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James Pennell & Esmé Tutill


A little about us...

James Pennell, BA (Hons), PGCE, QTS

Principal & Artistic Director

Favourite show: Come From Away

Dream role: Elder Price (The Book of Mormon)

James has been involved in the performing arts since joining a part-time theatre school as a child. Since then, he has been involved in countless community and professional productions across the UK as an actor, singer, and director. James started teaching at Razzamataz Newcastle when it opened in 2016. James speaks four languages, and combined this with his love of performing, spending a year teaching music in France, where was fortunate enough to record and play some of his original music at a number of events and concerts. James is incredibly excited to have the opportunity to provide children and young people with a dynamic and fun curriculum, and a friendly environment for all. As Artistic Director, James leads the creative vision of the school as well as teaching and learning. He is passionate about helping young people to achieve their goals, as well as ensuring that all those who want to be a part of the performing arts (whether for fun, to build confidence, or as a career), can. As well as being one of the principals of Razzamataz Newcastle, James works as a teacher and vocal coach.


Esmé Tutill, BSc (Hons), MSc


Favourite show: Heathers

Dream role: Glinda (Wicked)

Esmé joined Razzamataz Newcastle at the beginning of 2017, and has loved seeing the school grow. With an MSc in Clinical Psychology from Newcastle University, Esmé is passionate about helping young people to develop in a supportive and creative setting. Esmé leads the school in student welfare and pastoral care. She is a champion of mental wellbeing, and strongly believes that allowing children to express themselves in a safe environment can be a fantastic tool in developing confidence and other important skills for life. As well as being one of the principals of Razzamataz Newcastle, Esmé also works with children with special educational and mental health needs in a primary school.


Anna Bartle, PAIDTA (Modern Jazz), DipTCL (Musical Theatre)

Head of Dance, Minis B Teacher, Project Intense Phase 2 Teacher

Favourite show: The Book of Mormon

Dream role: Jenna (Waitress) or Roxie Hart (Chicago)

Anna trained at SA Performing Arts Centre and qualified with a Diploma in Musical Theatre as well as a Pre-Associate Teaching Qualification in IDTA Modern Jazz. During her professional career, Anna has worked several contracts abroad as well as pantomimes all over the country. Her biggest achievement so far is performing at The Royal Albert Hall alongside Collabro and Kerry Ellis.


Matt Pagan, BGT

Head of Music, Minis C Teacher

Favourite show: 42nd Street

Dream role: Jean Valjean (Les Misérables)

Matt won Britain’s Got Talent in 2014 as 1/4 of the world’s most successful musical theatre group, Collabro. Since winning the competition, Matt and the boys have released five worldwide studio albums, all of which have been in the UK Top 40. Their debut album “Stars” secured their first UK Number 1, and was the fastest selling album of 2014. Matt has performed with some of the biggest stars on the planet, including Little Mix, Ed Sheeran, One Direction, Dame Shirley Bassey, Ellie Goulding, and McFly to name a few! He has toured all over the world including Japan, Hong Kong, USA, Canada, Europe etc as well as four sell-out UK tours.In February 2020 Matt made his West End debut at the London Coliseum, playing the role of Donal O’Flaherty in “The Pirate Queen” by Alain Boublil and Claude-Michel Schönberg.


Hattie Eason, BA (Hons), MA 

Head of Drama, Minis A Teacher

Favourite show: Miss Saigon

Dream role: Mother Abbess (The Sound of Music) or Mrs Johnstone (Blood Brothers)

Hattie is a performer and facilitator with a master’s degree in Theatre and Performance from Northumbria University. Razzamataz holds a special place in her heart as someone who attended Razz Yeovil as a Senior student ‘back in the day’! Hattie spent 6 years creating and touring original theatre and cabaret work with her theatre company, before recently deciding to do her primary teacher training from September 2022. She regularly performs as a singer and poet/spoken word artist and spent much of lockdown singing online! Performing and working with young people are Hattie’s greatest passions and she loves that she gets to do it as her work! She feels that there is a need for the arts within education and that it provides young people with so much more than performance skills! Hattie has been working with Razzamataz Newcastle since it was established in 2016 and is thrilled to be back with us as Head of Drama.


Rosie Maley, BA (Hons)

Drama Teacher

Favourite show: Hamilton

Dream role: Sophie (Mamma Mia)

Rosie is originally from Yorkshire and graduated with a degree in Drama from Northumbria University. Rosie has decided to stay in Newcastle as she loves the people and the friendly accent! She has been performing since the age of four when she joined a part-time theatre school much like Razz! Rosie has been fortunate to perform in a number of productions including the national tour of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat and Annie.



Laura Clack, BA (Hons), PGCE, QTS, ALCM

Vocal Coach 

Favourite show: Guys & Dolls

Dream role: Millie (Thoroughly Modern Millie)

Laura has been training within the field since the age of 11 and has completed an ALCM Dip in Musical Theatre. Laura holds a BA (Hons) in Community Music and a PGCE in Musical Theatre and Music Education and works within colleges and secondary schools around Newcastle and Northumberland. Laura has completed training and voluntary courses with London West End casts, and completed a training scholarship on Broadway in New York City. She has helped with casting and training with touring casts such as The Lion King and Billy Elliot.


Beth Beveridge, BA (Hons), PGCE, QTS

Tots Teacher, Dance Teacher, Project Intense Phase One Teacher

Favourite show: Mamma Mia!

Dream role: Sandy (Grease)

Beth trained at Dance City where she achieved her BA (Hons) professional dance degree in the style of contemporary. During that time she worked with choreographers such as balletLORENT, Richard Chappell and Lea Anderson as well as teaching within colleges and schools in Newcastle. After completing her PCET/PGCE, she began to work in a primary school, and runs dance clubs for the children. Beth is passionate about helping children reaching their potential and achieving their goals. As well as her extensive dance training, Beth has also undertaken courses in mental health and wellbeing promotion. Bethany can’t wait to start working at Razzamataz and hopes she can spread her enthusiasm and love for dance to all of her students!


Meg Cruse, BA (Hons), PGCE, QTS

Dance Teacher, Tots Teacher, Project Intense Phase Two Teacher

Favourite show: Dear Evan Hansen

Dream role: Dancer in Hairspray

Growing up taking dance and musical theatre classes from a young age, Meg is just about to graduate from Dance City’s BA (Hons) Professional Dance degree in Contemporary Dance. Meg has been assisting and teaching in both studio and education settings for 5 years now and is extremely excited to become part of the Razzmatazz Newcastle team and see where the working world of performing arts can take her as well as seeing all the students grow in skills and confidence.


Laura Madl

Juniors Drama & Singing Teacher, Teaching Assistant

Favourite show: Avenue Q

Dream Role: Christine (The Phantom of the Opera)

Laura has been involved in the performing arts from an early age starting with dance at the 4 up until 13 then changing her focus to drama and singing. At the age of 17 Laura was performing alongside some notorious acts of the day including Damage, Daphne and Celeste and Cheryl – who found fame later in her career. By her early 20’s she went on to sing with Hayley Westenra, Russel Watson and Faye Tozer. Laura has performed in Newcastle Arena, Glasgow Arena, Newcastle City Hall, The Tyne Theatre and Opera House, Live Theatre and various local venues.
Laura has directed and staged productions and is passionate about young people expressing themselves through dance, drama, and singing. She truly believes the world is a stage and every day is the chance to play a different role of your choice.


Hannah Scotson, BA (Hons), PGCE, QTS

Associate Teacher

Favourite show: West Side Story

Dream role: Tracey Turnblad (Hairspray)

Hannah graduated from her performing arts degree at the University of Cumbria in 2015. Hannah has been involved with music since she was young when she started learning to play the tenor horn at age 5. She then went on to have piano lessons at age 9. At this point Hannah discovered her love for singing. Hannah got her grade 8 singing when she was 14 and sang for several years as part of the Liverpool Philharmonic Youth Choir where she had many special performance opportunities such as competing in the international Eisteddfod festival (placing 3rd) and singing for Her Majesty the Queen. Hannah is now a primary school teacher in Carlisle. Outside of school, Hannah is a professional singer working as a Lay Clerk at Carlisle Cathedral. Hannah can’t wait to combine her two passions of teaching and performing while teaching at Razzamataz Newcastle.