Ariel's East Grinstead performers give it their all at stellar showcase

Ariel's East Grinstead drama academy lit up the night at The Hawth, Crawley, recently at their annual showcase.

Thursday, 12th April 2018, 1:57 pm
Updated Friday, 8th June 2018, 2:51 am
Stephen Candy Photography
Stephen Candy Photography

Every student took part in the event, which provides them with the opportunity to display their skills in acting, singing and dancing.

The evocative entrance number called ‘Rise’ included the whole academy of more than 80 students, aged from five to 19, and set the tone for the evening.

Strong harmonies from the older students brought contemporary hits to life, including Christina Perri’s ‘A Thousand Years’ and the Chainsmokers and Coldplay collaboration ‘Something Just like This’.

Stephen Candy Photography

Meanwhile, the youngest students’ rendition of Madonna’s ‘Dear Jessie’ was full of fun and displayed some great acting-through-song skills.

Ariel is renowned for its Musical Theatre work and this show delivered with entertaining and humorous extracts. These included an excerpt from The Addams Family, who were holding a party for their relatives (both alive and deceased) and the poignant tale of Ariel the mermaid from the Little Mermaid who wanted to become human, but paid the ultimate price.

More current was the older student performances from Dear Evan Hansen. In this musical Evan is a high school senior who suffers from social anxiety disorder. After the death of a classmate, he fabricates a lie that inadvertently brings him closer to the classmate’s family.

The Othellos students and their Buddies delivered one of the night’s most memorable performances with their War of the Worlds musical theatre piece. Full of atmosphere and drama the piece was carefully choreographed and conveyed the fear and foreboding of the earth being invaded by aliens. Partly played in the dark, the extract was lit by UV light batons and the lights from student’s wheelchairs, making it both eerie and vivid.

Stephen Candy Photography

Imaginative acting pieces included a very funny comparison piece of theatre, which contrasted the youth of today with the lives of young people in the ’90s, demonstrating the explosion in social media.

The younger Ariels treated the audience to a comical look at what can go wrong on stage with their piece The Show That Never Goes Right.

Throughout the evening dance was demonstrated as a strong discipline with challenging group numbers and a stunning solo.

East Grinstead town mayor Julie Mockford was blown away by the talent on stage.

“It was an amazing production,” she said. “The performers were quite brilliant in everything they did. There was accomplished comedy, drama of a very high standard, wonderful singing and strong contemporary dance.

“Above all, every single performer gave 100 percent.”

The East Grinstead Academy is now accepting people for free trials. No experience is necessary and there is no audition process.

To book call 01444 250407 or visit

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