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Thursday June 2, 2016

Exercise classes coming to Strathmore

Off to hone her craft in London

By Nikki Papatsoumas

One of Wellington’s own will soon be joining the ranks of esteemed actors such as Laurence Olivier, Judi Dench and Vanessa Redgrave. Keagan Carr Fransch, of Mount Cook, was accepted into London’s Royal Central School of Speech and Drama to earn her Masters in Acting. She auditioned in Sydney last month, the only New Zealander for her particular course. The Masters course is a fulltime one-year course focused on rigorous postgraduate training for actors, and it only accepts 14 to 16 actors each year. Originally from Zimbabwe, Kea-

Keagan Carr Fransch, a Wellington actor

gan graduated from the Theatre Studies course at the University of Waikato and the Acting course at Toi Whakaari: New Zealand Drama School in 2013. As a woman of African descent, Keagan says she has found it difficult to foster a sustainable career in New Zealand, a problem she hopes will be remedied during her studies in London. “I hunger for an environment where my craft can be nurtured. Studying at Central School along with a cohort of 16 internationally and culturally diverse actors is an opportunity to stretch my muscles, to take myself seriously as an actor.”

She said hopes to build skills that will enrich the New Zealand industry when she returns. “I can’t wait to come back a stronger, more robust actor and share what I’ve learned, as well as bring something unique and exciting as a Zimbabwean New Zealander to the New Zealand stages.” However, this opportunity comes with quite a cost and Keagan is raising money to pay for tuition fees and living costs.

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Strathmore locals can keep fit and healthy over the winter months. From Monday, June 13, body strengthening classes will be held out of the Strathmore Park Community Centre. Coordinator at the Strathmore Park Community Centre, Lisa Matthews, said the centre was able to provide the classes – free of charge – after it received funding from Compass Health. The classes will be run by Janeen from Big, Bold and Beautiful, who runs similar classes from the Kilbirnie/Lyall Bay Community Centre and the Newtown Community and Cultural Centre. “We have been really fortunate. These classes are about improving health outcomes for the community,” Lisa said. Lisa said the classes would be trialed at the centre for three months and if they proved popular, they would offer them to the community for 12 months. “We are all about promoting healthy life styles and we are removing barriers by removing costs.” Lisa encouraged everyone in the community to come along to the classes and said children and babies were welcome. “The classes are a very gentle mix of part yoga, part Pilates, part stretch and part relaxation and they are loads of fun. “It is not a ‘hard core’ workout.” Exercise classes will be held at the Strathmore Park Community Centre from Monday, June 13 from midday to 1pm. Babies and children are welcome. Cost is free.

 Anyone keen to help Keagan can donate to her Givealittle page: https://givealittle.co.nz/cause/ helpkeagangotocentral

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