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Drama students take panto on the road

Pupils perform parts of their panto ‘Cinderella’ at Blackfriars Academy

This Christmas season, SGS took their panto ‘Cinderella’ on the road as they visited Blackfriars Academy to perform their hilarious take on the classic fairy tale and to run workshops with the drama students at the special school.

After performing two sell-out nights at SGS, part of the cast re-created a selection of the main scenes to entertain the audience who cheered, boo’ed and performed their parts of ‘oh yes they did’ and ‘oh no they didn’t’ with perfect comedy timing!

After lunch the cast, guided by Head of Drama Mr Matt King-Sayce, ran a workshop with pupils from Blackfriars’ Drama Group. The activities were based around the scene that sees Cinderella’s wicked stepmother destroy her invite to the ball.

‘Ugly Stepsisters’ Ben and Toby then taught the class their signature ‘Don’t Cha’ dance – causing much fun and laughter with staff joining in to strut their best moves!

A Q&A session with the cast rounded up the workshop where the pupils shared their top tips for learning lines, how they get into character and approaches to overcoming nerves.

Ben Smethurst said: “Performing at Blackfriars Academy was so much fun and I’m glad I was able to make everyone feel happy and part of a wider community.”

Rosie Moore, who played Baron Hardup, added: “It was wonderful performing to a wider audience, the kids seemed ecstatic to see us. I found the whole experience not only fun but also educational. I’m extremely proud of the whole cast and the work it took to put on the show.”

As a thank you, Blackfriars Academy treated the SGS cast to an afternoon tea with delicious homemade scones, jam and cream.

Principal Alison Parr joined the group, inviting SGS pupils to ask questions about how the curriculum and teaching is adapted at Blackfriars to suit the range of physical and educational needs of their pupils, the communication styles used and how performing arts play such an important role in their curriculum.

Head of Upper Sixth Mrs Heather Ashton, who led the trip, commented: “This was a fabulous, fun-filled experience for both SGS pupils and Blackfriars pupils. The panto was superbly acted and much joy was spread by our pupils. The workshop was led brilliantly and it was lovely to see both sets of pupils, irrespective of need, working together and having a great time. Many thanks to all involved.”