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Our history

Perform was launched in 2000 as a new kind of drama school – one that has child development at its very heart.

The founders, Will Barnett and Lucy Quick, both had a passion for the performing arts and wanted to create a unique organisation to help build children’s self-esteem and life skills.

Prior to establishing Perform, Lucy trained as an actor and appeared in a number of shows in the West End and regionally. During this time, she was also working extensively with children at a variety of children’s drama schools.

Will studied Law and worked in the commercial world at a leading advertising agency. He also worked as a Musical Director and composer in London and across the UK.

The aim of Perform was to use performing arts games, exercises and materials to help boost child development. Rather than teaching rigorous techniques and requiring the endless memorisation of lines or steps, the sessions would use specially devised activities, each with the aim of developing a specific life skill or social attribute. With smaller classes and lots of individual attention, Lucy believed that children would be able to grow and develop at their own pace while Perform focused on the 4 Cs – confidence, concentration, communication and coordination.

Starting with two schools in Primrose Hill and Islington, Perform has grown to over 300 venues across London and the South and West of England. It now encompasses hundreds of weekly classes for 4-7s and 7-12s, weekly dance classes for 6-12sholiday courses, unique party entertainment and Perform for Schools – a thriving programme of workshops in primary schools. 

Lucy and Will continue to drive the business. As Principal, Lucy is responsible for recruiting, training and monitoring Perform teachers, developing the Perform curriculum and writing the games and exercises used in Perform classes. Will oversees marketing, finance, IT and operational areas as well as writing the songs and scripts the children learn. 

Read about Lucy’s tips for child development and her blog, or follow her on Twitter.

Henry is so passionate about Perform! I have never seen a class 'light his fire' like this one! There is a real emphasis on child development and it is clear the staff get to know the children well. Rhia is fantastic and brings such energy to the classes and provides an amazing role model.

– Mrs Sarah Simon

My children are extremely enthusiastic and enjoy their time at Perform Hornchurch. They love the enthusiasm that their teachers bring to each session!

– Mrs Grace Eriksson

Mylo absolutely loves Perform! It’s so age appropriate and keeps him interested. He enjoys the sessions from start to finish and is keen to learn at home and using the app.

– Miss Kaleigh Danby

Rhia has exceptionally quickly grasped Eliza’s personality ensures she feels comfortable, getting the best from her time at PERFORM. We have noticed a change in her confidence and her class teacher has noted she is volunteering herself.

 

– Ms Maria Purse

My daughter loves Perform. She often practices the songs and moves upstairs and loves coming down to show us! THis feels especially important this week while we're isolating. Amber, the producer, is very professional and caring too.

– Mrs R Hughes Ahmad

Millicent really looks forward to coming to Perform. She was already a pretty confident thing but she has really enjoyed being able to express her ideas and imagination. 

– Mrs Melody Clarke

Our daughters absolutely adore Perform! Rachel & Zoe are brilliant- warm, kind, fun, engaging and highly skilled. They know exactly how to bring out the best in the children, with their knowledge, experience and infectious energy. 

– Mrs Lucy Paltnoi

We are delighted that we found Perform! Both boys are absolutely loving it - they come out full buzzing of stories, energy and their eyes shine a bit brighter...it's been great for them both. Love it!

– Kate Harris

Usually Isabelle is a shy child in a new environment, but not for Perform... she runs in and runs out, excited to tell me what she has been doing. Her confidence has improved so much. So grateful for the life skills and confidence she is gaining though these classes

– Mrs Emma Clark

Max is new to the class - but is loving it. Lucy is fantastic - Energetic, perceptive, fun, & in control. He gets more out of this class in terms of life skills and development than four days a week at Nursery!

– Anna
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