It was great to attend the end of week performance by the annual Theatretrain International Summer School recently. The workshops and rehearsals go on for a week and the pupils from 6 to 18 years learn acting, dancing and singing. The summer school had a break over the previous two years but came back with a bang. Like any residential course the pupils probably talk too much after lights out and still have to get up and join the classes the next morning. After three days they are exhausted from over doing the classes and overdoing the late night chatting. So they learn a lot about themselves and about how they fit in. They also learn the discipline of performing even when you are tired. By the end of the week, with the show for parents looming, you can see a shine in their eyes. It’s like someone threw a switch. They’ve had a ball and made new friends and the chances are they will be back doing the same next year.
I met several students, now mums themselves, who were former students. Jesse Williams was also there, well-known for playing Lily Kettle in Tracy Beaker on BBC. Jesse started out at the Theatretrain International Summer School, made a great friend there and still comes back every year to support the work.
I presented an outstanding award to Theatretrain student Lois Codd who has attended Theatretrain and the Summer School for 10 years. It was also time to say goodbye to Linda Lomas who has run the school since its inception 15 years ago. That’s a lot of hard work because as soon as one year has finished the organisation for the next one begins. Thank you Linda for all your hard work and what a lovely show we enjoyed including Blood Brothers and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory did we see as evidence of a fantastic week. Well done too to the hardworking staff.