SPIRITS are high after a spellbinding West End performance of the legendary rock musical Godspell by Havering College.
A cast of 70-plus singers, musicians and performers raised the roof at Her Majesty's Theatre in Haymarket, London – the home of The Phantom of the Opera.
Written in the 1970s by the Grammy and Academy Award-winning Wicked composer Stephen Schwartz, the Havering College production of Godspell on Sunday, May 3rd was a community CrossOver project, involving schools and learning organisations from Havering.
Cast members ranged from the age of six upwards and included performers with learning or physical challenges.
The principal leads included 19-year-old Adam Wheeler, from Upminster, as Jesus and Romford resident Shaun Lee, 28 as Judas. Adam is studying for a Level 3 BTEC Extended Diploma in Performing Arts (Musical Theatre) at Havering College while Adam is on the BA (Honours) Music Performance degree course.
Other cast members were Tariq Wooding, Martin Hart, Peter Rynne, Louise Heather, Millie Sharpe, Rebecca Grace, Anna Picknell and Jennifer Woodward.
They were supported by a 50-strong company of young people from schools and learning organisations across Havering including Mead Primary School, Upminster Primary School, Frances Bardsley School, Ardleigh Green Junior School, Abbs Cross Academy and Emerson Park School.
Band members, who included Havering College students and staff, were Dave Wood (conductor), Rosie Wallace, Tristan Embleton, Danny Hayes, James Dean and Jacob Henry. The production team comprised of Elaine O'Connor, Peter Taylor, Will Trubridge, Iain Stewart, Lynn Trubridge, Sophie Tysoe, Emma Ward and Taylor Gannon.
The production incorporated great musical numbers ranging from Day By Day and Oh Bless The Lord My Soul, to the soul searching lyrics of By My Side and On the Willows. Centre stage was a spectacularly colourful ten foot tree crafted Level 3 BTEC Art & Design student Chloe Stockwell.
Producer/Director Peter Dayson said: "This is the ninth year of the Havering College Community Crossover project. It is an award winning project and last year's production of Synergy Street played a part along with other colleagues and projects in winning two community awards for London and across the UK.
"These shows are the most wonderful opportunity for the students and young people. Taking part is a life-changing experience. I would like to thank our colleagues in the industry who come every year for supporting us – it means the world to therm.
"I am extremely grateful to the Really Useful Theatre Company and its staff for inviting us to make a return visit to this incredible theatre.
"Thank you to all the schools that took part, all the carers and staff who have attended rehearsals, particularly mums and dads."
Other members of the Godspell company were: Grace Schofield; Phoebe Daniell; Seb Lewis; Cody Cordell; Kareena Sood; Lavender Fong; Samantha Fong; Charlotte Coughlan; Ella Craze; Ian Dimaculangan; Anzieba Bainden; Maisie Pearson; Ella Kelynack; Caitlin Kilroy; Ellie Bradley; Laila Hands; Lia Mills; Elias Chawki; Holly Graham; Hannah Welland; Ciara Corless; Pippa Philpott; Holly Bennett; Jessica Packard-White; Ellie Spencer; Daisy Church; Amelia Lewington; Olivia Walker; Ciara Sorrell; Leah Morrison; Charis Gee; Tailor Gibson; Erin Gibson; Caroline Rushbrook; Kelly Barber; Louella Hinton-Avery; Jamie Blake; Lucy Higgins; Aspen Coppard; Ebony Hughes; Eliza Coppard; Mollie Carpenter; Jack Dayson; Cherry Aldridge; Maya Bryan; Isabelle Bradley; Maelyss Moore; Francesca Devido; Kiera Buckley and Sophie-Mae Morgan.
Havering College holds Artsmark Gold status from Arts Council England in recognition of its commitment to, and excellence in, arts education.