September 20 2014 Latest news:
By Alan Davies
Sunday, August 10, 2014
Youngsters from stage schools in Welwyn Garden City and Potters Bar performed alongside stars of stage and screen at a packed West End theatre.
More than 80 children from the borough took part in a fundraising show for the Royal Marsden Hospital and Noah’s Ark Children’s Hospice.
The Top Hat Stage School pupils took to the stage in front of a capacity audience of 2,000 at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane for the three-hour charity event.
The show, which raised £5,000 for the two charities, was a musical extravaganza that saw stars from TV and the West End perform alongside the WGC Top Hat students and pupils from the theatre school’s other academies in Hertfordshire.
Top Hat principal Warren Bacci said: “Pupils from our school in Welwyn joined students from our Stevenage, Hertford, St Albans and Potters Bar schools to perform at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane.
“They have been working really hard since the beginning of the year for this show and all of their hard work has really paid off.
“It was an incredible experience, and the children were so professional, and didn’t show any signs of nerves considering they were appearing on a stage in London’s world-famous West End in front of an audience of 2,000 people.”
Among the celebrities taking part was actress Gemma Oaten, who played Rachel Breckle in Emmerdale.
She made her West End debut singing Part of Your World from The Little Mermaid.
The children also had a masterclass in performing on a West End stage from Charlotte Gooch and Alan Burkitt, the stars of the Olivier award-winning musical Top Hat The Musical.
West End star Simon Bailey gave an incredible performance of Anthem from Chess and was joined by professionals Katie Paine and Matt McKenna from We Will Rock You and Chloe Hart, from Hairspray.
The gala show helped mark Top Hat’s 20th anniversary.
Mr Bacci added: “The children put their heart and soul into their performances, and were truly inspirational. It was a very emotional night.
“And all of the celebrities that turned up to support the charities and the children were blown away by the standard of the kids’ performances.
“We are so grateful to all of the children’s families who have supported us through this journey to put on this amazing show, and we are so thrilled to be able to help the Royal Marsden and Noah’s Ark.”