TV stars throw weight behind acting school

Some of the most familiar faces on TV are throwing their weight behind a new Yorkshire acting school.

The Yorkshire Academy of Film and Television Acting (YAFTA) opened for business in June with specialised acting classes for adults and children.

The brainchild of two Leeds-based actors, YAFTA is also rolling out a series of masterclass sessions with some of the most well-known TV personalities. Former Emmerdale star Kurtis Stacey – he played Alex Moss for two years – has a two-day monthly workshop in place while the likes of Ian Puleston-Davies (Owen Armstrong from Coronation Street) and This Is England star George Newton also lined up to host sessions next year.

Charlotte Armitage and Eirian Cohen created YAFTA to provide affordable and structured teaching in Yorkshire and success has quickly followed.

They already stage regular weekly sessions at three places in West Yorkshire with other locations due to start hosting classes in the next six months.

Charlotte said:

“We are all about teaching acting for stage with a delivery for screen.

“There are very few acting classes in Yorkshire that are taught by people who actually have qualifications and experience in acting and we wanted to change that in order to give our students the best possible education.”

Kurtis, who has done a mixture of film and theatre since leaving the popular ITV soap, sold out his first YAFTA masterclass at the end of the July.

And, due to popular demand, has extended his next one to two days.

Charlotte and Eirian, who met at acting classes, opened for business in Sherburn near Leeds and now stage adult classes at the Carriageworks in Leeds and have just started weekly children’s classes in Wakefield.

Charlotte added:

“We only employ properly trained acting teachers and those who take our classes can follow the industry standard syllabus as laid out by LAMDA (The London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art) as well as learning about acting for screen and professionalism skills.

“Our pupils are already working towards LAMDA examinations.

“We are looking to grow organically.

“If there is a demand for adult or children’s classes in any particular place we will start regular classes there.

“Every day people contact us wanting sessions in their area and what we are trying to do has really caught on quicker than either I or Eirian could have ever imagined.

The YAFTA founders have a five-year plan to have weekly sessions all over Yorkshire with the added bonus that those sign up will get the chance to star in a short film and next year attend a gala film premiere where they will watch their work and films from the other YAFTA schools.

Former Emmerdale star Kurtis Stacey with YAFTA’s Eirian Cohen


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