Romford drama students to feature alongside celebrities in new WW2 film

From left to right: Matt Willis, Ed Westwick, Sam Gittins and Jackson Bews on set of the Wolves Of War. 

From left to right: Matt Willis, Ed Westwick, Sam Gittins and Jackson Bews on set of the Wolves Of War. - Credit: Billy Holland/Picture Perfect

Students of a drama school in Romford which has taught the likes of TV presenter Rylan Clark-Neal and Jesy Nelson from Little Mix will feature in a new film.  

Yvonne Rhodes founded the Rhodes Theatre School and Agency with her husband Paul Rhodes 23 years ago.  

The family-run business has led to their daughter, Lucinda Rhodes Thakrar, to have a career as an actress, producer and co-founder of Picture Perfect, which she set up with her Husband Jeet Thakrar in 2015.  

Yvonne said she is “delighted” to have her students featured in a new film called Wolves of War, which is based on a true story and produced by Lucinda and Jeet.  

Featuring in the World War Two action-thriller will be stars such as Gossip Girl’s Ed Westwick, Busted band member Matt Willis and TV series actor Rupert Graves.  

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Rhodes students who will also star in the film include 18-year-old Oliver Phillips and Leona Stutely, both playing as members of a German Family; nine-year-old Erin McCann, who will be a young girl called Lisa; and Violet Bulmer (eight) will play a girl named Martha.  

Yvonne added: “At the school we nurture natural talent, we take students up to age 18, and offer opportunities to audition for shows and do commercials.”  

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She said her classes aid the children to “work on their confidence”, which helps them to excel in later life. 

Paul Rhodes, Yvonne Rhodes and Lucinda Rhodes Thakrar.

Paul Rhodes, Yvonne Rhodes and Lucinda Rhodes Thakrar. - Credit: Yvonne Rhodes

Reflecting on founding the school, Yvonne said: “You reach a stage in your life when you think about how you can progress forward and for our daughter and the young people there wasn’t much to do in the area 23 years ago.  

“Not everyone wants to do football or swimming classes, but you can of course do both together with acting, and our classes help the children with their school work.  

“It gives them confidence and helps them to make new friends as they are with a new crowd.  

“The benefits include that they are able to stand and talk to other people, stand up and act and do monologues - there is a hidden voice that comes out.”  

Rhodes Theatre classes are held on a Saturday morning at Concordia Academy in Romford and on a Wednesday after school at St Michael’s Church in Gidea Park.  

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