TV star masterclass at Cheshire LIPA 4:19 stage school

Budding stars from a Cheshire performing arts academy were treated to a taste of TV success, when they were visited by former Hollyoaks star Leah Hackett.

Leah, who played Tina McQueen in the Channel 4 soap and is currently filming a major new BBC drama, held a masterclass at the new LIPA 4:19 academy in Knutsford – the stage school franchise of the prestigious Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts (LIPA).

A LIPA graduate herself, Leah led an acting workshop and then answered questions about her career and time on Hollyoaks.

Based at Knutsford Methodist Church, LIPA 4:19 offers curriculum-based classes in singing, dancing and acting for children aged between four and 19. The academy was launched in September by Alison Gorton and Becci Francis, who have previously worked for LIPA 4:19 at its LIPA base.

Leah Hackett said: “I have fantastic memories of my time at LIPA and everything I learned there has really helped me in my career. When Becci and Alison asked if I would lead a class, I didn’t hesitate in saying yes and had great fun with the students sharing my own experiences of working in television.”

Alison Gorton, co-principal of LIPA 4:19 Knutsford, added: “Leah’s success is proof of the benefits of quality performing arts training and our students were very excited to have her here.

“Masterclasses provide great insights and it can be very inspiring to receive tips and advice from someone like Leah who has gone on to forge a successful career in the business. We’re looking to develop our series of masterclasses in 2012.”

Leah received a BA (Hons) degree in acting from LIPA in 2006 and has appeared in Doctors, The Case and the Liverpool Nativity. She is currently filming new BBC drama Savage, which will be aired in 2012.