September 6, 2008

Nice to See You, to See You Nice

POPULAR comedienne Barbara Nice warmed up for her forthcoming stand-up shows by helping to officially open the 'Flame Academy' in Birmingham.

Barbara, real name Janice Connolly, was at the former Moseley fire station, in Moseley Road, to help launch the first private drama and arts school in the city.

Birmingham Independent School of Performing Arts has taken over the fire station more than 30 years after the last firefighter left.

One of the last fire officers to leave was invited back to open the new school, which has been nicknamed the Flame Academy after hit musical film, Fame.

The school aims to produce future West End stars by offering drama, dance and music to pupils aged 11 to 16 interested in a career on the stage. It will also deliver a range of academic subjects.

Full-time courses will not start until September 2009, but it has begun offering part-time training and education from this month.

The man behind the venture is Birmingham theatre producer Ian Sandy, who said: "The only option for a lot of children if they want to explore full-time education with specialist performing arts is to go to London."

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