The youngsters in this year’s Stage Experience production at Milton Keynes Theatre are having a blast with the speakeasy sass, splurge guns and silliness of Bugsy Malone.
As expected, summer youth musical theatre project Stage Experience is tackling the tongue-in-cheek musical comedy with its usual verve. This is the sixth production the Creative Learning team has delivered since the scheme began in 2011 (past productions have included The Wiz and Fame) and, happily, the spectacular annual event looks set to continue. It’s a huge undertaking for Milton Keynes Theatre but it provides a wonderful opportunity for young people to perform in a professional setting. Indeed, it is not only an experience for the participants themselves, it is also a novelty for the parents, siblings, extended family members and friends who support the cast from their seats in the vast auditorium.
Hundreds of local wannabe performers aged 10 to 21 were whittled down to a company of one hundred over two days of auditions during the Easter holidays. Rehearsals then started in earnest at the end of July, with cast members and creatives working tirelessly to create a full-scale production in just twelve days.
The kids starring in Fame the Musical at Milton Keynes Theatre this weekend will remember the magic of standing together on that stage for the rest of their lives.
Every cast member radiated sheer joy to be a part of the opening performance on Friday evening. Their enthusiasm was simply infectious. They lit up the auditorium with dazzling dance tricks; reached the high notes during all those unforgettable songs; and acted their hearts out to bring the trials and tribulations of the talented teens at New York City’s High School of Performing Arts to the stage.
After growing up dancing and performing — and finding my feet as a ballet teacher — I am all too familiar with the amount of effort that goes into putting any performance together. So I have nothing but admiration for the Creative Learning department at Milton Keynes Theatre. Fame the Musical is their fifth Stage Experience production and, once again, they have demonstrated how much oodles of hard work and an eager group of youngsters can achieve. All with just twelve days of rehearsals!
There may be “no place like home” but the young cast of The Wiz looked perfectly comfortable centre stage at Milton Keynes Theatre in this year’s Creative Learning production.
Over 100 local performers aged between 10 and 21 years old dazzled in a refreshing musical version of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz over the weekend, establishing Stage Experience 2014 as a triumphant success.
Now into its fourth year, Stage Experience is a unique two-week project run by the Creative Learning department at Milton Keynes Theatre. Led by a group of industry professionals, the venture takes a year of careful planning but the actual rehearsal period is a frenzied fortnight of fun, hard work and exceptional achievement.