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Pippa Cleary

Our Founder 

 

Hi, I’m Miss Pippa and I founded Pippa’s Poppets. From a very young age, music has been central to my world. I found my spiritual home in Musical Theatre, and it is my ambition to share the joy and confidence my passion has given me with as many little people as possible. 

 

Pippa’s Poppets early days

After graduating from Bristol University with a BA in Music, I went to work for Stagecoach, which is where I discovered a passion for inspiring little ones through song. Pippa’s Poppets was born out of a conversation with a local mum who was fed up with the same old repertoire of preschool songs. Inspired, I set about composing and within a couple of days, had a handful of fresh, catchy songs to offer. I started running classes in Pimlico structured around original music and, before I knew it, had garnered quite a following, and so it was that Pippa’s Poppets was established.  

 

Where we are now

Since the early days of hosting classes in my mum’s living room in Pimlico, Pippa’s Poppets has flourished. We now hold classes in some of London’s most reputable nurseries,with clients including Miss Daisy’s Nurseries, Young England Kindergarten, The Kindergartens, Eaton Square Kindergartens, The Wilcox Nursery and The Cupcake Family Club. I am now supported by a team of highly skilled musical theatre performers who, with the help of our friendly little bear, Pippa Panda, run classes, workshops, and parties across London. 

 

My life in musical theatre and composing

I am an award-winning British composer and songwriter. I am the only female British musical theatre composer to have had three shows produced in the West End. Including ‘My Son’s A Queer (But What Can You do?)’ and ‘The Great British Bake Off Musical’ which both ran in 2023. For the 2023 Olivier Awards ceremony, I wrote the opening number ‘The West End Stage’ performed by Hannah Waddingham and other West End stars.

 

I am currently writing songs for a new film ‘Journey to The Christmas Star’ commissioned by Storm Films where I am working alongside acclaimed American screenwriter and producer Philip LaZebnick (Pocahontas, Prince of Egypt, Mulan). 

 

My work also includes music for award winning adverts including ‘I Love Doing Dishes’ for Finish and ‘The Feelings’ for This is Jelly. My highly praised musical ‘In the Willows’, written with hip hop producer Kieran Merrick, toured the UK in 2019. I have composed songs for a musical adaptation of ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ for BBC Teach and also won the Times Carol Competition 2013 for her song ‘In the Snow’. My voice features on the popular award-winning children’s app ‘Hip Hop Hen’ which helps teach phonics through song. I also won The Arts Foundation Fellowship for Composition in 2012 and I'm mentored by the renowned composer Claude Michel Schonberg. 

 

Whilst studying music at Bristol University, I met my long-term writing partner, Jake Brunger. Together we have written many popular musicals, including ‘The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole Aged 13 3/4’ (which was nominated for both the Evening Standard Award for Best New Musical and a UK Theatre Award), ‘The Great British Soap Opera’, ‘Prodigy’ and the recent West End production of ‘The Great British Bake Off Musical’. We have also written three children’s musicals together for the Singapore Repertory Theatre, ‘Red Riding Hood’, ‘Treasure Island’ and ‘Chicken Little’.

I’d like to thank all the mums and children who have grown up with my songs and made the job of inspiring and teaching early years so special.

 

 

Meet the Team

Charlotte Wakefield

Head 
 

Hello! I'm Miss Charlotte, Head of Pippa’s Poppets.

 

I am a two time Laurence Olivier Award nominated actress with a professional West End Theatre, Television, Film and Voice Over career spanning over 20 years, I have had the honour of working closely with groups of young children in many of these roles including, Maria in The Sound Of Music and Truly Scrumptious in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. Through my work, I have seen first-hand how music and drama can help young people thrive, both in learning new skills and also in gaining confidence and I believe it to be an integral part of a child’s development.

 

Pippa and I first met last year when I was cast as the lead role of Gemma in The Great British Bake Off Musical for which Pippa was the composer and co-lyricist. We instantly became firm friends and learned how similar we are in the approach to our work. We share a passion for music and little ones, so when the opportunity arose to work alongside her at Pippa’s Poppets, I jumped at the chance.

 

Having run the Father Christmas side of Pippa’s Poppets for a few years now, I am very excited to be part of this side of the company where I can help to build lasting relationships with our clients, ensure our classes are both educational and accessible for children and to make sure that our teachers deliver our wonderful lessons in a way that will not only make memories, but teach integral skills and of course, the joy of music and drama.

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Miss Lizzie

Hello, I'm Miss Lizzie! 

 

I've been a teacher with Pippa's Poppets since 2021, and have previously taught with Stagecoach and Razzmatazz.
 

I graduated from vocational training at the International College of Musical Theatre in 2018, and have worked as a performer and teacher ever since. I have toured and done three West End Christmas seasons with Peppa Pig Live since 2019, as well as graduating with a first class degree in Musical Theatre from Middlesex University in 2022.
 

I love working with children encouraging them to use their imaginations and silliness to learn music. Every lesson is a performance and I enjoy bringing the same energy I would to the stage to my lessons.

My favourite Poppets song is 'Humpty Dumpty' because I love the surprising twist from the original and getting the kids to do their rock star faces! 

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Mr Curtis

Hello, I’m Mr Curtis!

 

I joined Pippa’s Poppets in 2019 and I love it! I primarily work as our 'Father Christmas' every year!

 

My background is in Musical Theatre, having graduated from the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama in 2017. I’ve since gone on to work with children in almost everything I’ve done from Playing Mr Toad in a primary school tour of “The Wind in the Willows”, to guiding adventures through the jungle and telling tales of cheeky Chimpanzees and Giant Gorillas. And, if you’re lucky, you may find me donning the big red suit at Christmas time!

Seeing children's faces light up when they’re singing and playing during class is my favourite part of the job and my favourite Pippa’s Poppets song is “Grow Sunflower Grow”. 

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Miss Harriet

Hello! I’m Miss Harriet!

 

I started working with Pippa’s Poppets two years ago after I studied Musical theatre at The Mustical Theatre Academy in London and graduating in 2020.

I have ten years teaching experience in music, drama and dance in both Hull (Where I am from!) and London.

I love teaching children of all ages and helping them build confidence, express themselves and have fun. I work as an actor and have done extensive work in children’s and family theatre, most recently with Horrible Histories so love seeing children engage and learn through the arts.

My favourite Pippa’s Poppets song is definitely Bounce, bounce, bounce as it is very energetic and lots of fun!

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Mr Will

Hello, I'm Mr Will!

 

I trained as an opera singer at the Royal Academy of Music and the Royal College Music and since then, have sung all over the world such as Italy and Sydney Opera House. Outside of the performing world, I do my other passion - which is educating young children music. My classes consist of singing, dancing and the invaluable skill of rhythm.

I love to educate children with fun and engaging games, songs to sing along and dance to and mindfulness with classical music. As well as children’s music classes, I also teach singing and drama to students all across London. I love choreographing routines for the pupils and seeking out new songs & material to share with them. I teach fitness classes to adults too, which helps me burn off some energy!

My favourite Pippa Poppet’s song is ‘Sing With Me’ it’s a belter!, and the kids love to sing along just as much as I do too. 

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Miss Rosie

Hello, I'm Miss Rosie! 


I have taught, drama, dance and music to little ones for a while now and passionate about early years learning. 

I trained at the Liverpool Institute of Performing Arts and graduated from their Bachelor Honours Acting course. I have since been working in new writing and regional theatre as well as short films. I have a prolific dance background and love to incorporate movement in my sessions as much as possible. I have previous experience teaching drama, dance and musical theatre. I enjoy seeing children of early ages developing through music and seeing how their personalities are expressed through our sessions. Being able to use my professional arts experience with my teaching of early years is such a joy. 

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Miss zoe

Hello, I'm Miss Zoe!

 

I have been teaching Music, Drama and Dance to young people for a number of years. with Pippa's Poppets.

Encouraging children and young people to use their imagination and expand their creativity through Music and Performance is something I love to do.

 

I previously worked professionally in Theatre internationally and in the UK for a number of years, from Shakespeare to Musical Theatre. I now work as a Voice and Dialect coach having received my Masters from Bristol Old Vic, and coach at the UK's top drama conservatoires. 
 

My favourite Pippa’s Poppets song is ‘The Pirate song!’ Because who doesn’t love pretending to be a Pirate! Very much looking forward to singing and having lots of fun with you all!

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Miss Elinor

Hello, I'm Miss Elinor!

 

Having previously run a successful franchise of a well known baby, toddler and pre-school music group, I was delighted to join a team where I can use my extensive knowledge of early years development and love of music to provide our Poppets with fantastic fun!
 

Like Pippa, I took a keen interest in Musical Theatre from a young age and went on to study Musical Theatre and Contemporary Music Performance at ArtsEd and BIMM respectively. 

I have always married my creative skills with my passion for working with children and young people and truly believe that engaging with music, dance and drama from a young age is not just beneficial, but fundamental.

Whilst my background is in performance, I spent a number of years as a childcare practitioner, with a focus on children with additional needs / disabilities. From here I went on to work as Head of Recruitment for a company who provide specialist childcare practitioners to families and children with a wide range of support needs. Here I worked closely with over 50 clients, taking each family through the placement process from beginning to end, keeping understanding and a bespoke approach at the heart of all my interactions. 

My favourite Pippas Poppet's tune is Animal's of the Jungle! I

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