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Special needs drama students raise roof of theatre


Ariel’s Othellos

MORE than 100 special needs drama students performed a medley of musical theatre hits in their first main stage showcase at a theatre.

Ariel Theatre Company’s Othellos students and their mentors, called Buddies, received a standing ovation at the end of the show at The Hawth theatre in Crawley on Sunday, November 19.

The show included more than 100 students who all have special educational needs and attend drama classes with Ariel in Burgess Hill, Crawley and East Grinstead.

Imaginative musical theatre songs ran throughout the show, including a number from Peter Pan called Lost Boys, a swashbuckling song with Captain Hook and a sprinkling of fairy dust from Tinkerbell.

Jacqui Landriani, Burgess Hill town mayor, said: “I would like to thank Ariel Theatre Company for their invitation to The Othello Showcase at The Hawth on Sunday.

“We were treated to a spectacular evening of entertainment and very special performances by everyone involved.”

This year’s show was particularly innovative with content including monologues written by some of the cast members and performance pieces which questioned society’s view of disability, inclusion and diversity.

The show was packed full of energy and included acting, singing and dance as the Othellos performed with assistance from their own Buddy, members of Ariel’s main academy.

Older students made the audience feel as though they had taken a trip to Los Angeles with their own homage to La La Land.

The students’ love of comedy and acting was clear to see as they played out scenes from the Rocky Horror Show.

Backed by the Ariel Choirs, the cast raised the roof with Queen hit We Will Rock You and brought to life the fun, classic Flash, Bang, Wallop, which was a favourite among the cast.

The Othellos devised pieces on issues important to them, such as equality, acceptance and diversity.

Ms Landriani said: “It was clear that the Buddies were enjoying themselves as much as the Othello members and everyone involved should be very proud. Congratulations.”

Source: The Argus