Avon Valley School scoops national theatre award

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The Mary Poppins Jr. production impresses award judges in London

Talented performers at The Avon Valley School and Performing Arts College have won a prestigious award following the school’s recent production of Mary Poppins Jr., which ran for eight performances and featured over 80 of the school’s talented students.

The ambitious production, which impressed its audiences, was entered into the National School Theatre Awards. Talent representatives from the award travelled to the school for one of the performances and evaluated the production using a range of criteria, including skill, creativity, and technique. The evaluation written by the representatives, along with a recording of the show, was submitted to the award’s judges.

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On Monday 24th June, a selection of the cast, along with members of the performing arts department, travelled to The Shaw Theatre, London, where they had the opportunity to perform one of the songs from the show. During the award ceremony, The Avon Valley School was announced as the winner of the ‘Best Musical 2024’ award.

Freya Lee and Joel Tytler on stage in Mary PoppinsFreya Lee and Joel Tytler on stage in Mary Poppins
Freya Lee and Joel Tytler on stage in Mary Poppins

The award was presented to the students by Chris Ma, a musical director and pianist who has worked in some of the most prominent musical theatre productions in London and internationally. During the evening, the students heard from veteran actor David Bradley, who played Argus Filch in Harry Potter. The students also met actress Kara Tointon.

Elisa Wheatley, performing arts faculty leader, said, “The show was the culmination of many months of hard work and effort. Once on stage, the students were fantastic, and the show went from strength to strength with our students wowing the audiences with their acting, singing, and dancing. A particular highlight was seeing Mary Poppins float across the stage on a specially hired flight system. We are so proud of all the students who were involved in Mary Poppins Jr. We were over the moon when we heard our schools announced as the winner of the Best Musical Award.”

Headteacher Blake Francis said, “The performing arts have been a core part of our school’s ethos for many, many years. I was absolutely blown away by the standard of Mary Poppins; it was the best show I have ever seen. We are all very proud that the efforts of the students and the performing arts team have been recognised in these national awards.”

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The National School Theatre Awards recognise the talents of young people aged 11-18 in school performing arts. The awards are a platform for young people to showcase their skills and gain recognition from industry professionals. Winners of the National School Theatre Awards are selected by performing arts education and industry representatives.

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