Newson Academy of Speech & Drama​

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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.

Miss Abbi


Abbi is currently in her Third Year at PPA doing a BA (Hons) in Acting for Stage and Screen. She has also achieved her Grade 8 in singing as well as a Distinction star in BTEC Dance. Since she was 10 a he has been in a variety of musicals and plays including Les Miserables, We Will Rock You, Cabaret and Rent and is very excited to share her knowledge to her students.

Miss Lauren


Lauren is in her final year at the renowned Performance Preparation Academy (PPA) in Guilford studying Acting for Stage and Screen where she is under the tutelage of some countless industry professionals such as Michael Attenborough, Katy Secombe and Charlie Barker.

A trained Mezzo-Soprano, Lauren has worked in a range of charity and professional settings including as a Backing Vocalist and Soloist in venues including Wembley Arena, Sheffield City Hall, Manchester Arena, and many more…

Within her love for all things creative arts Lauren has worked with disabled and special needs children and young adults providing them with educational experiences through a safe, supportive and fun environment in her work with the Challengers organisation.

Lauren is thrilled to be part of the Newson Academy family and bring her love and passion for the performing arts to the younger generation.

Miss Sophie


Sophie has been performing since the age of 3 and has appeared in shows at His Majesty’s Theatre, The Kings Theatre and the Epsom Playhouse. Sophie trained from the age of 13 at the Dance School of Scotland and then was granted a funded place at Laine Theatre Arts. Most recently Sophie appeared in a series of adverts for Kantar. Sophie has been teaching musical theatre for 3 years now and is very passionate about this. She knows how to develop students creativity and confidence which are valuable life skills.