Islington soap star opens drama school in Ben Kinsella’s memory
SOAP star Brooke Kinsella is launching an acting school in memory of her murdered younger brother.
True Stars Academy is named in honour of 16-year-old Ben Kinsella – who was stabbed to death in Holloway in June 2008.
Ben, who had just taken his GCSEs at Holloway School, in Hilldrop Road, had a tattoo of three stars on his leg in honour of his three sisters. His entire family now has star tattoos in his memory.
True Stars Academy, at Holy Trinity Church in Shepherdess Walk, Islington, will give children and teenagers a taste of acting – and help keep them off the streets and away from knife crime.
Brooke, who trained at the Anna Scher theatre school in Barnsbury Road, Barnsbury, before playing Kelly Taylor in EastEnders, is now a Government advisor on knife crime.
The 27-year-old of Barnsbury, who recently toured the country examining youth projects, said: “People associate drama schools with fame and that’s not what this is about. This is about getting true talent out.
“I can’t guarantee that I will make kids famous but I will hopefully give them some skills – and keep them off the streets.
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“I have been going around the country looking at lots of different projects that tackle knife crime. One of the main issues is that it’s very difficult for these projects to start up and get going.”
Brooke, who has just starred in a play called Beautiful Thing, and is filming a guest role in Law & Order, had been about to open a drama school when Ben was stabbed after a night out at Shillibeers in North Road, Holloway.
She put the project on hold, but now feels it is time to give it another go.
She said: “I had taught drama for three years until the day Ben died. Although I love acting, I adore teaching – I love seeing children coming out of their shells. But when Ben died, it all had to go on the back burner.
“But it would have been Ben’s 19th birthday on October 27, and it’s been two years, so it’s time to do something for me.
“Ben will probably be laughing at me because I am doing it all on my own. I hope he will be looking down and thinking, ‘Well done for giving it a go, but let’s see if it takes off.’”
True Stars Academy will teach six to 16-year-olds at Holy Trinity Church in Shepherdess Walk between 10am and 1pm on Saturdays from January 8. To sign up, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone 020 7619 9166.