The Susi Earnshaw Theatre School opened at All Saints Church Hall in Whetstone, London N20, as a Saturday School for Performing Arts with a Children’s Agency in 1989. It became a full-time school in 1999 and was first based at Manor Drive Methodist Church N20. It later moved to Brookside Methodist Church in East Barnet before finding a permanent home in 2004 in the historic Bull Theatre in High Barnet. The Bull Theatre building dates back to the 1530s with the rehearsal studio and theatre being added in the 1980s. Susi Earnshaw was championed by The Barnet Society and the Barnet Residents’ Association as the person most likely to be able to save the town’s much loved theatre from being sold to developers by housing her school in the premises and running the theatre in the weekends and evenings.
Founder, Susi Earnshaw, trained as an actress at The Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama and worked for a number of years in rep before becoming a journalist. She covered the opening of the Bull Theatre in 1986 and applied for the job of theatre manager but didn’t get an interview. However, instead, she secured a job as a theatrical agent with Rolf Kruger Management in Regents Street, leaving in 1989 to have her first child and start her part time school and theatrical agency.
The Bull Theatre was an empty shell when Susi Earnshaw’s school moved in. It has been restored and refurbished and now also includes a recording studio and music practice rooms. Pupils have full access to the theatre and all its facilities, and the building is available for community use in the evenings and weekends when pupils have left. It is a perfect fit.
The Susi Earnshaw Theatre School has made a big impact in a short period of time. We are very proud of the success of our graduates who go onto train at some of the top performing arts colleges in the country, several on scholarship places.