Ariel teach the 3 major disciplines in theatre of drama, song and dance and have 60 members in the Horsham Academy made up of students from 5 to 19 years, divided into 4 age groups, (Ariels 5-7/Prosperos 8-11/Orsinos 11-13 and Tempests 14+). The Othellos+ are students with special needs, who joined the Horsham Showcase as they rehearse on a different night usually, and they all had the chance to show their talents during a nearly 2 hour varied programme.
The lights went down and the show started with the full Academy slowly coming on stage to the song ‘Rise Up’. They choreographed their way on and off the stage with great precision. It was a wonderful opening number with a sea of red & black t-shirts.
They then wowed us with a mixture of dancing, drama & singing that came across as professional and well-rehearsed. They were very confident and were thoroughly enjoying their performances, as did the audience.
Having been active in musical theatre, we were especially interested in the sung pieces, even though we weren’t always familiar with the songs, they were performed with great style, by all the groups, showing some very talented students and great harmonies as well as storytelling.
The dance numbers were very well choreographed whether for single dancers or the full company, using the large stage area fully and effectively. Also, a special mention to the 3 Othellos+, whose pieces were such fun and it was great to see their confidence & joy to be on the stage.
Technically the show was presented fairly simply, with effective lighting and haze effects, no scenery other than a couple of white boxes and it ran smoothly with no hold ups. There was a lovely personal touch when the Prospero’s sang ‘A Better Place’. The background was full of photos of ‘special people’ in their lives and a beautiful ending showing the whole group, this brought many a tear to the audience.
The young performers, regardless of age, obviously loved being on stage and enjoyed the chance of working together, had fun and gave their audience of fans a totally special evening. We haven’t mentioned any individual names because every one of the Academy can be very proud of what they achieved. Who knows what the future may have in store for them!