This year’s Ariel Othellos showcase is being rated as the best ever. Packed with creativity, the lasting impression is of a show which 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 5 up to young adult, rose to the challenge and produced an outstanding show.
All the Othellos students 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 in 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. Fulfilling a big vocal challenge the students filled the venue making an impact with these strong numbers.
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 numbers the performances were enriched with support from Ariel’s choir and Ariel’s contemporary dance group, adding depth and more magical choreography. The diversity of the song choices 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, used as drums to create a cacophony of sound and rhythm which had the audience cheering with number ‘Run Boy Run’.
The acting talents of the Othello students were demonstrated throughout and two students were courageous enough to perform their solo LAMDA exam pieces, both were intricate monologues which were superbly delivered. Fun and enjoyment shone in all the actors’ faces as they captured the audience with their energetic performances of Legally Blonde and West Side Story, everyone kept in character and were clearly having the time of their life. The cast’s enthusiasm for theatre was never more apparent than in the finale piece ‘This is Me’ from the Greatest Showman, from the youngest to the oldest it was clear that everyone was having a night they would 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. For more information visit www.arielct.co.uk