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 6-12s, holiday 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.