Young talents dazzle in Chichester fund-raiser

Performance
Performance

A one-off cast of over 200 gifted local children has raised £10,138 for vulnerable children across the world, through a stunning original performance entitled ‘Spotlight on the Edge’.

Hosted by Chichester Festival Theatre, the buzzing two-hour-long show was held on Sunday, January 24 as part of its Winter Season.

All proceeds raised were dedicated to the work of Chichester-based charity Children on the Edge, which works with marginalised and forgotten children around the world.

Emily Dadson, Events Organiser at Children on the Edge, says: “We can’t say thank you enough to everyone involved for giving their time, energy and talent to make ‘Spotlight on the Edge’ a reality. Both on stage and behind the scenes, so many people came together for one purpose, resulting in a fantastic show and an amazing amount raised for our work”.

Sunday’s packed audience was entertained with a range of innovative music, song and dance productions by young people from Chichester Festival Youth Theatre (CFYT), Dance Innovation, Arabesque School of Performing Arts, West Sussex Music, The Pop Up club and Chichester Music Academy.

Nick Davidson, Head of Chichester Music Academy, says: “Spotlight on the Edge offered golden opportunity for young musicians and singer-songwriters to perform in an acclaimed venue. I’d like to thank the theatre’s creative director Angela Watkins, as well as Children on the Edge’s Emily Dadson and, of course, the theatre itself - we’re so pleased to have taken part in something that’s raised over £10,000 for such a fantastic cause. Roll on next year’s event!”

Opening with a dramatic performance of Ravel’s Bolero by the West Sussex Music

Spotlight Orchestra, Act One included a colourful excerpt from ‘A Chorus Line’ by the

Arabesque School of Performing Arts, a stirring rendition of Adele’s ‘Rolling in the Deep’ by local band ‘The Traits’ and an ‘On Pointe’ sequence by young members of Dance Industry.

The audience were then treated to a colourful dance piece entitled ‘Hope, Life, Colour, Fun - Dance!’ by CFYT Dance, which really bought out the theme of the show, and expressed ways in which young people in the UK can make a difference internationally. Next came a welcome reminder of CFYT’s heart-warming Christmas show, ‘A Christmas Carol’, performed by members of the original cast.

The first half then closed with a moving performance of Bui Do from ‘Miss Saigon’ by CFYT members past and present, joined by members of the Big Little Youth Theatre. The creativity continued throughout interval, with a beautiful recital in the foyer by Il Campane of Rebecca Cooke Singing.

Act 2 launched with a touching performance of John Rutter’s ‘The Lord bless you and keep you’ by the Spotlight Orchestra followed by a thought-provoking reflection on bullying in the shape of ‘Right Here, Right Now’ by The Pop Up Club. After Dance Industry’s dazzling ‘In Motion’, the audience enjoyed ‘Three’ sung by CMA’s Anna Foye and danced by Imogen Bailey and Nikki Skinner from the Arabesque School of Performing Arts. This contrasted with the next rousing Rock Medley by the Chichester Music Academy Choir.

The buzz continued to the end with a dramatic interpretation of Bohemian Rhapsody by the Arabesque School of Performing Arts and Kodaline’s plaintive ‘All I Want’, sung by widely-acclaimed local singer-songwriter Isaac Waddington, under the auspices of Chichester Music Academy.

Most memorable, was the spectacular full-company finale performance of Footloose, sung and danced through the auditorium by a sea of young people in brightly coloured Children on the Edge t-shirts and accompanied by a well-deserved standing ovation.

Lady Joanna Mersey, attending in support of Children on the Edge said “What a wonderful evening: it really was sensational! The atmosphere was electric. The children all performed magnificently, with passion, charm, and humour. Massive rehearsing must have been needed to get the standard so high, and the costumes were so impressive too. Well done to all of you”.

For more information about the work funds raised are going to support, go to the Children on the Edge website on www.childrenontheedge.org or call their office on 01243 538530.

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