A DRAMA academy is fighting back after having to close its doors due to coronavirus ­— by opening a new school in Little Lever.

Stirling Young Performers’ Drama Academy opened this week on Church Street as a sister school to Stirling Academy in Halliwell which has been successfully providing drama tuition and agency representation for 15 years.

With drama schools across the country moving teaching and assessment online, managing director Glen Mortimer admits it has been a difficult time for the sector.

“We have been hit very hard,” said Glen. “TV and theatre production came to a halt but now we are hoping we can kick start things again.”

Glen currently teaches a foundation course for adults on Saturday mornings in Halliwell but the new school will concentrate on three to 18-year-olds .

“We did some Zoom classes but it was very tricky,” said Glen. “The classes we have started up now are all observing social distancing with students sat apart and not acting together.

“For us, it is a case of turning a negative into a positive ­— we have nearly 80 professional actors on our books and nothing has been happening for them.

“A lot of them act in the theatre or in soaps on TV so it has been very difficult for them as I just don’t see the theatres being filled again very soon.

“The auditions that have been coming through are all being done by Zoom so it is very strange.”

Nathan Wedge is the principal at the new school.

He added: “We love to watch our students thrive in a judgement free environment, seeing how they grow not only as actors, but as people each week.

“It is an absolute honour to work with young performers - it truly doesn’t feel like work at all.”

Find out more details on classes at stirlingmanagement.co.uk