Youngsters take to the stage for a pirate performance

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Pupils from a north Northumberland school took to the stage last week after a project with a theatre group.

Youngsters from Barndale House School in Alnwick took part in a project which linked in to the production of Treasure Island at Alnwick Playhouse.

Working with Joanne Burn, who oversees the Shadowdance group held at the theatre. students put on a dance display to the music from the production.

Dressed as pirates, with props to boot, they performed a series of pieces to music with parents and friends in the audience.

The smiling faces and enthusiasm coming from the actors and actresses on stage proved that they were enjoying themselves and the production.

Playhouse manager Jo Potts said: “This was only possible because of funding from Northumberland County Council’s dance development pot of money.

“We wanted to do a Mind the Gap project where able-bodied but physically-challenged young adults, or those with learning disabilities, could take part in dance.

“We wondered how we could get a project together.

“It was decided to tie it in with Treasure Island and we went into the school to do some work.

“It is really nice to start up this relationship and the people involved have done really well.

“Some of the performers have absolutely flourished and it shows them that just because they have a disability they can still do it.

“It also gives them a chance to see what other people like them can do.

“The group has done so well that they wanted to do a proper performance.

“Rather than putting on a full audience, we called it a sharing experience so they can show their friends and family what they have been doing.”

The production lasted about 20 minutes and saw 13 pupils perform to 13 different tracks.

Some did solo pieces on the stage while other numbers involved them all.

The performances were choreographed by Joanne and the young people were so appreciative of her help and support that she was given a card and bunch of flowers at the end to say thank you.

The students involved were all invited to see the production of Treasure Island at the Playhouse on Friday afternoon.




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