Ruth loves to make drama out of a city

All smiles: Ruth Carney has been teaching drama sessions in schools.
All smiles: Ruth Carney has been teaching drama sessions in schools.
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“DRAMA is just life with the all the dull bits cut out.”

And Ruth Carney would know.

After all, the West End director and former associate director of Sheffield Theatres has shaped the last 20 years of her life around drama.

Then three years ago, her love for theatre and acting inspired her to open drama school The Carney Academy in her hometown of Sheffield.

“I wanted to be sure that people in Sheffield got the same opportunities and training as people who might be considered ‘better placed’ down in London,” explains Ruth who, at 37 and with hundreds of shows under her belt, is well-placed to pass on her knowledge of the industry.

The Carney Academy offers training in drama, singing and theatre skills to around 300 people across South Yorkshire every week. In addition to dozens of weekly classes and workshops in theatres in Sheffield and Rotherham, the Carney Academy has extended its reach into schools and even nurseries, helping to build communication and performance skills in children as young as two.

“My work with the community in Sheffield humbles me,” says Ruth.

“I love watching people who’ve never acted before growing in confidence and ability right infront of me. It’s very gratifying.

“Obviously I love my work as a professional director, but I love my work teaching in the community every bit as much - and I believe in its power. I’ve seen what drama can do for people. It feels amazing to be able to give that to someone.”

Ruth is originally from Stoke-on-Trent but moved to Sheffield for university and now calls the city home. She was artistic director of Sheffield Theatres for two years and credits this time with reigniting her passion for working with the local community.

“I’m working with kids from High Storrs school at the moment, directing a play, and I’m having just as much fun as I had when I was directing in the West End,” Ruth smiles.

“The rewards are great when you’re working in your own community, seeing the change in people from week to week.

“At the heart of this is the fact that classes are taught by people working successfully in the business. All of our patrons and tutors have a vast experience of theatre, film and television and this knowledge feeds directly into the development of every single student.”

For more information on classes and sessions held locally, visit

Whatever your interests there is something for everyone in diverse communities

FROM book clubs and metal detecting clubs to archaeology groups and astronomy societies, Sheffield has a thriving - and diverse - community of activity, charity and interest groups.

Whatever your interest, this city has something to suit your tastes - whether it be environment groups, theatre groups or movie-making clubs.

Sheffield has a Rat Club for rat lovers and is home to the Flying Teapots Circus Skills Society.

We have a Skeptics in the Pubs group, that regularly put the world to rights over a pint, and an active George Formby Appreciation Society.

The Running With Scissors craft group is going from strength-to-strength and things are absolutely buzzing over at the Sheffield Beekeepers Association.

Are you part of a club? Are you looking for new members? Do you have a big event or show coming up? Get in touch and tell us all about it at

Steel City Stars

Majorettes: Steel City Stars Majorettes are on the lookout for a baton trainer ahead of their baton twirling contest next month.

Nicola Bradshaw, who works with the troupe every Tuesday evening at Victoria Methodist Church, said: “The girls have been practising really hard, with the younger ones aiming to twirl constantly for 15 minutes, while the older ones are hoping to twirl for one hour.

“We’re also on the lookout for new members so if you’re aged four to 14, come along at 5.30pm on Tuesdays.”

The baton twirling contest will be held on May 7.

Drapers Dance Centre: Drapers Dance Centre will celebrate 40 years of ‘making moves’ in Sheffield next month with a Ruby Tea Dance.

“We’re calling all our former pupils to come and see the ballroom, reminisce over old times and help us put together our 40-year anniversary book by sharing photos and stories,” said dance teacher Hayley Draper who runs the Beighton studio.

“We’d love to see faces from the ’70s, 80s and 90s.”

The studio will be open from midday on Monday, May 6.

Secrets of the Boudoir Burlesque

Secrets of the Boudoir Burlesque will be launching their next 10-week course on April 30 for those looking to perfect the art of seduction.

Teacher Cherry Du Bois said: “The atmosphere is intimate and fun so you can leave all your hang-ups at the door and immerse yourself in learning to pose, pout and peel.” Visit for more information.

The Sheffield Jesus Centre

The Sheffield Jesus Centre will host a multi-agency networking event next week.

Sheffield’s Lord Mayor, Coun John Campbell, will kick off the event with a speech on ‘social cohesion’ before five other agencies from across the city talk about their services and ways in which they can help to reach the homeless and excluded in Sheffield.

The event will be held at the centre on Broomspring Lane in Broomhall next Friday, April 19.