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Nick Furlong & Gemma Hextall

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Nick Furlong and Gemma Hextall are delighted to be the proud joint Principals and Franchisee’s of Razzamataz Derby.

Joint Principal & Owner & Head of Acting

Nick Furlong BA (Hons) Applied Performance (Community & Education)

Nick trained at Birmingham School of Acting (now Royal Birmingham Conservatoire) studying Applied Performance (community and education), graduating with a First Class BA (Hons) degree. He originally trained at The Melton Academy of Arts, completing a National Diploma in Acting followed by a HNC in Performing Arts, specialising in acting technique, professional practice, theatre marketing and scriptwriting; having originally trained in acting from the age of 7 for a number of years at the Haymarket Theatre, Leicester. Having been performing from a very early age Nick has also built up a wealth of experience teaching drama, including time spent teaching in the U.S.A. He has taught in various schools and ran workshops for a number of clients; as well as vast experience formerly as Drama teacher and Head of Drama and acting in many well established performing arts and dance schools across the Midlands.
Nick has experience of acting for both stage and screen. He has applied his trade as a Performer, Director, Writer and Musician to notable success.
Nick began his career taking over the running of a long established youth theatre and also managed children's holiday activity clubs, on top of practiced child safeguarding experience as a professional children’s chaperone, including time as head chaperone and children’s coordinator for an award winning theatre company.
Nick also has experience as a project manager, as well as a number of technical theatre roles.
Nick’s Theatre management experience also includes business development work, hire and special events and duty management work as a key holder and fire marshal at a large regional theatre.
Nick also proudly works for Razzamataz Ltd Head office, focussing on brand developments, compliance, national training and coaching, marketing and partner campaigns; and design work.
Nick is proud to have been runner up (jointly with Gemma) as a finalist for UK’s most outstanding young franchisee of the year 2019 in the AFA Awards (Approved Franchise Association).

Joint Principal & Owner & Head of Singing

Gemma Hextall BA (Hons) Applied Performance (Community & Education)

Gemma is a graduate of Birmingham school of acting (now Royal Birmingham Conservatoire) having studied BA (Hons) Applied Performance (community and education). She originally trained at The Melton Academy of Arts, completing a National Diploma in Musical Theatre, specialising in Singing, Musical Theatre and arts business. Gemma is passionate about educating and working with, to improve the lives of the community; Having worked creatively with Birmingham Headway brain injury unit and a number of elderly care homes in Birmingham specialising in arts therapies for Dementia care. Gemma has also worked as site manager leading young people’s activities for a holiday club provider. Gemma also has experience as a project administrator and lead facilitator across multiple disciplines and age groups, including drama teaching for the National Citizen Service. She has also worked as a music teacher and singing teacher on freelance and long term projects and lessons in a number of primary schools across the Midlands; as well as having been singing teacher and Musical Director at some of the most well established theatre schools in the East Midlands in the past.
Gemma is also a professional musician and singer, who pursues a solo career as a singer / songwriter and has worked professionally as a guitarist and singer, performing live regularly at both private and corporate events and functions. Gemma has also great management and sales and box office experience, having managed operations and teams at the box office of a large tier one theatre and concert venue.
Outside of the arts is a keen sportsperson having previously competed in a range of team sports and having represented England in the GKR Karate world cup as a multiple gold medal winner at national level; a sport she has achieved her 1st Dan black belt in and has experience as a teacher and coach of.
Gemma is proud to have been awarded runner up (jointly with Nick) as a finalist for UK’s most outstanding young franchisee of the year 2019 in the AFA Awards (Approved Franchise Association).

Assistant Principal & Minis Teacher

Jodie Hall

Jodie teaches and works with our Minis and Juniors across all three disciplines in the performing arts, having first begun her journey with Razzamataz, at our sister school in Sutton Coldfield over 6 years ago, Jodie has spent this entire 6 year journey working closely with Nick & Gemma and developing her craft and her career. During Jodie's former years as a student training at Razzamataz in the past, she was selected as dance captain on numerous occasions as well as playing lead roles within shows and winning Senior student of the year. Jodie has performed on stage at the Indigo at the o2 Arena in London in front of thousands!
Jodie was also a winner of funding awarded from the national registered charity, the Razzamataz Future Fund, in 2017, following an audition in front of an industry panel, which contributed towards her musical theatre training. She now holds a Diploma in Musical Theatre, that she completed with a Triple Distinction.
Jodie’s work within the Razzamataz teams across the Midlands has grown from classroom assistant, to advanced assistant and mentoring, training and coaching new team members, along with office, promotional and marketing work as well as her classroom teaching roles; all the way to her role as Assistant Principal here at Derby and Duty Manager at Sutton Coldfield.
Jodie is passionate about helping young people within the arts and also attended the young leaders training day with Razz in summer 2016. Jodie loves to pass on her skills and knowledge to our younger Razz students and next generation of performers. Jodie has also spent time training towards further childcare qualifications and also holds experience working in an early years day setting.
Jodie is so passionate about Razzamataz making a big change in so many people's lives for the better.

Dance Teacher

Georgia Gilby

Georgia is currently training at the prestigious Royal Birmingham Conservatoire on the three year BA (Hons) Applied Theatre course. Georgia first joined Razz Sutton Coldfield in Sept 2006 as a student so has been a part of the Razz family for over 15 years now! Having been a student from an early age, she is now proud to be a member of the teaching team, with vast experience. Georgia has experience having worked her way up from assisting Minis and Juniors classes originally, through to becoming part of our teaching team in February 2017! Georgia now teaches many different classes a week with us from Minis through to Inters as well as admin and marketing experience in the team as Office Assistant on top of her role as Razz Parties lead and deputising as cover for the running of school operations and Duty Manager at Razz Sutton Coldfield. She has a wealth of performing experience from Razz and outside including Ballet training up to Grade 6 and has also attended the young leaders training day with Razz in her early training phase. During her time training at Razz she was selected as dance captain on numerous occasions as well as playing lead roles within shows and winning Student of the year in 2015 & student of the decade and outstanding contribution in 2017. Georgia was also a winner of funding awarded from the national registered charity, the Razzamataz Future Fund, in 2019, following an audition in front of an industry panel, which is contributing towards her current professional drama school training. Georgia is always excited to pass on all of her experience and knowledge to the next generation of young performers!
Georgia also has experience working as a Senior Mentor for the National Citizen Service across a number of years, as well as previous experience in the children’s education sector as an academic tutor.

School Assistant

Lucia Cantone

Lucia Joined Razzamataz as a student in 2016 at our Sutton Coldfield school, having won a full years scholarship at the school following an impressive audition. During this time she has played lead roles in Summer Showcases and won Senior student of the year in 2018. She has been working as an assistant with our team since the beginning 2019 and is delighted be a part of the Razz team. She has worked professionally as a singer and is passionate about pursuing a career in theatre and singing, continually furthering her own performing arts training. Lucia has performed at many high profile corporate events solo and as part of a specialist vocal performance trio as well as in larger group ensemble performances. Lucia has also performed at Indigo at Her Majesty's Theatre in London's West End with Razzamataz, singing solo.