Children in Sheffield had a real Christmas treat this year and as they learnt how to be a dashing hero, a nasty villain and of course a hilarious dame in a special pantomime workshop.
About 200 students ages 6-18 years who attend part-time theatre school Razzamataz Sheffield took part in the fun on December 12th, where they experienced all the fun and frolics that are to be had during panto season.
Pantomime is a long-standing British tradition and over the years it has evolved to be a wonderful showcase for the best of singing, dancing and acting. Stars from the UK and USA have been known to transform into a fairy princess, a wicked witch or even the panto dame – a man dressed up as a woman to comic effect.
Although panto is a lot of fun, there is also a serious side to it with the actors needing to be skilled in all three performing arts disciplines as well as mastering comedy turns such as the famous ‘pie in the face’ or perfect timing for ‘he’s behind you!’
Alan Parker will be delivering the workshop and will be bringing with him a wealth of experience from the stage and screen having appeared in BBC’s Byker Grove and Romeo and Juliet during touring shows in Italy.
Alan has 15 years’ experience of running theatre in education drama workshops. In the last few years alone he has visited over 200 schools and worked with almost 5000 young people.
“The panto workshop is always great fun for students but there is also a serious side to it,” explains Alan. “Panto requires actors to be multi talented, have a great rapport with the audience and be extremely hard working. These are all great skills for Razzamataz students to be learning.”
The panto workshop is one of many guest master classes that Razzamataz Sheffield has enjoyed in the last few months. It is a big part of the Razzamataz ethos to bring in professional performers to work with the students and inspire them to reach new heights.
“We believe that bringing in professional performers from the West End stage in London and from high profile commercial backgrounds really gives our students in Sheffield a taster of what life is like for jobbing actors, dancers and musicians,” explains Helen Green, Principal of Razzamataz Sheffield. “Working with these professional performers is a great experience for all students, giving them key insights into what it takes to succeed in any demanding career.”
Since opening, Razzamataz Sheffield has grown from strength to strength. Students have performed in many local charitable events as well as on London’s West End stage at Her Majesty’s Theatre. Some of the youngsters are even appearing in professional work on TV and stage.
Classes are for children from age 2 to 18 and allow students to experience a range of performance styles from classic West End musical theatre to funky street dance and pop singing.
Students get lots of opportunities to perform at Razzamataz Sheffield, something that helps to build on their confidence and social skills. The fun classes are for all children whatever their background or ability and there is a strong focus on keeping fit and active, having fun and making friends. Classes start at age two and go on to 18 and there are regular special guest workshops for students of all ages.
To enquire about joining Razzamataz Sheffield contact Helen on firstname.lastname@example.org, 0114 3030 455/ 07979189177 or visit www.razzamataz.co.uk/schools/sheffield. Classes are every Saturday in term time at Meadowhead School.