Schoolchildren star in showcase

Guildhall Theatre, group pic of Dancers. 536B
Guildhall Theatre, group pic of Dancers. 536B

FIFTY-five schoolchildren from Grantham will step into the spotlight on the Guildhall stage over the next two days.

The youngsters, aged between six and 17, are all starring in the Grantham Academy of Performing Arts Summer Showcase.

Audience members will be entertained for two hours as the talented performers dance, sing and act.

Director and producer Matthew Hewitt said: “Thirteen different schools across Grantham are involved.

“We’ve been rehearsing since January. The cast has been really good.”

The concept for a variety showcase came about following acclaim for Les Miserables School Edition at the Guildhall two years ago, also presented by Matthew’s company MJH Productions.

Cast members were keen to take to the stage again, and so planning for this summer showcase began.

Matthew, who is a freelance drama teacher, said: “We wanted to do a big project that brought together the whole area, hence Les Miserables. It grew into this really massive thing and I was really pleased with it in the end.

“It was meant to be a one-off but the people in the cast asked me what we were doing next. And so it grew from there.”

As well as songs from popular musicals, dance routines and sketches, there will be two plays performed by the youngsters. The first is entitled ‘The Casting’, and follows a group of kids as they audition for parts. The second is called ‘Dating Game’ and focuses on first dates.

Matthew said: “We thought about doing one show from beginning to end but you have only a few lead parts and I didn’t want to say to 40 kids that they are in the background.

“It’s nice for them all to shine in the spotlight.”

The Grantham Academy of Performing Arts Summer Showcase will debut at the Guidhall Arts Centre tonight (Friday) at 7pm, followed tomorrow at 2.30pm and then 7pm.

Tickets are £9 (£7.50). To buy, pop into the Guildhall box office in St Peter’s Hill, call 01476 406158 or visit www.guildhallartscentre.com