Mark Hall Academy performers return to stage after pandemic

Education / Wed 1st Feb 2023 at 11:45am

YOUNG performers have returned to the stage for the first time since before the pandemic.

Mark Hall Academy, in Harlow, welcomed back a live audience to see students perform in their own version of Cinderella.

The pantomime – delayed from last month due to snow – saw 14 musicians, 17 actors and five backstage technicians from Year 7 to 10 take centre stage.

The cast and crew rehearsed twice a week for three months, having auditioned for their parts back in September.

The modernised version of the classic included references to Stranger Things and Kate Bush, a redemption for the Ugly Sisters set to Beyonce, as well as traditional pantomime humour.

The show’s soundtrack was performed by three student bands.

Phil Watson, head of performing arts, said: “There has been no school show at Mark Hall since before the pandemic, so it was fantastic to see the school return to life as a performing arts venue, sharing the talent of our amazing students with parents, teachers and the community.  

“The actors’ courageous and creative performances had the audience in stitches.

The show was put on for two nights this month, after snow saw the school closed when it was originally due to run in December.

The show will be followed with more performances this year, including summer comedy production Ernie’s Incredible Illucinations, a comedy about a boy whose imagination is so powerful that his daydreams come to life with humorous consequences.

Sophie Knights, drama teacher, said: “Every child in this show really shone and showed their passion for the arts. Without them, we wouldn’t have created the Mark Hall spark we have now and I’m so looking forward to directing the summer play this year to re-create that special moment again.”

The school is also launching a new theatre technical club to give students another avenue to pursue. 

Principal Manjit Hazle said: “It was wonderful to see so many students coming together from a range of year groups and subjects to showcase their talents and to have the support of our school community and PTFA. 

“We’re already excited about what comes next!”

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2 Comments for Mark Hall Academy performers return to stage after pandemic:

Andy Richards
2023-02-06 18:10:48

I thought one of the ugly sisters with the pink wig stood out a mile with great stage presence and good comic timing please bring him back for the next show this year

Jessica ryder
2023-02-06 18:13:32

I loved cinderella this year . All the actors were great however the one that made me and my hubby laugh was the small ugly sister with the pink hair . We enjoyed watching him whenever he came on . Brilliant !

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