Our History

 

Shelagh Elliott-Clarke, the daughter of a wine merchant’s clerk from Birkenhead, was born in 1905; one year after the Imperial Society of Dance Teachers (ISTD) was founded.

 

She became an influential character, along with Zelia Raye, Janet Cram, Marjorie Davies and Olive Ripman, contributing to the birth of the Modern Theatre Faculty in 1932 and making it the jewel in the crown of the ISTD. Miss Clarke was chairman of the Modern Theatre Faculty from 1970 until her untimely death in 1974. She had a varied and relentless career in performing arts, but her first love was teaching.

 

The Shelagh Elliott-Clarke School of Dance and Dramatic Art was established in 1925, making us one of the oldest theatre schools in the world. As a formidable and well-respected woman in the world of the arts and entertainment in the mid-twentieth century, she tirelessly expanded her vocational school and college into one of the most famous and successful training facilities in the country.

 

From 1974 until her retirement in 2003, Miss Annette Thompson continued the work of Miss Clarke and the school went from strength to strength with a reputation of producing highly polished talented students who have taken the name of Shelagh Elliott-Clarke around the globe.

 

Principal Suzanne Sharkey

 

In 2003, Suzanne Sharkey became only the third Principal of the school in 90 years. Miss Sharkey has overseen the move to state of the art studios and has introduced a range of new classes to reflect the changing landscape of the modern entertainment world.

 

Shelagh Elliott-Clarke Performing Arts has a rich history in Liverpool and we love to hear your stories and experiences.

  • What memories do you have?

  • Where are you now?

  • What teachers can you remember?

 

For our 90 year celebrations in December 2015 we plan to organise a comprehensive look back at our past. Do you have any photographs, articles, news clippings, video, memorabilia or amusing stories?

 

 

Please get in touch, it would be great to hear from you! Please get in touch and tell us your Elliott-Clarke History!

 

 

 

Check out Elliott-Clarke Youtube Videos

From full on theatre productions to somethings we are just working on!

 

Some of our greatest successes!

Press the side arrows to navigate through past students of Shelagh Elliott-Clarke Performing Arts.

  • Tony Warren MBE Anthony Warren MBE is an award-winning English television scriptwriter, best known for creating the ITV soap opera Coronation Street. As a boy actor, he trained at the Elliott-Clarke theatre school in Liverpool. Tony Warren MBE
  • Frederic Franklin MBE In 1952, Franklin became the co-founder and artistic director of the National Ballet of Washington. He found himself the only boy in his class at Shelagh Elliott-Clarke’s dance school — one of the first such institutions in the country — but disarmed potential bullies at his normal school by showing off medals won at dance competitions. Frederic Franklin MBE
  • Bill Kenwright CBE Bill Kenwright CBE A leading West End theatre producer and film producero and the chairman of Everton Football Club. ... "I owe so much to the late Shelagh Elliott-Clarke, she’s sadly gone now but she was an incredibly important person in my life."
  • Elisabeth Sladen Elisabeth Sladen Elisabeth Clara Heath-Sladen attended the Elliott-Clarke Drama School. She was an English actress best known for her role as Sarah Jane Smith in the British television series Doctor Who. She was a regular cast member from 1973 to 1976, alongside both Jon Pertwee and Tom Baker.
  • Stephanie Davis Stephanie Ann Davis is an English actress. Davis currently stars in the British soap opera Hollyoaks and also competed in the 2010 BBC talent-search Over the Rainbow. ... “A pupil of Elliott Clarke school in Liverpool when she was just three, because she did well in her classes and the teacher said she needed more.” Stephanie Davis
  • Rita Tushingham Rita Tushingham Rita Tushingham is an English actress best known for her starring roles in 1960s films including A Taste of Honey, The Knack …and How to Get It, Doctor Zhivago and Smashing Time. She wanted to be an actress from an early age and trained at the Shelagh Elliott-Clarke school Liverpool.
  • Petra Siniawski - Director Petra Siniawski - Director Associate Director of Wicked West End & UK Tour. Petra took her first steps into the world of dance at the Shelagh Elliott-Clarke School of Dance and Drama in Liverpool at the tender age of eight. This was because her mother thought she was, "an active and creative child, who needed an outlet!"
  • Con O'Neill Con O'Neill is an English actor and singer. He began his acting career at Liverpool's Elliott-Clarke Performing Arts and Everyman Youth Theatre. He was awarded the Laurence Olivier Theatre Award in 1988 for "Best Actor in a Musical" for his performance in Willy Russell's Blood Brothers, and was nominated for Broadway's 1993 Tony Award as Best Actor for Blood Brothers. Con O'Neill
  • Margi Clarke Margi Clarke Margi Clarke began her career as a presenter on Granada Television but was soon cast as Queenie in the BBC comedy drama Making Out. In 1997 she joined Coronation Street as inmate Jaqui Dobbs who was to share a cell with Deirdre Rachid.
  • Rachel McDowall Rachel McDowall Rachel trained at the Elliott-Clarke School of Dance and Drama in Liverpool and made her film debut as Lisa in the 2008 film Mamma Mia! The same year, she appeared in the Bond film Quantum of Solace. In 2010 McDowall appeared in the UK's first 3D feature film StreetDance 3D, playing the part of Isabella.
  • Elizebeth Hill Elizabeth Hill The Elizabeth Hill School of dance in St Helens is one of the best for good strong ballet technique in Merseyside. Elizebeth trained at Shelagh Elliott- Clarke Performing Arts School, Liverpool from 1966 – 1984.
  • Kym Marsh Kym Marsh Kym Marsh is an actress, known for Coronation Street , Loose Women and as a singer in pop band Hearsay. She attended the Elliot Clarke Theatre School in Liverpool until the age of 15.
  • Heidi Range Heidi Range Heidi India Range is a British singer and songwriter best known for being a former member of the group Sugababes. In summer 1998 Heidi sang in a choir alongside Liz McClarnon at the annual Summer Pops festival in Liverpool, they both attended Elliott-Clarke stage school where their singing teacher Sharon Ashton told the two about an audittion for a new girl group.
  • Graeme Henderson Graeme Henderson Graeme Henderson is one of a handful of performers to have played leading roles in classic plays at the Royal National Theatre and leading roles in West End musicals - and has a successful career as a choreographer. His attendance at the Elliott Clarke School in Liverpool had prepared him for acceptance into the Royal Ballet School in London.
  • Emma Dears Emma Dears has been one of the brightest singing talents to come out of Liverpool, the star of many a West End musical, a recording artist and cabaret performer. Emma had gone to the Elliot Clarke school in Liverpool and the Elizabeth Hill theatre School in St Helens. Emma Dears
  • Claire Sweeny Claire Sweeney Claire Jane Sweeney is an English actress, singer and television personality, best known for playing the role of Lindsey Corkhill in the Channel 4 soap opera Brookside and her appearance in numerous west end musicals. She trained at the Elliott-Clarke Theatre School in Liverpool and Italia Conti Academy of Theatre Arts in London.
  • Liz McClaron Liz McClarnon Elizabeth McClarnon is an English pop singer, dancer and television presenter. She is a member of the girl group Atomic Kitten, with whom she has scored three number-one singles and also two number-one albums. Liz's singing teacher, Sharon Ashton at Elliott Clarke, heard about the audition for a local girl band and told Liz to go along and try her luck.
  • Daniel Dolan Daniel Dolan Daniel Dolan made history back in summer 2009 as the third British male ever to be accepted into the Bolshoi Ballet Academy in Moscow in 237 years. Daniel previously trained at the Elliott Clarke School of Dance and Drama in Liverpool before attending The Hammond School in Chester from the age of 11.

 

 

Some of our greatest successes!

Press the side arrows to navigate through past students of Shelagh Elliott-Clarke Performing Arts.

  • Tony Warren MBE Anthony Warren MBE is an award-winning English television scriptwriter, best known for creating the ITV soap opera Coronation Street. As a boy actor, he trained at the Elliott-Clarke theatre school in Liverpool. Tony Warren MBE
  • Frederic Franklin MBE In 1952, Franklin became the co-founder and artistic director of the National Ballet of Washington. He found himself the only boy in his class at Shelagh Elliott-Clarke’s dance school — one of the first such institutions in the country — but disarmed potential bullies at his normal school by showing off medals won at dance competitions. Frederic Franklin MBE
  • Bill Kenwright CBE Bill Kenwright CBE A leading West End theatre producer and film producero and the chairman of Everton Football Club. ... "I owe so much to the late Shelagh Elliott-Clarke, she’s sadly gone now but she was an incredibly important person in my life."
  • Elisabeth Sladen Elisabeth Sladen Elisabeth Clara Heath-Sladen attended the Elliott-Clarke Drama School. She was an English actress best known for her role as Sarah Jane Smith in the British television series Doctor Who. She was a regular cast member from 1973 to 1976, alongside both Jon Pertwee and Tom Baker.
  • Stephanie Davis Stephanie Ann Davis is an English actress. Davis currently stars in the British soap opera Hollyoaks and also competed in the 2010 BBC talent-search Over the Rainbow. ... “A pupil of Elliott Clarke school in Liverpool when she was just three, because she did well in her classes and the teacher said she needed more.” Stephanie Davis
  • Rita Tushingham Rita Tushingham Rita Tushingham is an English actress best known for her starring roles in 1960s films including A Taste of Honey, The Knack …and How to Get It, Doctor Zhivago and Smashing Time. She wanted to be an actress from an early age and trained at the Shelagh Elliott-Clarke school Liverpool.
  • Petra Siniawski - Director Petra Siniawski - Director Associate Director of Wicked West End & UK Tour. Petra took her first steps into the world of dance at the Shelagh Elliott-Clarke School of Dance and Drama in Liverpool at the tender age of eight. This was because her mother thought she was, "an active and creative child, who needed an outlet!"
  • Con O'Neill Con O'Neill is an English actor and singer. He began his acting career at Liverpool's Elliott-Clarke Performing Arts and Everyman Youth Theatre. He was awarded the Laurence Olivier Theatre Award in 1988 for "Best Actor in a Musical" for his performance in Willy Russell's Blood Brothers, and was nominated for Broadway's 1993 Tony Award as Best Actor for Blood Brothers. Con O'Neill
  • Margi Clarke Margi Clarke Margi Clarke began her career as a presenter on Granada Television but was soon cast as Queenie in the BBC comedy drama Making Out. In 1997 she joined Coronation Street as inmate Jaqui Dobbs who was to share a cell with Deirdre Rachid.
  • Rachel McDowall Rachel McDowall Rachel trained at the Elliott-Clarke School of Dance and Drama in Liverpool and made her film debut as Lisa in the 2008 film Mamma Mia! The same year, she appeared in the Bond film Quantum of Solace. In 2010 McDowall appeared in the UK's first 3D feature film StreetDance 3D, playing the part of Isabella.
  • Elizabeth Hill Elizabeth Hill The Elizabeth Hill School of dance in St Helens is one of the best for good strong ballet technique in Merseyside. Elizebeth trained at Shelagh Elliott- Clarke Performing Arts School, Liverpool from 1966 – 1984.
  • Kym Marsh Kym Marsh Kym Marsh is an actress, known for Coronation Street , Loose Women and as a singer in pop band Hearsay. She attended the Elliot Clarke Theatre School in Liverpool until the age of 15.
  • Heidi Range Heidi Range Heidi India Range is a British singer and songwriter best known for being a former member of the group Sugababes. In summer 1998 Heidi sang in a choir alongside Liz McClarnon at the annual Summer Pops festival in Liverpool, they both attended Elliott-Clarke stage school where their singing teacher Sharon Ashton told the two about an audittion for a new girl group.
  • Graeme Henderson Graeme Henderson Graeme Henderson is one of a handful of performers to have played leading roles in classic plays at the Royal National Theatre and leading roles in West End musicals - and has a successful career as a choreographer. His attendance at the Elliott Clarke School in Liverpool had prepared him for acceptance into the Royal Ballet School in London.
  • Emma Dears Emma Dears has been one of the brightest singing talents to come out of Liverpool, the star of many a West End musical, a recording artist and cabaret performer. Emma had gone to the Elliot Clarke school in Liverpool and the Elizabeth Hill theatre School in St Helens. Emma Dears
  • Claire Sweeney Claire Sweeney Claire Jane Sweeney is an English actress, singer and television personality, best known for playing the role of Lindsey Corkhill in the Channel 4 soap opera Brookside and her appearance in numerous west end musicals. She trained at the Elliott-Clarke Theatre School in Liverpool and Italia Conti Academy of Theatre Arts in London.
  • Liz McClarnon Liz McClarnon Elizabeth McClarnon is an English pop singer, dancer and television presenter. She is a member of the girl group Atomic Kitten, with whom she has scored three number-one singles and also two number-one albums. Liz's singing teacher, Sharon Ashton at Elliott Clarke, heard about the audition for a local girl band and told Liz to go along and try her luck.
  • Daniel Dolan Daniel Dolan Daniel Dolan made history back in summer 2009 as the third British male ever to be accepted into the Bolshoi Ballet Academy in Moscow in 237 years. Daniel previously trained at the Elliott Clarke School of Dance and Drama in Liverpool before attending The Hammond School in Chester from the age of 11.

     

 

 

Elliott-Clarke Youtube Channel!

Tap the playlist button for more videos!

 

 

Some of our greatest successes!

Press the side arrows > to navigate through past students of Shelagh Elliott-Clarke Performing Arts.

  • Tony Warren MBE Anthony Warren MBE is an award-winning English television scriptwriter, best known for creating the ITV soap opera Coronation Street. As a boy actor, he trained at the Elliott-Clarke theatre school in Liverpool. Tony Warren MBE
  • Frederic Franklin MBE In 1952, Franklin became the co-founder and artistic director of the National Ballet of Washington. He found himself the only boy in his class at Shelagh Elliott-Clarke’s dance school — one of the first such institutions in the country — but disarmed potential bullies at his normal school by showing off medals won at dance competitions. Frederic Franklin MBE
  • Bill Kenwright CBE Bill Kenwright CBE A leading West End theatre producer and film producero and the chairman of Everton Football Club. ... "I owe so much to the late Shelagh Elliott-Clarke, she’s sadly gone now but she was an incredibly important person in my life."
  • Elisabeth Sladen Elisabeth Sladen Elisabeth Clara Heath-Sladen attended the Elliott-Clarke Drama School. She was an English actress best known for her role as Sarah Jane Smith in the British television series Doctor Who. She was a regular cast member from 1973 to 1976, alongside both Jon Pertwee and Tom Baker.
  • Stephanie Davis Stephanie Ann Davis is an English actress. Davis currently stars in the British soap opera Hollyoaks and also competed in the 2010 BBC talent-search Over the Rainbow. ... “A pupil of Elliott Clarke school in Liverpool when she was just three, because she did well in her classes and the teacher said she needed more.” Stephanie Davis
  • Rita Tushingham Rita Tushingham Rita Tushingham is an English actress best known for her starring roles in 1960s films including A Taste of Honey, The Knack …and How to Get It, Doctor Zhivago and Smashing Time. She wanted to be an actress from an early age and trained at the Shelagh Elliott-Clarke school Liverpool.
  • Petra Siniawski - Director Petra Siniawski - Director Associate Director of Wicked West End & UK Tour. Petra took her first steps into the world of dance at the Shelagh Elliott-Clarke School of Dance and Drama in Liverpool at the tender age of eight. This was because her mother thought she was, "an active and creative child, who needed an outlet!"
  • Con O'Neill Con O'Neill is an English actor and singer. He began his acting career at Liverpool's Elliott-Clarke Performing Arts and Everyman Youth Theatre. He was awarded the Laurence Olivier Theatre Award in 1988 for "Best Actor in a Musical" for his performance in Willy Russell's Blood Brothers, and was nominated for Broadway's 1993 Tony Award as Best Actor for Blood Brothers. Con O'Neill
  • Margi Clarke Margi Clarke Margi Clarke began her career as a presenter on Granada Television but was soon cast as Queenie in the BBC comedy drama Making Out. In 1997 she joined Coronation Street as inmate Jaqui Dobbs who was to share a cell with Deirdre Rachid.
  • Rachel McDowall Rachel McDowall Rachel trained at the Elliott-Clarke School of Dance and Drama in Liverpool and made her film debut as Lisa in the 2008 film Mamma Mia! The same year, she appeared in the Bond film Quantum of Solace. In 2010 McDowall appeared in the UK's first 3D feature film StreetDance 3D, playing the part of Isabella.
  • Elizebeth Hill Elizabeth Hill The Elizabeth Hill School of dance in St Helens is one of the best for good strong ballet technique in Merseyside. Elizebeth trained at Shelagh Elliott- Clarke Performing Arts School, Liverpool from 1966 – 1984.
  • Kym Marsh Kym Marsh Kym Marsh is an actress, known for Coronation Street , Loose Women and as a singer in pop band Hearsay. She attended the Elliot Clarke Theatre School in Liverpool until the age of 15.
  • Heidi Range Heidi Range Heidi India Range is a British singer and songwriter best known for being a former member of the group Sugababes. In summer 1998 Heidi sang in a choir alongside Liz McClarnon at the annual Summer Pops festival in Liverpool, they both attended Elliott-Clarke stage school where their singing teacher Sharon Ashton told the two about an audittion for a new girl group.
  • Graeme Henderson Graeme Henderson Graeme Henderson is one of a handful of performers to have played leading roles in classic plays at the Royal National Theatre and leading roles in West End musicals - and has a successful career as a choreographer. His attendance at the Elliott Clarke School in Liverpool had prepared him for acceptance into the Royal Ballet School in London.
  • Emma Dears Emma Dears has been one of the brightest singing talents to come out of Liverpool, the star of many a West End musical, a recording artist and cabaret performer. Emma had gone to the Elliot Clarke school in Liverpool and the Elizabeth Hill theatre School in St Helens. Emma Dears
  • Claire Sweeney Claire Sweeny Claire Jane Sweeney is an English actress, singer and television personality, best known for playing the role of Lindsey Corkhill in the Channel 4 soap opera Brookside and her appearance in numerous west end musicals. She trained at the Elliott-Clarke Theatre School in Liverpool and Italia Conti Academy of Theatre Arts in London.
  • Liz McClarnon Liz McClaron Elizabeth McClarnon is an English pop singer, dancer and television presenter. She is a member of the girl group Atomic Kitten, with whom she has scored three number-one singles and also two number-one albums. Liz's singing teacher, Sharon Ashton at Elliott Clarke, heard about the audition for a local girl band and told Liz to go along and try her luck.
  • Daniel Dolan Daniel Dolan Daniel Dolan made history back in summer 2009 as the third British male ever to be accepted into the Bolshoi Ballet Academy in Moscow in 237 years. Daniel previously trained at the Elliott Clarke School of Dance and Drama in Liverpool before attending The Hammond School in Chester from the age of 11.
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