Studio A on the ground floor of Falmouth University’s AMATA building may seem a long way from the bright lights of Broadway and London’s West End theatres. But, judging by the talent and enthusiasm of the young people taking part in Hall For Cornwall’s summer masterclasses, many of the young performers are planning to share the spotlight with today’s musical theatre stars in the future.
HFC is introducing new weekly Musical Monday musical theatre classes for young people aged between 7 and 21 from September. Ahead of this the Get Creative team offered young people the chance to take part in two special summer master classes.
Led by the creative team behind the Hall For Cornwall’s hugely successful homegrown trilogy of Christmas Shows: Simon Harvey, Richard Healey and Kim Moses, the masterclasses saw around 50 young people learn dialogue, songs and choreography direct from the West End and Broadway during the week long programme.
The first part of the week belonged to the juniors. Young performers between the ages of 7 and 13 spent two days practicing the Dentist from The Little Shop of Horrors and Revolting Children from Matilda, as well as learning the steps to one of the classic dances from the musical Hairspray and a song from the contemporary musical Dear Evan Hansen before taking part in a special sharing in front of their family and friends.
Among those taking part was 11 year old Gabriel who said it had been great fun. “I enjoy acting and singing and so really wanted to join the masterclasses “he said. 12 year old Nell had originally been “encouraged” to join the class by her Mum but said she had had an amazing time and was so glad she had come along.
“ I like acting most of all but I have really enjoyed the singing and dancing too “ she said. “Everyone has been very friendly and it was great to be able to show what we have learnt to our families “.
It was then the turn of the seniors to take to the stage, with the young people spending their three days learning songs, dances and dramatic scenes from the current west End hit Everyone’s Talking About Jamie; Honk the Musical, as well as Footloose; The Little Shop of Horrors and Sweet Charity. The group also had the chance to share their newly acquired skills with family and friends at the end of their workshop sessions.
17 year old Marshall is currently studying drama at Truro College and is a huge fan of musical theatre. “Some people may look down on musical theatre but it is actually more challenging than many other forms of theatre as you have to be able to act, sing and dance” he said. “I had an amazing time this week.
15 year old Jake is a member of HFC’s Youth Theatre group and has enjoyed the opportunity to rekindle his enthusiasm for dancing. “I used to dance when I was younger but dropped it when my family moved “ he said. “I want to be an actor but it is important to be able to sing and dance as well if you want a career in the theatre. “
13 year old Luka has always wanted to be an actor and joined the masterclass so he could gain as much all round experience as possible. “If you want to perform in productions on Broadway and the West End you have to be able to sing and dance a well as act “ he said. “This week has been a great introduction to musical theatre and I have loved every minute.“
Musical theatre performer and choreographer Kim Moses, who has worked with professional companies both in the UK and around the world, is delighted with the success of the summer masterclasses.
“It has been fantastic to help young people in Cornwall explore the magic of musicals and develop the skills they need to perform on a West End stage “ she said. “I grew up watching MGM musicals and am really lucky to have had the chance to work with a number of top companies.
“HFC already has thriving youth dance and youth theatre groups and we are looking forward to adding musical theatre classes to our programme from September. The young people taking part this week have really thrown themselves into the classes and it has been great to watch them develop their skills and confidence.
“We can’t wait to share our passion for musical theatre with a new generation of young people so please come and join us “.
The new weekly musical theatre classes will take place at AMATA on Monday evenings, starting on Monday 16th September. There will be two classes – one for juniors aged from 7 to 12 years beginning at 5.30pm and one for seniors aged 13 to 21 years beginning at 7pm. The fee is £100 per term.