The Active Arts Centre is an unassuming red brick building on Pool Road in Newfoundpool and the home of a unique Leicester theatre school which attracts hundreds of youngsters through its doors.
The Leicester Theatre Group started five years ago with the aim of offering young people the chance to become involved in theatre arts, guided by professionals and at a price they can afford.
Karl Strickland is the founder and Principal of LTG. His personal introduction to theatre was refusing to go on stage at 10 and being told to stage manage. Now with a background ranging from amateur to West End theatre he's devoting an increasing amount of his time to helping young people enjoy theatre in all of it's styles by setting up affordable yet very high quality tuition and professional standard shows. Karl said: 'Everyone is a volunteer except the teaching staff who are all properly and professionally qualified.
'From contemporary dance to musicals we want to challenge youngsters. Rather than just doing smiley jazz hands and Annie we?ve done Urine Town, Avenue Q and Lord of the Flies.'
Karl and his team believe that by pushing youngsters hard with the best training around, and not necessarily in a traditional theatre school direction, students will be thoroughly prepared for what lies ahead in their careers and give them an edge during auditions.
Karl says: 'We're prepping them with a heavy dose of reality. Acting can be the worst job ever but our success rate of getting students into the top drama schools is phenomenal!'
LTG makes its own money. There's no grant funding so students' pay a £100 performance fee with LTG making what it can from the box office.
This March they finished performances of the little known Broadway musical 13 at the Sue Townsend Theatre and are now heading towards rehearsals For Les Miserables which will play at the Little Theatre in September.
If you would like to know more about the Leicester Theatre Group, they?re holding an open day on Saturday 25th of March 2017 between 10 and 3pm featuring taster classes and fun activities.