Praise for Ariel’s Crawley Academy at annual showcase

Ariels Crawley Academy students at The Hawth. Picture by Stephen Candy Photography
Ariels Crawley Academy students at The Hawth. Picture by Stephen Candy Photography

Ariel’s Crawley Academy was delighted to invite Crawley Town Mayor, Cllr Brian Quinn, to The Hawth Theatre on Sunday, July 2, for the annual showcase.

The show is the culmination of many months of work and provides Ariel’s students (aged four to 19) with the chance to perform on a professional stage and demonstrate the drama, dance and singing skills they have been honing.

This year’s showcase was particularly polished and innovative and it was great to see the progress that many students have made.

The Town Mayor said: “My wife Sue and I were delighted to attend the Ariel Drama Academy Annual Showcase. It was wonderful to see such great talent – it was beyond our expectations! The singing, dancing and drama were brilliant and it is great to see such talent in and around Crawley. All the performers were so professional.”

As always, it was a packed show with 27 theatre pieces.

The musical theatre numbers were a real hit with the audience as they were treated to substantial excerpts from Chicago, School of Rock and Wicked. The show also included an endearing piece from Pinocchio, performed by the youngest students. These students were supported on stage by older students who volunteer to ‘buddy’ the little ones. This fosters a great academy ethos and the little Hamlets loved every moment in the limelight.

An assortment of acting performances conjured many different atmospheres and emotions, from a cute rendition of the Tiger who Came to Tea to a complex rhyming piece called Key to the Castle. The success of this piece depended on acting skills, precise timing and students making sure they did not forget the words as the story built and repeated itself.

The older students transported the audience back in time to the Salem witch trials, as depicted by American playwright Arthur Miller.

Several students also performed solo pieces of drama. These were monologues that they had mastered as part of their LAMDA examinations.

The students’ vocal performances were strong throughout the evening. In Act One a beautiful rendition of Ed Sheeran’s ‘Photograph’ was a real highlight. The use of a photo frame prop, which framed groups of students as they sang, added to the magic. A rousing rendition of Mika’s ‘We Are Golden’ contained such joy. It lifted everyone’s spirits as the performers gave it their all, both vocally and in terms of movement and acting.

A group of older students called the Octavias captivated the theatre with an a capella version of ‘Mamma Who Bore Me’ from Spring Awakening.

This was followed later by the Tempests singing an emotional ensemble song from new Broadway hit Dear Evan Hansen called ‘You Will Be Found’, which was delivered with passion and perfect harmonies.

Carefully choreographed dance numbers raised the temperature as contemporary moves were combined with classic dances like the Charleston, while ‘How Far I’ll Go’ from the Disney film Moana proved very popular too.

The showcase finished on a joyous note with the whole cast performing the showstopper ‘Everybody Say Yeah’ from the musical Kinky Boots.

Click here to find out more about Ariel.

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