Pupils encourage other young people to get involved in the Young Norfolk Arts Festival

Students from Norwich School rehearse for the first show of the Young Norfolk Arts Festival 2013 at the Theatre Royal. Picture: Denise Bradley Students from Norwich School rehearse for the first show of the Young Norfolk Arts Festival 2013 at the Theatre Royal. Picture: Denise Bradley

Wednesday, February 12, 2014
7:10 PM

As planning for this year’s Young Norfolk Arts Festival gets underway, we took the chance to talk to Benjy Wilcock and Natalie Woodward, two former Norwich School pupils who were involved in the inaugural festival last year.

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Students from Norwich School rehearse for the first show of the Young Norfolk Arts Festival 2013 at the Theatre Royal. Picture: Denise BradleyStudents from Norwich School rehearse for the first show of the Young Norfolk Arts Festival 2013 at the Theatre Royal. Picture: Denise Bradley

As part of last year’s festival the pair starred in the Gala Night, a celebration of music, drama and dance at Norwich’s largest venue the Theatre Royal, which featured a medley of Norwich School productions including the musical Les Miserables. “It was an incredible experience to perform on such a large scale, on the same stage that has hosted some of my idols” said Natalie, who performed Fantine’s solo I Dreamed A Dream in front of an audience of more than 1000.

The night was a group effort: with props and costumes sourced by pupils many of whom helped coordinate running the backstage. This year’s festival hopes to attract more contributors from all over Norfolk.

“The festival was a great platform for showcasing the best of young people’s talent and getting the opportunity to perform on such a large scale,” said Benjy.

The experience has aided both aspiring performers in future projects.

As well as performing in the Gala Night, Natalie spent last year shadowing the director of Norwich School’s Shakespeare play Much Ado about Nothing which featured in the festival. She will be co-directing the play for this year which will also be performed in the Cathedral Cloisters which she said was the perfect surrounding.

Schools and other arts organisations are now being invited to get involved in this year’s Young Norfolk Arts Festival.

“I can’t think of a more perfect opportunity for any young person with an interest in the arts, on such a large scale in Norfolk,” said Natalie.

• This year’s festival runs from June 27 to July 6.

To find out how you can get involved visit www.ynaf.org.uk or follow the festival on Twitter at @YN_AF

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