Glee­ful re­turn for sum­mer arts car­ni­val.

Kids’ chance to be­come stars of hit mu­si­cal show

Evening Express (City Final) - The Guide - - LET’S PARTY - By Scott Beg­bie

ABERDEEN’S 30th Sum­mer Arts Car­ni­val is about to burst into life ... sprin­kled with a touch of West End magic and Hol­ly­wood glam­our. Among the dizzy­ing ar­ray of work­shops on of­fer for kids at the Aberdeen Arts Cen­tre will be a chance to join a Glee session, led by a West End lead­ing man. Scott Arm­strong – who played the Gruf­falo on stage in Lon­don as well as on the UK tour – is giv­ing kids a chance to transform them­selves into a Rachel or Finn from the phe­nom­e­nal mu­si­cal TV show. It is just one of the 20-plus work­shops that will fill the Arts Cen­tre with hun­dreds of kids aged three to 16 for five weeks from July 4 – aimed at keep­ing them en­ter­tained and hope­fully in­still­ing a love of the arts. Get Your Glee is one of the new work­shops for this year, led by El­lon-born Scott who re­cently joined the cen­tre as a tu­tor. He said: “Glee is such a mas­sive thing at the mo­ment and ev­ery­one seems to be lov­ing it. “When you be­come a fan of some­thing, you don’t al­ways get the chance to try it. I thought this will give kids a chance to come along and be the peo­ple they see on TV.” The work­shop, for sec­ondary pupils, will take songs – in­clud­ing some from the TV se­ries which fol­lows a high school show choir – and give kids a chance to learn so­los, duets, group har­monies and chore­og­ra­phy.

“Hav­ing lots of fun”

“By the end of the five days we will have our own lit­tle Glee show we can per­form to par­ents, fam­ily and friends,” said Scott. He will also be lead­ing a work­shop close to his own heart based on chil­dren’s au­thor Ju­lia Don­ald­son’s work. He has starred in stage ver­sions of both The Gruf­falo, in­clud­ing two months in the West End, and Room On The Broom, which toured the UK, US and Far East. Scott, who is tak­ing a short break from mu­si­cal theatre but hopes to re­turn to the West End at some point, loves teach­ing. “It is great to be at the Arts Cen­tre and have the chance to pass on my ex­pe­ri­ence and what I have learned and be able to share that with the kids.” This is a big an­niver­sary for the Arts Car­ni­val, still go­ing strong 30 years af­ter it was set up by that le­gend of Aberdeen theatre An­nie Inglis, who sadly died last year. Cecile Thiry, car­ni­val co-or­di­na­tor, is hugely proud of its work and the fact that al­most 100,000 chil­dren have joined the car­ni­val over three decades. She said: “The aim is to have lots of kids, hav­ing lots of fun. “We have sports, craft, arts, mu­sic, lots of dif­fer­ent things to make ev­ery sin­gle child happy.” “The pur­pose is to try new things, make new friends ... but also to in­stil a love of the arts in kids. “We have chil­dren com­ing who have no idea about the arts or how much fun that can be. This can get them into arts to see how beau­ti­ful and ex­cit­ing that can be.” This year will be a stel­lar car­ni­val, said Cecile, and will have sev­eral new work­shops. “There is the Glee work­shop, a cir­cus one in­clud­ing clown­ing, and also our Ultimate Mu­si­cal work­shop – that will be su­per­good!” For the more ac­tive kids there are also “Lit­tle Ninja” mar­tial art work­shops and zumba classes. Cecile said: “The work­shops build up to­wards a show, like any theatre com­pany would do, on the stage on Fri­day for fam­ily and friends.” There are also some old favourites in the mix over the five weeks, said Cecile. “We al­ways have a cheer­lead­ing work­shop, that is al­ways just so pop­u­lar with all the girls. It’s great fun. “We also have the Joy of Mu­si­cals, hip-hop with MCs, we have drum­ming and lots of mu­si­cal theatre.” Cecile said that the at­mos­phere at the Arts Cen­tre is amaz­ing dur­ing the sum­mer car­ni­val. “It is very noisy, there is ex­cite­ment all around the place. “For me the best day is the Mon­day be­cause ev­ery week is new, then on Fri­day it’s packed with peo­ple putting shows on and all the par­ents are com­ing to see them.” “|t is amaz­ing to think the car­ni­val is go­ing on 30 years af­ter An­nie Inglis started it,” said Cecile. “That is quite a fit­ting legacy for her.” To find out more about the Sum­mer Arts Car­ni­val visit www.ab­erdeenarts­cen­tre.

“It is a fit­ting legacy”

West End lead­ing man Scott Arm­strong and car­ni­val co-or­di­na­tor Cecile Thiry.

JUMP­ING FOR JOY: The car­ni­val’s cheer­lead­ing work­shops are al­ways pop­u­lar. ON SONG: The cast of mu­si­cal TV show Glee.


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