Local theatre supports stage dreams of Hull’s youngsters

An annual summer school run by two stars from stage and screen is taking place at a local theatre this year to help our youngsters take a step towards their dreams.

STAGE-ed co-founder Michael Southern working with young people in Liverpool

Britain’s theatres have been hit hard by restrictions surrounding the Covid-19 pandemic, but keen to support the city’s budding performers as the sector recovers, the STAGE-ed summer school in Hull which has also run in London, on the Isle of Man, and in the Wirral, will this year be at the stunning £9.5m arts venue Middleton Hall, part of the University of Hull.

Run by Stephen Palfreman and Michael Southern, who starred together in Willy Russell’s northern drama Blood Brothers for many years, STAGE-ed summer schools offer six days’ creative and dynamic training from professional actors, musicians and choreographers from London’s West End.

Children aged six to 18 are invited to join The STAGE-ed West End Summer School, being held between August 9 and 14 from 9am to 4pm each day. The week will finish with a spectacular performance, tickets for which are included for friends and family of summer school attendees, on stage at the 400+ seat theatre.

Stephen, who played one of the lead roles in the long-running Bill Kenwright production, Mickey Johnstone, explained: “The theatre sector has shown incredible resilience over the last 18 months, and with that backdrop it’s all the more heartening that a local venue is supporting Hull’s children to realise their theatrical dreams.

“Regardless of any previous drama or musical experience, we want to bring together a brilliant group of interesting, talented young people to have fun and gain confidence on the stage.

“Guided by our experienced professionals, students will learn about all aspects of theatre, workshopping and rehearsing numbers and scenes from the coolest West End shows.”

Junior groups can expect to work on numbers from the likes of The Greatest ShowmanMatildaSchool of RockWickedFrozen and more, while seniors will get to grips with number one shows such as HamiltonSixThe Play That Goes Wrong, and of course the smash hit, Blood Brothers.

Places at the summer school are offered on a first come, first served basis, and include a specially designed STAGE-ed summer school T-shirt as a keepsake.

Michael, who played Mickey’s big brother Sammy in Blood Brothers, added: “Being in theatre is truly exhilarating. There really is nothing quite like it, so we’re thrilled to be able to offer that experience to Hull’s young people.

“Whether you’re hoping for a career in the performing arts or just love musical theatre and drama and want to have a good sing-song, our support can be tailored to you. Our main aim is that everyone has a huge smile on their face throughout the week.”

Of the STAGE-ed summer schools, Willy Russell said: “It’s obvious that the work Stephen and Michael are doing really inspires and engages with students. These boys put as much energy and enthusiasm into their workshops as they put into their performances on stage and I would highly recommend them.”

You can book a place for your child or find out more about Hull’s STAGE-ed West End Summer School online or email admin@stage-ed.com