About NJ Theatre Academy

We are a welcoming and friendly performing arts school, offering innovative professional training from ages 5-18 for children of all abilities. Our classes run during term time every Saturday from 9:30 to 12:30 at The Honywood School in
Coggeshall, Essex.

Our students take one hour of each subject per week and classes are split into three age groups, Juniors, Inters & Seniors.

For younger pupils ages 5-7 they have the option of attending classes for two hours from 10:30-12:30 but this is not compulsory and if they are ready can attend the full three hours.

Selected students take extra advanced classes to develop their skills even further. We run advanced drama classes ages 13+ from 12:45. We welcome students from outside our academy to join this class, entrance is by audition.

Advanced drama students work on further developing technique and perform an original play every year in a theatre. Many of our students are working professionally, this is testament to the fantastic teachers and training.

We also offer agency representation and we are always looking for new talent. This is an exciting opportunity for children to develop their career in performing arts even further, acceptance into the agency is by audition only.



Your friendly and experienced teachers


Nikki Wales – Principal Singer/Dancer/Actress Choreographer

Principal Nikki WalesNikki started training at the age of 6 as a gymnast and acrobat, by the age of 9 she discovered her love of musical theatre and performing.

Nikki went on to train as a full time student at The Italia Conti Academy of Performing Arts in London. She then went on to perform as a singer/dancer and actress in the west end and all over the world in plays, musicals and bands.

She has worked in many theatre and dance schools in and around Essex over the last twenty years and finds it extremely fulfilling, passing on the knowledge and experience of performing to future generations. Nikki is also a qualified gymnastics coach and acrobatic arts teacher.

Nikki loves teaching and believes that every child has the capability of being a successful performer if they work hard and believe in themselves. It brings a huge sense of fulfillment to see a shy or hesitant child slowly gain confidence in not just performing but in their every day lives.

Reese-Lee Ellis – Actor, Writer and Director

Reese-Lee EllisReese trained at The City Lit in London and Exeter University, Roehampton University, Arbour Square and the Tom Allen Centre. He has been teaching Drama for 18 years, teaching in various Theatre schools all over London and Essex.

He has acted in many plays, radio shows and films. Reese appeared on radio through the Sky Network, in a Soap Opera called NW1, which ran for a year. He was also part of the writing team that produced this.

Reese is currently writing a series of monologues that he will perform as a one man show later this year. He has also been commissioned to write a film script for an independent film company.

Caroline Laver – Singer, Musician

Caroline LaverCaroline found her passion for music and in particular singing at an early age. She started to sing in a church choir at the age of 8 and is now working as a professional classical soloist, part of a jazz-flavoured trio and with several function bands where she performs regularly in restaurants, weddings and parties.

Aged 13 she won a music scholarship to study voice and clarinet at Ardingly College and won competitions in the Mid-Sussex Music Festival.

Early on in her career, as a musician, Caroline was part of two music groups who went to Austria and Southern Germany on tour. She gained a certificate of teaching (singing) from the ABRSM in 2008 and has taught ever since.

Passport to learning

Passport to LearningIssued with Passport to Learning, children can travel around Essex and the UK with their ‘Passport’, collecting stamps in recognition of their learning as they go.








London Academy of Music and Dramatic Arts (LAMDA)

LAMDAAt NJ Theatre Academy we encourage our students to take LAMDA acting exams. These require one to one tuition which we provide at no extra cost. This gives our students the opportunity to explore different acting styles and techniques and work on their performance. It is also great practise for auditions.

LAMDA is the oldest drama school in the UK. Founded in 1861 as the London Academy of Music, they were the first such institution to offer acting tuition – defining LAMDA’s role as a leader in its field.

LAMDA offer practical examinations in communication and performance subjects.

LAMDA qualifications have helped hundreds of thousands of candidates of all ages and abilities to develop lifelong skills.


Acrobatic Arts

Acrobatic ArtsAcrobatic dance is fusion of dance technique and acrobatic elements. Acro is a challenging style and includes balancing, limbering, tumbling and partnering, based on flexibility contortion and strength.

NJ Theatre Academy has a qualified acrobatics arts instructor and we incorporate some of these techniques into our dance routines and classes.