Budding performers learn Olympic-themed musical in one week

Josiah Wilson playing the part of Zeus, during the production by children from across Portsmouth who took part in the King's Theatre Summer School performance  Picture: Sarah Standing (122761-2969)
Josiah Wilson playing the part of Zeus, during the production by children from across Portsmouth who took part in the King's Theatre Summer School performance Picture: Sarah Standing (122761-2969)
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A GROUP of more than 60 youngsters put on an action-packed play after learning to perform, dance, sing and manage a production in just a week.

The group of seven to 12-year-olds from Portsmouth and Southsea started at King’s Theatre on Monday, August 13, with many of the students having no experience.

The performers went through casting and auditions after their first morning before spending a week learning the musical.

Teacher Lou Bundy, of Bundy’s Music Service, who ran the week, said: ‘Children come in with their mouths wide open – it’s quite daunting when they first see the stage.

‘They come on Monday not knowing anything – some have had a bit of experience before but a lot haven’t.

‘It’s a lovely starting point for the children to get a flavour of performing.’

The students quickly learnt their lines for the play, called Go For Gold by Gawen Robinson.

The play had an Olympic Games theme, tracing the history of the Games from ancient to modern times, as a top female athlete decides whether or not to compete.

‘The message behind the play is telling you to give things a go, to give it your all,’ said Lou.

‘We chose the play specifically because it was topical with the recent Olympics.’

After a week of working hard from 9am to 5pm, the students saw their efforts pay off with a standing ovation from a 400-strong appreciative and enthusiastic audience.

Students were challenged to bring along 10 members of family and friends, ensuring a supportive crowd for the one-off performance.

Lou added: ‘Performing is all about confidence, it’s great when people applaud you – I’ve seen children who have been to more than one summer school blossom in their confidence.

‘The parents always love it, they give great applause – it’s a wonderful atmosphere because everyone wants the children to do well.’

Fifty of the students performed in the play, whilst 14 learnt the art of stage management, meaning the students ran the whole evening.