ARTTS International

Last updated

ARTTS International was a multi-discipline film, television, radio and stage training centre in Bubwith, East Riding of Yorkshire, England established by John Sichel in 1990. The centre ran for 15 years until his death in 2005, during which time over 500 students trained there, most of whom have since found work in the entertainment industry. [1]



The ARTTS International Plaque

After working many years in the theatre and television industry, Producer John Sichel fell out with the commissioners at the BBC due to his opinionated and strong views about quality over quantity and lack of originality in content being produced.

In order to find what he felt would be a forum for creative output, John, along with co-founder and wife Elfie Sichel, converted a disused pig farm into a professional television, film, theatre and radio training facility, with the idea that learning should be by doing, rather than reading. [2]

"ARTTS" was an acronym for Advanced Residential Theatre & Television Skillcentre". It was designed for trainees to live and learn together in a professional environment. In fact, one accommodation block was a suitably converted pig stables.

ARTTS opened in 1990 with 12 trainees, most of whom were interviewed before the facility had even been built. One of these trainees, Geoffrey Bicker, went on to become ARTTS Technical Director for over 10 years, and throughout this time ARTTS stood by its proud "94% Employment Record".[ citation needed ]

Its on site training contained a 200-seat theatre, three television studios, a radio studio and full location equipment for television and 16mm and 35mm film. With an emphasis on the personal as well as the professional, trainees were pushed to learn the essentials of how to keep and maintain a job and reputation as someone continually employable whilst nurturing their creativity and remaining enthusiastic.

Despite its constant financial battles, ARTTS continued to provide skills to around 50 trainees a year from all over the world.

On 5 April 2005, John Sichel died and despite attempts to continue this legacy, spearheaded by not only Elfie but their daughters Katrina Sichel and Tanya Byron, and former graduates from Derek Donohoe and Geoffrey Bicker, ARTTS closed down six months afterwards. [1] Geoffrey and Derek went on to form AON Productions, continuing the corporate video work of ARTTS Productions.

The site has been restored to a usable state and now is the basis for GSP Studios, a small film company based in Yorkshire.

Notable trainees

Notable trainers

Related Research Articles

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Voice-over</span> Piece of narration that is not accompanied by an image of the speaker

Voice-over is a production technique where a voice—that is not part of the narrative (non-diegetic)—is used in a radio, television production, filmmaking, theatre, or other presentations. The voice-over is read from a script and may be spoken by someone who appears elsewhere in the production or by a specialist voice actor. Synchronous dialogue, where the voice-over is narrating the action that is taking place at the same time, remains the most common technique in voice-overs. Asynchronous, however, is also used in cinema. It is usually prerecorded and placed over the top of a film or video and commonly used in documentaries or news reports to explain information.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Timothy West</span> English film, stage, and television actor

Timothy Lancaster West, CBE is an English actor and presenter. He has appeared frequently on both stage and television, including stints in both Coronation Street and EastEnders, and also in Not Going Out, as the original Geoffrey Adams. He is married to the actress Prunella Scales; from 2014 to 2019, they had been seen travelling together on British and overseas canals in the Channel 4 series Great Canal Journeys.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Derek Jacobi</span> English actor (born 1938)

Sir Derek George Jacobi is an English actor. Jacobi is known for his work at the Royal National Theatre and for his film and television roles. He has received numerous accolades including a BAFTA Award, two Olivier Awards, two Primetime Emmy Awards, two Screen Actors Guild Awards, and a Tony Award. He was given a knighthood for his services to theatre by Queen Elizabeth II in 1994.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Peter Davison</span> English actor

Peter Malcolm Gordon Moffett, known professionally as Peter Davison, is an English actor with many credits in television dramas and sitcoms. He made his television acting debut in 1975 and became famous in 1978 as Tristan Farnon in the BBC's television adaptation of James Herriot's All Creatures Great and Small stories.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Geoffrey Palmer (actor)</span> British actor (1927–2020)

Geoffrey Dyson Palmer was an English actor. He was best known for his roles in British television sitcoms playing Jimmy Anderson in The Fall and Rise of Reginald Perrin (1976–79), Ben Parkinson in Butterflies (1978–1983) and Lionel Hardcastle in As Time Goes By (1992–2005). His film appearances include A Fish Called Wanda (1988), The Madness of King George (1994), Mrs Brown (1997) and Tomorrow Never Dies (1997).

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Bruce Byron</span> English actor

Bruce Michael Byron is an English actor best known for his role as DC Terry Perkins in The Bill. He originally followed a career in music, before started acting at 20.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Italia Conti Academy of Theatre Arts</span> School in Woking, Surrey, United Kingdom

The Italia Conti Academy of Theatre Arts is a performing arts conservatoire based in Woking, England. It was founded by the actress Italia Conti in 1911. The first production at Italia Conti Academy was the play Where the Rainbow Ends, in which Italia Conti was tasked with training the cast. Italia Conti is a member of the Federation of Drama Schools and accredited by the Council for Dance, Drama and Musical Theatre.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Tanya Byron</span> British psychologist (born 1967)

Tanya Byron is a British psychologist, writer, and media personality, best known for her work as a child therapist on television shows Little Angels and The House of Tiny Tearaways. She also co-created the BBC Two sitcom The Life and Times of Vivienne Vyle with Jennifer Saunders, and still contributes articles to various newspapers.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Bubwith</span> Village and civil parish in the East Riding of Yorkshire, England

Bubwith is a village and civil parish in the East Riding of Yorkshire, England. The village is situated about 6 miles (10 km) north-east of Selby, and 12 miles (19 km) south-east of York. It is situated on the east bank of the River Derwent, west of which is the Selby District of North Yorkshire. It lies between Selby and Market Weighton on the A163 road.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Edge Hill University</span> English public university

Edge Hill University is a campus-based public university in Ormskirk, Lancashire, England, which opened in 1885 as Edge Hill College, the first non-denominational teacher training college for women in England, before admitting its first male students in 1959. In 2005, Edge Hill was granted Taught Degree Awarding Powers by the Privy Council and became Edge Hill University on 18 May 2006.

John Peter Sichel was a British director of film, stage and television, and, later in life, a film, television, and theatre trainer.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">National Broadcasting School</span>

The National Broadcasting School began operating in 1980 as an independent organization supported by the UK's Independent Broadcasting Authority (IBA) to provide professional training in radio presentation, production and journalism for Independent Local Radio (ILR). NBS's chairman was Peter Baldwin, deputy director of radio at the IBA, and one of the three governors appointed by them.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">The Leeds Studios</span> Television production complex

The Leeds Studios is a television production complex on Kirkstall Road in Leeds, West Yorkshire, England. ITV plc had proposed to close the studios in 2009, however later in the year had a change of mind and instead decided to refit them as high-definition studios.

The Adelaide College of the Arts, also known as AC Arts and formerly known as Adelaide Centre for the Arts, is a campus of TAFE SA that specialises in performing arts education. It is located on Light Square, Adelaide

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Actor</span> Person who acts in a dramatic or comic production and works in film, television, theatre, or radio

An actor or actress is a person who portrays a character in a production. The actor performs "in the flesh" in the traditional medium of the theatre or in modern media such as film, radio, and television. The analogous Greek term is ὑποκριτής (hupokritḗs), literally "one who answers". The actor's interpretation of a role—the art of acting—pertains to the role played, whether based on a real person or fictional character. This can also be considered an "actor's role," which was called this due to scrolls being used in the theaters. Interpretation occurs even when the actor is "playing themselves", as in some forms of experimental performance art.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Aneurin Barnard</span> Welsh actor

Aneurin Barnard is a Welsh actor. He is known for playing Davey in Hunky Dory, Claude in The Truth About Emanuel, Bobby Willis in Cilla, Tim in Thirteen, King Richard III in The White Queen, William in Dead in a Week, Gibson in Dunkirk, and Boris Pavlikovsky in The Goldfinch.

Andrew James Knight was a Canadian animator, film and television director, voice actor, and creator of Ned's Newt, Pig City and Get Ed.

Classical acting is a traditional type of acting centered around the external behavior of the performer. It may be contrasted with newer styles of acting, developed around the ideas of Konstantin Stanislavski, which place emphasis on an actor's psychological relationship with their part.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">James Norton (actor)</span> English actor (born 1985)

James Geoffrey Ian Norton is an English film, television, and stage actor. He is known for roles in the television series Happy Valley, Grantchester, War & Peace and McMafia. He earned a nomination for the British Academy Television Award for Best Supporting Actor in 2015 for his performance as Tommy Lee Royce in Happy Valley.

Arthur M. Butler, known professionally as Artt Butler, is an American voice actor. He is best known for his voice roles as Captain Ackbar in Star Wars: The Clone Wars, Rafael Diaz in Star vs. the Forces of Evil and Shang Tsung and Cyrax in the animated direct-to-video films Mortal Kombat Legends: Scorpion's Revenge (2020) and Mortal Kombat Legends: Battle of the Realms (2021)


  1. 1 2 "Tanya's big picture on tiny tearaways". Yorkshire Post . Johnston Press Digital Publishing. 27 January 2006. Retrieved 13 December 2009.
  2. Laycock, Mike (10 September 2010). "ARTTS International training centre at Bubwith on sale for £1m". The York Press. Retrieved 4 June 2020.

Coordinates: 53°49′22″N0°54′21″W / 53.822640°N 0.905925°W / 53.822640; -0.905925