Gleeful return for summer arts carnival.
Kids’ chance to become stars of hit musical show
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. org.uk
“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.