The Just Sing performance at the Kenneth More Theatre was an excellent celebration of 10 years of Performing Arts at the Redbridge Drama Centre. Over 150 children came together to put on a full scale production with a multitude of well-known songs and even included dance performances and dramatic monologues and group pieces.
In January 2013 the Redbridge Drama Centre launched their Performing Arts School. A dedicated three-hour provision where children received professional training in singing, dancing and acting. The demand for performing arts was growing at this time, the first Performing Arts Class was started in 2010 and people were so keen to sign up that the class quickly found itself full and with a waiting list. The class is still taught by the original teachers, Theresa Edwards and Paul Dart, but it was clear that more needed to be done to meet the demand for this triple-threat training.
The launch of the Performing Arts School by Sally Polden marked a new era of training at the Redbridge Drama Centre. Since 1975 the Drama Centre has been providing theatre classes piloted by the determined Hugh Lovegrove. The very first class that was made available was the Redbridge Youth Theatre Workshop. This group continues to this day and has performed all kinds of shows, has toured across Europe and even closed the National’s Theatre Connexions programme by performing on the Olivier Stage in 2016.
In order to ensure that the Performing Arts School was providing the highest level of training Sally and Keith undertook a major recruitment programme interviewing some of the best performers to find the perfect singing, dancing and acting teachers. Over the years there have been many talented teachers involved with the school but some of the longest standing teachers have been involved from the beginning and throughout including Gemma Eves, David Alexander, Owen Smith and Georgia Benson.
The Just Sing performance was a celebration of everything this school has managed to achieve but also included the success of all the classes and the children that attend them. The 150 children involved in the performance were a collection of students from the Performing Arts School, Musical Theatre Classes, Dance Academy and Street Styles and even the aforementioned Redbridge Youth Theatre Workshop. Alongside the young performers was a full band to provide live music and conducted by Robert Hyman.
The entire show was hosted by Callum Balmforth and Rosie Polden who were two of the original members of the Performing Arts School when it launched in 2013. They continued to be involved in many shows, classes and events and were also part of the inaugural class of the Redbridge Drama and Dance College, a higher education provision based at the Redbridge Drama Centre that provides full performing arts training to students aged 16-21.
The performances were well attended across the two night run and even had the Mayor of Redbridge in attendance.
I am so proud to see all the performers past and present at the Kenneth More Theatre celebrating 10 years of Performing Arts at the Redbridge Drama Centre. Also listening to some of their achievements, putting Redbridge at the centre of excellence. I would like to say a huge congratulations to all of the students, teachers and parents for their hard work and time invested throughout the past 10 years – well done and keep up the good workThe Mayor of Redbridge, Cllr Jyotsna Islam
If you are interested in finding out more about the courses and classes run at the Redbridge Drama Centre you can find more information here. Come September there will also be new classes running at the Kenneth More Theatre.