Stage-mad youngsters are the talk of the tune

PUBLISHED: 11:20 04 August 2006 | UPDATED: 14:47 12 May 2010

Members of the Ashwell Stage School

Members of the Ashwell Stage School

MEMBERS of the Ashwell Stage School have taken to the stage to perform scenes from hit musicals including Mary Poppins and The Lion King. More than 80 youngsters aged between five and 16 took part in two evenings of music and acting that had been adapte

MEMBERS of the Ashwell Stage School have taken to the stage to perform scenes from hit musicals including Mary Poppins and The Lion King.

More than 80 youngsters aged between five and 16 took part in two evenings of music and acting that had been adapted and re-written by stage school owners and classically-trained musicians Pippa and Tom Gearing.

Pippa said: "The shows were fantastic and all the children performed brilliantly.

"We both let things develop as much as we could. We wanted the children to be as natural as possible, to see what they come up with.

"We compiled the scripts and re-typed them in order to make them suitable for children.

"It was quite stressful but it was definitely the highlight of the year. They all worked really hard, particularly the older ones, who get a real buzz from the theatre."

The five to eight year olds performed scenes from The Lion King, while the eight to 11 year olds presented scenes from Mary Poppins, Annie and The Lion King.

The 11 to 16 year olds acted out scenes from Mary Poppins, Chicago and Annie.

The shows followed successful productions of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and James and the Giant Peach.

Pippa said: "The whole experience has been exciting for all involved and, hopefully, the children have learned a lot."

Pippa and Tom have seen membership at the stage school double in just over a year, with members coming from Ashwell, Steeple Morden, Guilden Morden, Hinxworth, Edworth, Litlington and Sandon.

Pippa said: "We now have more than 90 children enrolled. It's a real mix and we have some talented young performers.

"There are some truly gifted actors and singers. We feel very lucky to be working with these youngsters and I think we'll be seeing some of them on the West End stage.

"Some of them start with little confidence, but within a month or so you really start to see a difference. It's amazing to see the progress and it's something that you cannot put a price on."

For more details on the Ashwell Stage School call 01462 618138 or you can send an e-mail to ashwellstageschool@hotmail.com

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