Keogh women join forces for new sis­ter act

Wicklow People (West Edition) - - NEWS -

SIS­TERS Vanessa and So­phie Keogh from Bray are fol­low­ing in the foot­steps of their mother Ir­ish, and form­ing a speech and drama school.

The two women have joined forces to com­bine their con­sid­er­able ex­pe­ri­ence and tal­ent for the ben­e­fit of the chil­dren of Bray.

The Keogh School of Speech and Drama’s first 12-week term will open on Wed­nes­day, Septem­ber 18, at Ep­worth Hall on Florence Road. Ju­nior and se­nior in­fants will go from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m., and first class to sixth class from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Iris Keogh, a speech and drama teacher of many years’ stand­ing, has been an in­spi­ra­tion for both Vanessa and So­phie, who grew up go­ing to their mum’s classes.

‘As kids she brought us to all of her classes since we were four,’ said So­phie. ‘We though ev­ery kid went to eight drama classes a week,’ said Vanessa, who would be put on her mum’s bike to head off to the class. At other times, they were held in the house.

The whole fam­ily grew up im­mersed in the theatre. ‘We grew up in a the­atri­cal house,’ said Vanessa. Iris and her late hus­band Liam met in the Lan­tern Theatre.

Vanessa trained in the Gai­ety school of act­ing and has per­formed in rolls across theatre, TV and film, in­clud­ing Fair City, The Clinic, The Tu­dors and Veron­ica Guerin.

So­phie did a de­gree in per­form­ing arts at Swansea Metropoli­tan Univer­sity. Pas­sion­ate about her craft, So­phie is a mem­ber of Square One and has had lead roles in a num­ber of pro­duc­tions.

Both sis­ters have a higher diploma in drama ed­u­ca­tion from Grif­fith Col­lege. So­phie did teach­ing ob­ser­va­tion with her mum at St Pa­trick’s school.

Watch­ing her mother’s meth­ods from an adult per­spec­tive and with the ben­e­fit of ed­u­ca­tion was an in­spi­ra­tion to her, and an­other source of knowl­edge to ad to the grow­ing foun­tain. Vanessa has been teach­ing drama for dif­fer­ent schools across the coun­try for the past 15 years.

So­phie is the res­i­dent drama teacher at John­stown, Killiney, and last year es­tab­lished her own school in Killiney. It has been a hugely suc­cess­ful en­ter­prise, with over 110 chil­dren now en­rolled. ‘Peo­ple have been say­ing why don’t Vanessa and I come to­gether as a team,’ said So­phie.

‘It’s some­thing that’s been in the pipe­line for a long time. There’s such de­mand.’ With dif­fer­ent and com­ple­men­tary skills, they thought that two heads would be bet­ter than one and de­cided to pro­ceed with the project. Vanessa is also an ex­pe­ri­enced writer.

She has writ­ten a col­lec­tion of plays, sketches and pan­tomimes for chil­dren. They have been per­formed na­tion­wide, and those orig­i­nal works and more will be brought into this new ven­ture. So­phie al­ready used some of her sis­ter’s work for her own school in Killiney and said the par­ents were as­ton­ished by the qual­ity of the writ­ing. Their ob­jec­tive is to see their stu­dents blos­som­ing and grow­ing in con­fi­dence, as well as skill, and above all hav­ing fun. ‘We are so ex­cited to be car­ry­ing on the fam­ily tra­di­tion,’ they said.

To sign up, con­tact Vanessa on 086 2198028 or So­phie on 086 0749296, email vanes­[email protected] gmail.com or so­phiean­[email protected]

Vanessa and So­phie Keogh out­side Ep­worth Hall on Florence Road, Bray.

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