West End performer to teach in Hartlepool

Mark John Richardson who is coming to the Elwick Studios in Hartlepool.
Mark John Richardson who is coming to the Elwick Studios in Hartlepool.

A gifted performer - who has appeared at prestigious venues for 20 years - is coming to Hartlepool to pass his expertise on to dancers.

Mark John Richardson has joined up with the Elwick Studios, run by Geoff Lucas and Leanne Jeffries.

I moved to London when I was 16 but I have never seen the talent that I have seen in the North East. I want to work with them and I want to bring it out of them

Mark John Richardson

He will be the resident pro dance coach including “acting as casting agent for our school’s pupils,” said Leanne.

“He will teach at our studios on weekends, holding classes in ballet, jazz, tap and audition techniques which are open to anyone wanting to further their skills in these subjects,” she added.

And Mark, a Tees Valley man himself, explained why he was so looking forward to getting involved.

The man who has worked alongside famous names such as Andrew Lloyd Webber, Cameron Mackintosh, and Trevor Nunn said: “The kids of the North East are the most talented and I think that is because of the grit we have.

“I moved to London when I was 16 but I have never seen the talent that I have seen in the North East. I want to work with them and I want to bring it out of them.”

He told how his own love of dancing developed from when he was six years old. “It all came about from a friend of mine. Her mum was taking her to dance and said to me ‘why don’t you come with us’.

“I went to see my mum to ask for 80 pence and from that day, I have never missed a day.

“But my mum told me that I was always prancing around the room, even before that. I knew it was where I was going and there was no other option.”

Mark will also be teaching adult classes, starting with adult tap on Saturdays at 10am. He said his involvement with Leanne goes back to the days when they both competed in dance festivals, and he described Geoff as “always an inspiration to me.

“They are great people and they are great friends.”

Mark has appeared in shows such as Cats at the London Palladium, Billy Elliot at the Victoria Palace, in the Prince’s Trust Royal Gala, the VE Day Royal Gala and a Royal Variety performance.