About Alexis Cheesman
Alexis and her husband Nathan were both brought up in Henley-on-Thames. Alexis has been Head of Drama at various Prep Schools, while her husband is Headmaster at a Prep School in Slough. She currently teaches LAMDA at a school in Oxford and has Private pupils in and around Henley. Alexis has a long history of running Theatre groups for Children, from the early days of taking over the ‘Henley Children’s Theatre Group’ after her Grandmother’s death, (which her sister Muffin still runs 50 years later) to hugely successful Children’s Theatre Groups in Plymouth, Kingsbridge, Liskeard and Bury St Edmunds for over 20 years.
'My group is different in that I offer the children a variety of Theatre skills in a condensed package without taking over an entire Saturday morning. The children have the wonderful opportunity to get up on a stage and perform, which, from my experience, is what the kids ultimately want to do!’. Over the years, Alexis has seen many of her students move into the professional world of entertainment, from acting on the West End stage, to television work and also modelling.
Alexis herself, was a child performer and was one of the first girls to perform in the West End’s ‘Annie’ in the 1970s. She attended the ‘Guildhall School of Music and Drama’ in the Barbican, London, and has worked in the West End of London and the ‘Theatre Royal’ in Plymouth before setting up her own Theatre Groups, based on her Grandmother's classes, which she attended from the age of three.
It clearly runs in the family, as her four oldest children all work in the film industry, having trained in York and Bristol. The oldest two work in Production, currently on Disney films, and the middle two work on set with props and as cast PA’s. Liberty, her No.3, performed for over four years as Jane Banks in the West End’s ‘Mary Poppins’ while her youngest daughter appeared in TV work, including ‘Grandpa in my Pocket’.
Another plus for the Group is that the scripts have all been written especially with youngsters in mind. Alexis’s father, Mike Hurst, himself a former ‘Springfield’ with Dusty in the 60’s, before becoming a top record producer for Cat Stevens and Showaddywaddy amongst others, has written some fabulous scripts, all fun, amusing and original.
On top of all that Alexis’ brother and 2 sisters all run successful Children’s Theatre Groups in Harpenden, Bourne and Henley. You could say – it’s a family winning formula!