A new departure for this, the first of two summer schools from Tomorrow's Talent.
Over the five days of the course, West End professionals spent time with the students, sharing their secrets and preparing extracts for performance.
Rebecca Louis, dance captain for Oliver! in Drury Lane, said the experience “renewed her faith in teaching”, and it was her numbers that opened the show. I've seen Food Glorious Food more times than you've had hot gruel, but never with so much imagination. You could tell the kids could smell the saveloys and see the peaches and cream. The power of imagination alone took us straight to The Three Cripples for a lusty Oom Pah Pah.
Anna Lowe, working on Chicago, gave us Razzle Dazzle, sung with spirit by Sam Toland, with some very inventive choreography going on.
A bundle of blankets conjured up Les Misérables, whose MD Adam Rowe worked with the students on the Tuesday – a lively “Little People” and an impressive Fantine from Sophie Walker.
Julie Atherton is no stranger to Tomorrow's Talent, and we had a generous helping of Avenue Q, featuring ping-pong ball puppets of varying complexity, and including Julie's signature number, A Fine Line, with Laura, Polly and Laura voicing Kate.
And these two dozen kids [dance captain Liz Pilgrim] still had energy left for a brilliant Mamma Mia finale, including some creative curtain calls – this last segment from director Gavin Wilkinson, whose boundless energy and enthusiasm are the driving force behind Tomorrow's Talent.
photos courtesy of Vanessa Martyn and Richard Shorrocks