katie Bagshaw

Ballet Tutor

Katie started dancing aged 3 years old. She went on to gain a place at The Royal Ballet School age 11 and later completed her training at Elmhurst Ballet School where she graduated and gained a Level 6 Trinity Diploma in Dance age 19.

Throughout her time at vocational school she danced at The Royal Opera House in The Royal Ballet’s production of The Nutcracker, La Sylphide and Swan Lake.

Katie began working at the youth company Midland Theatre Ballet in 2013, and after finding her love for teaching she now works full time at The Lisayne Ballet School where she trains The Royal Academy of Dance syllabi to a variety of different age groups.

She is thrilled to be part of the MADD family over the Spring term!

Ryan Lee Seager

Musical Theatre & Jazz Tutor

Ryan-Lee Seager Actor/Director/Choreographer 

West End/Tour/International musicals include Fame, Blood Brothers, Rent, West Side Story, Guys and Dolls, Kiss Me Kate, Seussical, American Idiot, We Will Rock You, The Wedding Singer, Rock Of Ages, Sweeney Todd, Here Come The Boys ( Strictly Come Dancing) and also  27, Streets, Another Way all brand new british musicals. Rock Of Ages (Uk Tour) Resident Director/Resident Choreographer.  Fame (Uk Tour/West End) Associate Choreographer. 

TV credits include The Xfactor, Strictly Come Dancing, The Royal Variety Performance, Bo Selecta.
Tv Commercials Vision Express and We Buy Any Car.

Music Artists- Justin Bieber, Pixie Lott, Beverly knight, Paulo Nutini, Olivia Somerlyn, Kingsland Road, Anastacia.

Stewart Avon Arnold

Dance Tutor

Stewart was one of the foremost black Jazz and Lyrical artists of his generation and the original pioneer of Lyrical Contemporary Jazz in the UK, developing the genre from as early as 1979 to the present day and co founding the first jazz company in the UK called Jazz Theatre London (1980). Trained at the London School of Contemporary Dance, his dancing heritage originates with the Martha Graham technique, with the likes of Bob Cohen, William Luther, Jane Dudley and Anthony Van Laast as his teacher/mentors that have been his springboard from which he has developed his unique style and genre, consequently becoming one of our most acclaimed and sought after International Dancer Teacher and Choreographer. For many years Stewart has been constantly involved in a variety of top West End shows, including Wayne Sleep’s ‘Song and Dance’ as a soloist dancer. He was guest choreographer for Wayne Sleep’s dance company ‘Dash’ and danced/guest choreographed for the award winning BBC tv series “The Hot Shoe Show”, joint- choreographer on ‘The Wiz’ at the Hammersmith Lyric Theatre, and featured as a soloist dancer in Johnny Depp’s film ‘Charlie and the Chocolate Factory’. Choreographing Pop promo’s for artists such as David Grant, Elton John, Kid Creole, and working exclusively with Kate Bush over the last 30 years. He also had his own dance series on Channel 4, along with Claude-Paul Henry, called ‘Streets Ahead’, and toured Europe along with Anthony Van Laast and Claude-Paul with their own Dance Company called ‘Souls in Motion’ and took his own concept musical ‘Dancing and Singing the Blues’ on the same European circuit directing as well as choreographing the show.