Where: Gostins Building, Hannover St
How much: £15 per session
The Little School of Horrors is the UK’s ONLY special effects school for children (there are grownup classes, don’t worry). They cover a wide range of special effects topics, varying from the creation of masks and prosthetics to film and TV inspired props. No matter the topic though, this is a boss way to get t̶h̶e̶ ̶k̶i̶d̶s̶ ̶o̶u̶t̶ ̶o̶f̶ ̶y̶o̶u̶r̶ ̶h̶a̶i̶r their imaginations going.
Classes run in an award winning special effects workshop and Head Teacher/Dean of Demonology Amber has worked on shows like Dr Who and Sherlock. The mischievous Mr Grimm, the school’s resident monster and mascot, overlooks proceedings.
In the surroundings of Grimm’s fantasy realm kids can design and create their very own projects in 2D and 3D form with no strict deadline. You can tell they’re in good hands, because even the 7-11 year olds’ finished projects are dead good – we would proudly display that rabid plant in our window, because it still looks healthier than anything we’ve tried to keep alive.
They also run kids’ parties, and everybody gets to keep their own creations meaning you don’t even have to bother with party bags.
We reckon Mr Grimm would particularly benefit the 16-18 bracket, whose classes follow a little more structure in order to simulate working for a client. Aimed at those who either have an interest or are looking at a career in the creative industry, whether it be special effects/theatre production/prop making or artistry, they’ll learn new skills and build a portfolio of mad creations. From lightweight armour for a Cosplay meet to prosthetics for a low budget student movie, they’ll receive advice and hands-on experience with a range of materials. Each student is given a sketchbook to record all the stages of the project (great to discuss in portfolio meetings/interviews) as well as ideas and sketches. Once the project is completed, professional photographs are taken – ‘built own Yeti suit’ is bound to make any UCAS application stand out. Classes thoughtfully start at 11am, because no self-respecting teenager is up before brunch.
Adult classes take the format of “Chaotic Crafting”, where students set the projects themselves. You can bring along a project you started at home and need help finishing (we blame YOU, Neil Buchanan – our damned angel is still a bottle of Fairy Liquid) or maybe you need a prop for a theatre production, or a sculptural piece for an exhibition, or have proper volcanic adult acne only SFX makeup will disguise. All you need to do is come with an idea and they will help make it a reality in their wacky workshop. Classes operate on a flexible basis, meaning you can attend when you like. You simply pick up from where the project was last worked on, and there is no deadline as it’s a weekly ongoing club.