A NEW performing arts academy has launched with “sunshine and warmth” in Basingstoke this weekend.

The Pauline Quirke Academy of Performing Arts, which has nearly 200 sites across the country, held its launch event this weekend.

Despite the pouring rain outside, the students threw themselves into the classes held at Cranbourne school, and were “committed and smiling”, according to Principal Amanda Affleck-Cruise.

“PQA Basingstoke is here, and is up and running,” she told the Gazette.

Amongst the fun for the youngsters who braved the weather was classes in Film and TV, Comedy and Drama, and Dance.

Those in the film and TV class were treated to the academy’s national Head of Film and Television, Nick Pilton, coming to Basingstoke.

Teachers Josh Knatt and Aspen Carruthers invited parents to see what their children had produced in their first class of Comedy and Drama and Dance..

There were positive comments too, with parent Ann Ogbuehi saying: “I just wanted to give you some feedback on this morning in Basingstoke, absolutely fantastic!

“The presentation, the setting, the teachers, the amazing friendly parents and the talented, confident children.”

However, if you weren’t able to make it this time, there is still plenty of chance to get involved.

“Don’t worry if you were unable to attend the Open Day, free taster sessions can be booked and there are spaces in all the classes for the time being,” Amanda continued.

Speaking to this newspaper last week, she added: “If they enrol they will get to make their own mini films. We have a Christmas mini-show and next year we will have our production in June sort of time.”

To get an information pack, check the PQA Basingstoke Facebook page, or call or email Amanda on 07591 219770 or amanda.affleck-cruise@pqacademy.com.