Bexhill’s young performers shine at the Pavilion

Sleeping Beauty by East Sussex School of Performing Arts
Sleeping Beauty by East Sussex School of Performing Arts

Have you ever wondered what you would find, should you awake after falling asleep for a hundred years?

What events would have passed you by while you were sleeping? Would you even recognise your world after all this time?

ESSPA by Adamski Adamowicz

ESSPA by Adamski Adamowicz

This original concept and vision, was behind Teena (Principal of ESSPA) and James Symonds (Artistic Director) skilfully co-written, updated story of Sleeping Beauty.

It was performed by ESSPA’s very talented large cast of young dancers, singers and actors, at the De La Warr Pavilion on April 1st and 2nd. Backed by brilliant musicians, the songs and musical score was varied, sometimes challenging and beautifully sung.

Sophie Stillwell’s confident, often humorous narration, set the story.

Poor Aurora Pilkington - innocently and beautifully played by Mollie Dennis, had unknowingly been cursed as a baby by the very nasty Fraulein Cara.

Chloe Willis brilliantly played this part with almost joyful nastiness! Aurora’s mother Lillie, delightfully and sensitively played by Katie Webster, begged Aunt Dotty - a wonderfully quirky performance by Harriet Walker, to change Aurora’s ‘curse of death’ to one of a hundred years asleep.

When Aurora reached sixteen, her family home was being used as a hospital for wounded WW1 soldiers. Fraulein Cara, now in the guise of evil Sister Verna a-ha! alas found a way to inject Aurora with poison, and thus she fell asleep. The year was 1915.

The Dance of 100 years was a fast moving, slick and versatile section of song and dance.

Projected newsreel images enhanced the nostalgia. We were taken through WW2 street parties, the swinging sixties, the miner’s strike, punks, yuppies, world wide web, celebrity culture and ending up with revolting children - then we reached 2015!

The little ‘Ovaltineys’ stole audience hearts, but this whole section was vibrant and beautifully performed by everyone.

A bewildered Aurora woke up in an airport. She was befriended by a group of young protestors objecting to a new runway.

They wonder where she came from or if she had entered the country illegally, as she had no grasp of anything around her.

The evil Head of Security (guess who?) tried to imprison Aurora, but found her evil deeds had been discovered by a relative of Aunt Dotty, who was a now a higher ranking official.

Her evil ways were at an end!

The quality and professionalism of this production, owed much to the dedicated close knit teams of teachers, stage production, sewing and props, backstage workers, volunteer helpers, parents and chaperones all working together. Their generous support and hard work behind the scenes, allowed these very talented young performers to shine, when bringing this story to life on the De La Warr Stage - and shine they did - all of them!”