Newson Academy of Speech & Drama​

Contact Us

Latest News

About Newson Academy

Newson Academy is an independent performing arts school offering a wide range of after-school classes, workshops and performance opportunities for children and young people aged 4 to 18 years. Founded in 2007, we are based in Ripley, Surrey and attract pupils from across Surrey including Woking, Pyrford, Addlestone, Weybridge, Cobham and Sunningdale.

We aim to help young people develop and realise their full potential in a fun, friendly and safe environment. Our limited class sizes ensure that each child receives individual attention from our qualified and caring team of industry professionals. Our students acquire skills in all areas of the performing arts which can help not only pursue careers in the arts industry, but also develop essential life skills to enable them to grow in confidence, self-esteem.

What makes Newson Academy different?

* We are not part of a big nationalised organisation or tied to a set curriculum

* We have maintained a 100% LAMDA pass rate since 2009

* Our small classes of no more than 8 students result in personal attention for every student

* Our classes are affordable and we offer sibling discounts and multi-class discounts

* Everyone is a star at Newson Academy!

Performance Opportunities

* Woking Speech & Drama & Music Festival in November

* Godalming Speech & Drama & Music Festival in January

* Richmond Speech & Drama & Music Festival in April

Our students enter at all levels and in a wide range of categories, including verse speaking, prose reading, individual and group acting, improvisation, and sight-reading. Although there is a competitive element to the festival, we emphasise on the fun of taking part and the unique thrill of performing in front of an audience.

Examinations offered



LCM Music Exams

Trinity College

The Academy is registered as a private LAMDA centre.

Meet the Team

Jo Anne Newson BA (Hons), LAMDA P Cert Lam

Founder and Principal

Jo is a professional actor and singer who has appeared in theatre, television, film and commercials. She is a qualified Speech, Drama and LAMDA teacher and has taught in both state and private schools as well as teaching private pupils across Surrey and Berkshire.

Jo started Newson Academy in 2007 and since then has built up a thriving speech and drama school. Jo welcomes all pupils to the academy and is committed to providing an environment where all students can reach their potential.

Jo is CRB checked and a registered chaperone.

Viki​ Showell BA (Hons), ADPA

Administration - LAMDA, Festivals, website and  media

Viki is a professional Singer and qualified Singing and Musical Theatre teacher and has taught in Stage Schools across Yorkshire and the North East.

Now relocated to the West Midlands and with a young family, she has hung up her performing and teaching hats but remains involved with the Academy in a Consultant capacity, alongside managing the Administration side of things.

Viki and Jo met in 2007 whilst studying for the ADPA together.