About 150 young people from Winchester Theater Arts took to the stage to perform Alice in Wonderland at the Rose Theater in Eastleigh.
It is the first time the school has been able to perform in more than two years, with the pandemic disrupting the usually annual event.
Winchester Theater Arts has been offering voice, dance and acting lessons for 45 years, many of which take place at its Jubilee Hall base in Kings Worthy.
Thousands of young people from the Worthys and beyond have passed through its doors and many have embarked on a career in the performing arts, notably on the West End stage. Others still support the organization by helping behind the scenes at the shows.
The Winchester Theater Art Shows have become known for their colorful costumes, great choreography and abundance of talent and this year’s extravagance Alice in Wonderland was no different.
The performances had required many hours of rehearsals and months of preparation by the team of volunteers and teachers, in particular director, screenwriter and choreographer Laura Goodwin.
It was the 10th show for Erin Neal who played Alice and it was the last show for a number of students before heading off to college.
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Freya Murchison, who played the Mad Hatter, said: “This year is my 13th and final show. It was an absolute pleasure to rehearse with this cast, we all had so much fun every step of the way. I can’t begin to thank everyone enough for the past 13 years, I’m beyond grateful for the experiences I’ve had and the friends I’ve made.
Oliver Gittins, who took on the role of March Hare, said: “I do tap and jazz, I really like it because I like dancing and they help me express myself. I’m so proud of everyone because we’ve all come so far in just a few months. WTA has given me a family and a place where I can be myself.
Alice in Wonderland ended with a rendition of Abba’s ‘Thank You for the Music’, a tradition that has taken place since the school’s inception and a moving moment for participants and family members in the audience.
Earlier this year, members of the Winchester School of Theater Arts organized an evening of song and dance from the musicals which raised more than £2,000 for the people of Ukraine.
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