SHOREHAM College pupils gave moving and magical performances of Send in the Clowns to packed audiences for three nights running.
The drama studio at the school, in St Julian’s Lane, was magically transformed into a big top tent, complete with a trapeze.
The audience was welcomed by Benny, the ringmaster, and some naughty doll clowns, before the action started.
Actors bustled through the audience to reach the stage, which had, very convincingly, become Wonderland Circus.
Set within a crumby clown circus in Coney Island in the 1930s American depression, Send in the Clowns sees a group of clowns battling to save their beloved home and circus.
Meanwhile, the family running the circus, the Goldinis, has struggles of its own, with a vile, abusive father who wants to control his family along with the clowns.
Just when the clowns think things could not get any worse, Miss Righteous enters their home with plans to destroy Wonderland forever.
Stand-out performances were given by Georgina Liley as the downtrodden Sarah and Elliott Hasler, who played the fiery and abusive Mr Goldini.
Other impressive leading actors were Anna Braddick, playing the mousey then heroic Miss Small, and Reuben Benkel, playing the dutiful but hilariously clown phobic Mr Twitch.
These two actors were the perfect sidekicks to the beautifully evil criminal Miss Righteous, played by Lottie Bentham.
Noah Smith played Ralph with an infectious energy, so much so that people could not help but be moved by his passion to keep Wonderland alive.
The vocal talents of the students were used to full effect to pull at the audience’s heart strings and raise the roof with numbers such as On My Own from Les Misérables, Popular from Wicked and Freak Flag from Shrek the Musical.
Drama teacher Karen Boniface was delighted with her pupils.
“Not only did the cast capture the imagination of the audience, they masterfully showed the audience that Shoreham College has huge potential for musical theatre.”