It has been a very hard time for those working in the theatre, particularly young people who enjoy attending stage schools – in person.
However, after nearly two years of failed starts, Steppin’ Out Academy of Performance got its fairy tale ending when it treaded the boards of the Bournemouth Pavilion.
It had been months in the planning to stage its fairy-tale themed Time Upon A Once show – but three lockdowns and ongoing Covid restrictions foiled all the plans.
The school turned disappointment into triumph.
It not only managed to move the show from its original local school venue to the bigger and more glamorous Bournemouth Pavilion, but they did it all in time to mark Steppin Out’s 30th anniversary.
Principal and owner, Angela Taylor, said: “The past 16 months have been so hard for young people and we were determined to get this show on the stage for them – come what may.
“When the government announced all restrictions wouldn’t be lifted in June, we knew the show must go on.
“Our rehearsals were affected and there was a financial hit of not being able to have a full capacity theatre – but it was all so worth it to see the amazing performances and beaming faces of every single student who took part.
“I couldn’t think of a better way of marking our 30th anniversary, seeing the joy return to the young people we teach was the best present I could ask for.”
Time Upon A Once tells the story of a young but cynical teenager called Jess (played superbly by Millie Quainton) who does not believe in love or happy ever afters. That is until her toy frog (David Storey – a name surely destined for the lights) comes to life and takes her on a journey through the land of fairy tales.
The pair must help a range of famous fairy tale characters, including Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty and Aladdin, escape a spell placed on them by a very wicked witch (a barn-storming performance from Megan Dodds).
Combining comedy, action and spectacular dance routines the cast wowed the audience with a performance worthy of the West End.
More than 100 students featured in the show, and their ages ranged from three to 18.
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