Bush Davies School of Theatre Arts

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Bush Davies School of Theatre Arts
Bush DAvies School.jpg
Coordinates51°08′47″N 0°01′04″W / 51.1464°N 0.0178°W / 51.1464; -0.0178Coordinates: 51°08′47″N 0°01′04″W / 51.1464°N 0.0178°W / 51.1464; -0.0178
FounderPauline Bush
SpecialistDance/Performing Arts

Bush Davies School of Theatre Arts was a renowned dance and performing arts school in the United Kingdom. Founded by the dance teacher Pauline Bush in Nottingham in 1914,[1] and later with branches in Romford, Essex and London (until it was bombed out during the Second World War) after which it moved to a former boys' school set in beautiful grounds in East Grinstead, the Romford branch continued until 1974 when property speculation forced its closure, it would become recognised as one of the foremost performing arts schools in the United Kingdom, until its closure in 1989. After Pauline's death, the school was run by her daughter Noreen, herself a very accomplished dancer who became recognised as one of Britain's foremost ballet teachers and examiners for the Royal Academy of Dancing (she was awarded a Fellowship) and her husband Victor Leopold, one of Britain's most renowned tap dancers. Later their son Paul Kimm joined them, and he remained Principal until the school closed.

In May 1959, Marjorie Davies produced and directed the musical "What Katy Did" by Jo Masters, which starred students of the Bush Davies School with Pat Goh as Katy.

In 1974, Susan Passmore and Raymond Bishop produced the annual July performance 'Time Steps' in celebration of the school's Diamond Jubilee in the Adeline Genee Theatre, the beginning of a long and glorious partnership. The 330-seat theatre opened in 1967 on land gifted by the school with a performance of "Coppelia". Dame Adeline Genée had cut the first turf herself. The school staged an annual production each summer, playing for a week each time to packed houses. The Theatre was demolished by the owners of the residential care home that now operates in Charters Towers and the grounds of the old school.

Notable students[edit]

  • Fairuza Balk, actress
  • Doreen Bird, founder of Bird College
  • Warren Carlyle, choreographer
  • Lauren Christy, singer-songwriter and producer
  • Gemma Craven, actress
  • Suzanne Danielle, actress
  • Louise Fribo, actress
  • Francesca Jaynes, choreographer
  • Betty Laine, dancer and founder of Laine Theatre Arts
  • Fiona Mollison, actress
  • John Partridge, actor and dancer
  • Natalie Roles, actress
  • Doreen Wells, Marchioness of Londonderry, ballerina
  • Pippa Wylde, soloist, The London Royal Ballet Company
  • Lorna Yabsley, actress and photographer
  • Saffron (singer), singer, dancer and actress
  • Simon Shelton, Dancer & Actor (Tinky Winky)
  • Rudi Affolter, University lecturer and political activist
  • Miranda Atkin, ballerina
  • Jean Bridges, ballerina and ballet teacher
  • Adrian Grater, ballet dancer and Director of 'Ballet for All'
  • Glenda Nichols, ballerina
  • Philip Pegler, ballet dancer and ballet teacher
  • Emma Peploe-Williams, dancer and founder of the Peploe-Williams Academy of Theatre and Performing Arts
  • Myra Tiffin, ballerina and ballet teacher
  • Angela Taylor, dancer, choreographer and dance teacher
  • Bethan Wiliam, ballerina
  • Janet Devenish, Original Meg Giry in Phantom, head of Tring Park Associates
  • Jane Leeves, Daphne Moon in Frasier
  • Polly Walker, tv and film actress
  • Rachel Smith, founder of Rachel Ellen Designs
  • Alison Shearer, now author Alison Ragsdale
  • Holly Aird, actress
  • Jilly Mack, dancer and actress
  • Sophie Corbett, voice over artist, singer, designer, business woman
  • Josephine Jewkes, soloist, London Festival Ballet
  • Flora MacLeod, TV and Las Vegas dance soloist
  • Stephanie Lunn, actress
  • Linda Walsham, Principal of Beckenham Ballet Academy
  • Jacqui Jameson, West End performer and teacher
  • Nigel Garton, West End performer


  1. ^ "Bush Telegraph", Bush-Davies School, East Grinstead, July 1974