Wembley actor to set up Brent’s first self empowerment drama school

PUBLISHED: 12:46 28 January 2019

Samuell Benta

Samuell Benta


Young people in Brent have a chance to learn key drama skills and self empowerment from an award winning actor and director from Wembley.

Samuell Benta is launching Young A-Listers, the borough’s first self empowerment drama school, at St John’s Community Centre in Crawford Avenue.

The classes, which begin with a free session on February 5, are aimed at young people aged nine to 17, and take place twice a week from 6pm to 9pm.

The 32-year-old creator of All About The McKenzies, who also acts in shows including BBC’s Silent Witness, struggled with bullying as a youngster and says personal development saved his life.

“I started acting at 17 with my first role 19,” he said. “When I was younger I didn’t have much direction, I wasn’t getting what I wanted from school, and felt lost when I finished my GCSEs.”

He left Copland Community School, now Ark Elvin, at 16, dropped out of college, worked part-time at Iceland and eventually did a BTEC in music technology which he loved.

“There came a point I got sick of everything, I wanted improvement in my life and was fed up with being depressed so I started reading a lot personal development books and watching motivational videos.”

In 2011 he created hit YouTube show All About the McKenzies. “As a young black man there wasn’t any positive black lead roles on TV back then. I wanted to create a show that showed us in a positive light. Through that I discovered writing, directing and TV production.”

Having received multiple credits for his work he’s branching out into education after parents of young children asked him for advice. “I had the idea of setting up my own school, being the change I want to see and being different from any other drama school and focus more on the individual’s inner power.”

He has developed a whole curriculum and syllabus for students who sign up to his classes.

They will learn acting skills, about the TV, film and theatre business, and also core development skills where they will use their own life experiences so they can better prepare themselves for their future.

He added: “I was bullied at school, especially in year 8. That was a horrible year but I’m glad it happened now. Never judge your bad experience; you can turn your bad experience into something good.”

Two groups, Tweens and Teens, cost £10 per class, siblings £5.

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