Ariel’s Othellos push boundaries at annual showcase

Ariel Othellos put on an outstanding show at The Hawth. Stephen Candy Photography
Ariel Othellos put on an outstanding show at The Hawth. Stephen Candy Photography

Othellos Showcase, The Hawth, Crawley, November 4. Review contributed by Ariel

This year’s Ariel Othellos showcase is being hailed as the best ever.

Packed with creativity, the lasting impression was of a show that took risks and pushed the boundaries.

There were no simplistic lines of singers, or dancers and actors performing uncomplicated pieces; every number within this show was challenging, whether it was intricate choreography or drama pieces with evocative acting and lots of lines.

The Othellos students, who are aged from five to young adult, rose to the challenge and produced an outstanding show.

All Othellos who performed on The Hawth’s main stage have special educational or physical needs but with the assistance of their Buddies, none were daunted by the task at hand.

The opening number used fluorescent light sabres and lights attached to wheelchairs to create the alien invasion in musical theatre number War of the Worlds. Through their great acting skills the students created the threatening mood and prospect of what an invasion from another planet would be like.

Likewise, hit musical Tommy saw the young character breaking through the taunts of others to become a hero and pinball wizard.

Throughout the evening the cast sung with soul recreating inspirational numbers from Lady Gaga’s ‘Born this Way’ to a James Bond medley and war time classics to Fleetwood Mac’s popular song ‘Landslide’.

On several songs the performances were enriched with support from Ariel’s choir and contemporary dance group, adding depth and some magical choreography. The diversity of the songs added to the strength of the show and allowed each student to shine in either a lead role or as part of the ensemble.

The end of the first act was brought to a dramatic end with percussion instruments and metal upturned refuse bins to create a cacophony of sound and rhythm, which had the audience cheering with number ‘Run Boy Run’.

The acting talents of the Othellos were demonstrated throughout and two students were courageous enough to perform their solo LAMDA exam pieces. Both were intricate monologues, which were superbly delivered.

Enjoyment shone in all the actors’ faces in their energetic performances of Legally Blonde and West Side Story. Everyone kept in character and were clearly having the time of their lives. The cast’s enthusiasm for theatre was never more apparent than in the finale piece ‘This is Me’ from the Greatest Showman. From youngest to the oldest everyone was having a night to remember.

Artistic director Nicci Hopson said: “This show was packed with variety and challenging numbers and I am so delighted that it all came together. It takes a huge team to put on a show of this magnitude and I would like to thank the Othellos students, the buddies, our tutors, the Ariel choirs and dancers and our fantastic technical team for producing an unforgettable show.”

Ariel offers free trials for anyone interested in joining the Othellos classes, which are based in Burgess Hill, Crawley and East Grinstead.

Les Miserables, The Capitol, Horsham, review: Ariel performers put on a stunning musical. Click here to read the full review.