A former student of Stone Performing Arts academy, Rooftop Studios, has won critical acclaim for her debut professional role in a West End production of Ushers: The Front of House Musical.
Staffordshire born and bred Alex Mellor – who performs under the stage name Alexandra Parkes – landed the role of ‘Rosie’ and performed with the Edinburgh Fringe cast of the production before moving to a run at the Arts Theatre West End in London. In one of several 5-star reviews of the show, critic Terry Eastham described how, during her performance of the song ‘Leading Men’, Alex
“…held the audience in the palm of her hand as she delivered wonderful lyrics and a superb dance routine – great choreography by Russell Smith – to howls of appreciative laughter and applause.”.
Alex attended Rooftop Studios from an early age and, after several years spent honing her skills in lessons and local performances, won a sought-after place at a prestigious London stage school The Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts, which boasts Dame Judy Dench as its President. Having completed her three year course and embarked on her professional career on the stage, Alex remains keen to pay tribute to Rooftop for preparing her for life as a performer:
“Rooftops is like a family. During my time there, you could go to anyone for anything: you knew everybody. Added to this, however, they worked us very hard. I would be there straight from school every single day until late at night. They prepared me for the long days ahead at drama school and the constant work load I had to undertake. I feel I could still go back now and slot right back in. They genuinely care about what they are doing and the children that go there.”
After studying at Rooftop from 1997 all the way through to 2012, Alex was granted a fully-funded scholarship at Mountview, following a tough audition process that highlighted her exceptional skills as a performer. Studio Director at Rooftop, Laura Keeling, has been keeping up with Alex’s progress since she left the school and, along with the rest of the team, is keen to celebrate her success:
“Everyone at Rooftop – students and teachers past and present – are immensely proud of what Alex has achieved. It is a true testament to her talent and we wish her even greater success in the coming years – I’ve no doubt we’ll be seeing much more of her name in lights very soon.
“It is great to see our former students going on to big things. It really validates the work of the school and its fantastic team of teachers and tutors. An important point to remember is, however, that talent will only take you so far; you have to be prepared to put in the hard work and extra effort to reach that elusive goal – something we pride ourselves on instilling in all our students as we all have experience as professional performers in our own right. Hopefully, this will inspire more future stars to come and learn their craft with us.”