Record Number of Students Save Tinkerbell!

This year Blast was more ambitious and more creative than any previous years, culminating in Saturday’s one time only performance of Saving Tinkerbell. Over the course of a week, the 56 talented participants set out to tell the story of Peter Pan and his attempt to rescue his precious Tinkerbell from the dastardly Captain Hook, a journey which took them to various other worlds. Everybody involved in the course worked really hard over the week, as putting a show together in just 7 days is a herculean task by any standards, let alone a full blown musical with full costumes, 11 musical numbers and lighting and video effects that would put many professional productions to shame. Once again, as with previous Blast courses, the audience of just over 200 were utterly impressed by the standard of the finished production with cast members having to learn pages of dialogue and numerous complex song and dance routines. Whether they were Lost Boys, or Orphans, or members of Dodgers gang, or Pirates or Wheelers, the entire cast gave it their all to ensure that when it came to the performance, their family and friends in the audience were gobsmacked by just how much had been achieved in a week.

Our team of tutors were on hand to assist, with Jeanne Stacey and Jack Downey directing, Duncan Rutherford and Connor Linden handling the musical side of things, and Sam Spencer-Lane choreographing, assisted by Grace Wheeler and Amy Moulder. Richard Shrubb, Lucy Barker-Dale and Conor O’Sullivan worked as technical tutors, helping the small but enthusiastic technical team of particiapnts, who excelled themselves by running all the AV, sound and Lighting cues themselves. Jules Dale provided all of the costumes for the show, and Phoenix principal Phil Dale oversaw everything as the producer.

Blast is always one of the most enjoyable weeks in the Phoenix calender, and this year didn’t disappoint, raising the bar yet again! Thank you to everyone who came, took part, and believed in fairies. Roll on August 2014 – we can’t wait!

To see pictures from the week click here.   To see pictures from the last day click here.

To see video from the show click here.    To purchase the DVD click here.

August 5, 2013

Blip 2013 Travels Through Time

by Conor O'Sullivan

in Blip Summer School

Primary Aged Kids do the Timewarp!

Blip, the summer school for Primary aged students, was back again this year, bigger and better than ever before. Having this year moved to Passmores Academy, the participants had just one week to come up with ideas for a show, put them together and rehearse them, and then perform it to their friends and family on Saturday, the final day of the course.

This years show was about Time Travel, with a group of children having built a Time Machine in the summer holidays, and then using it to travel back in time to different periods of history to find out what it was really like. Encountering Fred Flintstone and a group of cavemen, getting on the wrong side of Cleopatra, and almost getting their heads chopped off by Henry VIII, the kids managed to find their way back home for a rousing finale of the Time Warp.

A wonderful week of fun and creativity was had by all and a big thank you must go out to tutors Faye Linden, Kate Coysten and Amy Moulder for making the week so much fun and for creating a fabulous show in such a short space of time. We hope to see a lot of familiar faces coming along again next year for Blip 2014!

To see pictures from the week, click here.

To see pictures from the day of the show, click here.

Sam to Choreograph this years Summer School Show!

We are delighted to announce that Sam Spencer-Lane will be working as head-choregrapher on our Blast Summmer School in August. After a successful performing career as a dancer, singer and recording artist, Sam began her choreographic career working for Thames Television choreographing Light Entertainment and children’s programmes. In 2008 Sam joined forces with David Walliams and Matt Lucas to choreograph their hugely successful show Little Britain Live which enjoyed a long run at the Apollo, Hammersmith, London and a UK tour. During this time Sam continued to work on many musicals, plays and operas in London’s West End and the regional Theatres, winning awards for The Hired Man at Salisbury, and both Personals and Rat Pack Confidential enjoying long runs in London’s West End. Other new Musicals Sam has choreographed are Alice in Wonderland and Privates on Parade which have been produced by West Yorkshire Playhouse and Birmingham Rep. Sam was Head of Musical Theatre, Dance and Movement at Mountview Academy from 2002 – 2012 , and is currently an external examiner for Arts Educational.

Sam met Principal Phil Dale when they both worked on the Jack Petchey Glee Club Challenge 2012. She was Boot Camp dancing tutor, and also choreographed the grand finale number. As part of that team she worked with the Phoenix Glee entry, offering constructive feedback, and was highly complimentary of Katie Barker-Dale’s work on the number. Extremely friendly and professional, we’re looking forward to her working as the choreographer on Blast this year, and we’re delighted that even more of our students will be able to benefit from her vast experience!

Limited spaces for Blast remain – click here to sign up now.

June 25, 2013

Bishops Stortford Carnival 2013

by Conor O'Sullivan

in Professional Work

Panto Horses, Clowns, and a Whole Lot of Fun!

On Saturday 22nd June, the Bishops Stortford Carnival kicked off from the Rhodes Arts Centre with a parade of floats heading to the Carnival site at Sworders Field. The Aladdin panto float was near the head of the parade, with Primary tutor Faye Linden as Aladdin, senior student Grace Wheeler as Jasmine, and local actor Jay Brown sporting an entirely blue body as the Genie. They were joined on the float by a camel, later to compete in the Rhodes Panto Horse Derby, the much anticipated main event of the afternoons entertainment.

The Phoenix Clowns were once again out in force, bouncing around the float and entertaining the flocks of Stortford locals who had turned out en masse to watch the parade, even in the spitting rain. Phoenix were busy all day at the carnival, with Phoenix KBD and The Descendants performing their Rhodes Got Talent entries from this year achieving Best of the Rest and Third Place respectively. However, the main event was the Panto Horse Derby, with Intermediate students Will Saunders and George Jack in the panto camel led on by the Genie, and Ben Hawkins and Conor O’Sullivan in the Phoenix horse, led on by a handful of clowns. After a disappointing but spectacular fall, the Phoenix horse crashed out in the second round. The panto camel was then drawn in a race against the police (bizarrely also represented by a camel) and the scene was set for a showdown between the opposing forces of children’s comedy and law and order! Unfortunately the panto camel was disqualified after the Genie cheated and pulled back the police camel and the hopes and dreams of hundreds of onlooking children were dashed.

Luckily, the orhpans from the cast of the upcoming production of Annie, led by Alice Shephard, were on hand to perform some stirring numbers from the show and they created quite a buzz with their energetic and fun-filled performances. Other hi-lights included 2 performances from international acrobatic troupe the Black Eagles, all the way from Tanzania, and 2 sets from the irrepressible Harlow Steel Band.

All in all a great fun day was had by all and the staff at Phoenix would like to thank all the students and staff who gave their time and energy to ensure that once again we proved ourselves to be the regions most exciting and innovative performing arts school.

To see pictures from the day, click here.

June 4, 2013

Rhodes Got Talent Grand Final 2013

by Conor O'Sullivan

in Professional Work

Phoenix students do us proud once again!

Phoenix enjoyed a great evening at the Rhodes Got Talent Grand Final, with five different acts of students representing the theatre school out of 24 acts overall! Tegan Griffiths sang Castle on a Cloud from Les Miserables, Sarinna Proudfoot-Mathurin sang a fabulous song from Sister Act, and Grace Wheeler sung I Don’t Want To Show Off. They all did really well, but the standard of competition was extremely high, and the judges had their work cut out for them.

Phoenix KBD managed to get a Best of the Rest trophy with their performance of the Cell Block Tango from Chicago, which means that they’ll be performing at the Bishops Stortford Carnival.

They’ll be joined by The Descendants (Drew Gregg, Will Edden and Daniel Boulton), who made a great impression with their quirky original song, and their swanky bowties and braces. Also winning a best of the rest award was the Dance Scene Seniors, a dance group featuring Lucy Syed and Georgia Sunshine, who were both part of the record breaking pantomime Cinderella at the Rhodes in 2012.

In the end, the winner was Katie Ellams, who beautifully sung a heartwarming rendition of In The Arms of an Angel. As the winner, she got the chance to sing it again after the results had been announced, in front of all the audience and other performers. It was a touching climax to a wonderful evening showcasing the local talent in the area. We all look forward to next year being even bigger and better!

To see the pictures of the Phoenix students performing in the event, click here.

May 11, 2013

Glee Club Challenge 2013 is Here!

Auditions after class on Monday 13th May The Jack Petchey Glee Club Challenge is back for a third great year and once again Phoenix plans to enter this great competition. The competition first launched in 2011 and Phoenix went through the first round of video auditions to reach the regional final at the Palace Theatre […]

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November 28, 2012

Jack Petchey Glee Club Challenge 2012 National Final!

Phoenix at the Indig02!   It was an early start for the Phoenix Glee Group on the morning of the final, a meet at 9:30 to be picked up in a minibus. However, this didn’t perturb the Glee team one bit, as they arrived enthusiastic and excited for the day ahead, it’s not often you […]

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