Local students from the White Light Theatre company have been featured on a West End charity single in aid of Childline UK.
The students were taking part in the week-long West End Stage Summer School at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London.
The charity single ‘A Million Dreams’ features the voices of 1000 summer school students and the school’s patron Kerry Ellis, who has starred in Wicked, We Will Rock You, Oliver, My Fair Lady, Miss Saigon and Les Misérables.
The students also feature on the cover of the single alongside Ms Ellis.
The Director of White Light Theatre Jackie Villa took a group of 10 students aged between 11 and 16 to attend the summer school in London last August.
The project was funded by parents, fundraising events and a Gibraltar cultural grant.
The West End Stage Summer School takes place over one week at the renowned Guildhall School of Music and Drama in the very centre of London, with facilities which include 10 purpose-built dance studios, 8 rehearsal rooms, 3 theatres, cafes and social areas.
Students are taught by West End stars and industry professionals, and put through their paces in all aspects of performing, specialising in acting, dancing and singing.
Alongside rehearsing for their West End Performance, the students take part in three master classes. These are specially organised workshops with current West End performers, who teach routines, songs and scenes from an actual West End show.
The week ended with a fully-rehearsed West End performance in front of friends and family onstage at Her Majesty’s Theatre, home to Phantom of the Opera. The students’ parents, siblings and other family members were able to buy tickets and fly over to watch this final performance. Also sitting in the audience were industry professionals including casting directors, agents and directors.
White Light Theatre are known locally for their work on Gibraltar-themed original plays.
The theatrical company sets out to promote and teach both adults and children in the dramatic arts.
In 2016 White Light Theatre were awarded a Heritage Award for their play ‘Llévame Donde Nací’ which celebrated the 75th anniversary of the evacuation.
More recently they performed a play on the story leading up to the 1967 Referendum called ‘Winds of Change’
“I was blown by what our students had achieved in a week,” said Ms Villa.
“This experience had encouraged them to build confidence in their abilities, exercised and expanded their imaginations, strengthened focus, concentration and memory, improved posture and coordination, improved communication skills in speech and presentation, and understood what it really meant to work in a team and to make friends throughout the week as new social situations arose.”
“Upon their return to Gibraltar, I felt that I needed to review their current programme of study, and I was able to adapt their sessions to now include vocal, choreography and acting sessions. Already I can observe how their experience had added texture to their performances, which I know will only serve to enhance and enrich our local audience’s theatre experience.”
“But the cherry on the cake was yet to come. Unknown to us, the children had recorded a charity single ‘A Million Dreams’ for Childline.”
“We believe it has been such a totally worthwhile experience we are already organising WES 2019.”
The single was released last month and is available to buy on iTunes.