New production and praise for young performers

Emily Carey and Robyn Ashwood
Emily Carey and Robyn Ashwood

A performing arts group is going from strength to strength as it prepares for its forthcoming production of Les Miserables.

Mad Fish Studios is based in Bexhill and has seen a host of former pupils go on to enjoy successful West End careers after learning their trade at the group’s local lessons.

And the future looks particularly bright for Mad Fish after its students scooped 30 prizes at the last Hastings Musical Festival – the group’s best ever trophy haul at the popular annual showcase.

Next up for Mad Fish is its fast-approaching stint at Bexhill College’s Izzard Theatre where, on April 26 and 27, it will stage four shows of the much-loved musical Les Miserables.

Performances are at 2.30pm and 7pm and the show is Mad Fish’s first full scale musical – with 50 people in the cast and an orchestra of 17 musicians.

Some of the cast have appeared in West End productions and the group has been inundated with messages of support from a string of well-wishers – including Mad Fish patrons Joanna Lumley and Sam Hiller, a former resident director on Les Miserables in the West End who is now working on Phantom of the Opera and has promised to come to Bexhill and watch the show himself on Sunday.

Tickets, costing £12.50 for adults or £10 for under 16s, are available now from Music’s Not Dead in Devonshire Road, Mad Fish Studios in London Road, by calling 07870 454448 or emailing

Mad Fish has also had other recent reasons to be cheerful. The studio has had two students placed in a national competition to find a young star - the prize being to follow in the footsteps of the original Matilda - Cleo Demitriou and have a song written especially for her.

Emily Carey won the competition out of thousands across the country and Robyn Ashwood came third.

Triumphant Emily appeared in The Sound of Music at Regents Park open air theatre last summer and this has now been nominated for an Olivier Award – with Emily being picked to appear at the awards and sing on stage with other members of the cast.

Mad Fish started its own theatrical agency – Mad Fish Management – 15 months ago and has already had clients appear in shows and on television. It is currently looking to take on more local youngsters, particularly in the five to 11 age group – as well as over 16s. They don’t necessarily need to have been trained and anyone interested should contact Mad Fish for more information.

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