Costessey pupils to perform with West End stars in Norwich

There was music in the air as talented students from a Norwich school took to the stage with West End performers.

Performing arts students from Ormiston Victory Academy we treated to a workshop with stage stars Mark Goldthrop and Lisa Donmall-Reeve at the Open Youth Trust.

Mr Goldthrop has performed in Les Miserables, The Woman in White and The Drowsy Chaperone and in BBC's My Family.

Principal of Open, Sarah Mintey said: 'We are thrilled to be hosting some of the amazing talent from Incognito Artists and we are delighted that the students had such an incredible and unique opportunity. Students had one on one work they don't normally get.

'We try to expose young people to opportunities and see people at the top of their game. As soon as we knew we were planning the party, we knew we wanted to get students involved.'

Students learnt songs from the Lion King and Les Miserables on Friday.

West End stars are usually given three to four weeks to rehearse, however the students were given just a week to practice before their performance at Graham Dacre's birthday party at Open on Friday.

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Student Aaron Waaldridge, 19, said: 'We are doing three or four songs. The day has been so good. It is such a good opportunity for us. We are here for 11am-5pm but we are used to long rehearsals. I love performing. I don't know what I would do if I didn't do it.

Hannah Beavis, 17, said: 'in the Lion King performance we added to the chorus. I'm excited about the party. I don't get nervous.'

Aaron and Hannah both said the cast had taught them technical terms and how to be more confident when performing.

Incognito Artists are known for their surprise and energetic performances

Mr Goldthrop said: 'Incognito is about musical theatre and surprise events. This part of it is called the academy. It is a great chance for the kids to work with us, this is what we do for our jobs. We hope it opens their eyes to a professional work ethic.'

*Are you performing in a large scale event? Contact reporter Lucy Wright on 01603 772495 or email