Young stage stars shine

VADA students who excelled at Fleetwood speech and music festival. Back, from the left, Emily Stead, eight, Freya Popps, 11 and Tom Davies, 10. Middle row, Amelie Green, seven, Imogen Sharpe-Steers, five, Harriet Green, five, and Florrie Bamforth, eight. Front, Sam Jackson, 14, left, and Lucy Crossley, 16, right.
VADA students who excelled at Fleetwood speech and music festival. Back, from the left, Emily Stead, eight, Freya Popps, 11 and Tom Davies, 10. Middle row, Amelie Green, seven, Imogen Sharpe-Steers, five, Harriet Green, five, and Florrie Bamforth, eight. Front, Sam Jackson, 14, left, and Lucy Crossley, 16, right.

Young thespians from across Calderdale have come top at a prestigious speech and music contest.

The talented students from Copley-based V Academy of Performing Arts (VADA) brought home 11 trophies from the Fleetwood Music and Arts Festival.

VADA Director Vanessa Buckley said she was delighted with her students’ success.

“They’re just fantastic results,” she said. “I’m so proud of them all, not just the winners. There are some students who six months ago had never been on stage but who got up and performed brilliantly. It’s very rewarding for me to see.”

The trophy winners were five-year-old Imogen Sharp-Steers from Copley who won the Rimmer Cup; eight-year-old Emily Stead from Brighouse winning the Annie St John Memorial Trophy and first prize in Novice Voice Speaking; 18-year-old James Buckley from Greetland who won the Margot Hutchinson Trophy, the Rotary Trophy and the Maureen Tyler Cup for the highest mark in Senior Speech; 10-year-old Tom Davies from Sowerby Bridge winning the Elsie Wright Cup; 14-year-old Charlotte Sowerby from Huddersfield who won the Dorothy Tanter Trophy; 16-year-old Lucy Crossley from Birchencliffe who won the Elsie Izod Trophy, the Fleetwood Star Plate and the Charlotte Dawson Memorial Trophy for Most Promising Singer; and 14-year-old Sam Jackson from Lindley winning The Festival Trophy for Prose.

Vanessa said Imogen was too shy to even speak when she first came to VADA classes but the sessions have since helped her confidence soar.

She added the academy’s October production of Matilda had particularly boosted students’ ability to take to the stage.

“The lights went up and their eyes brightened as they sprang to life, performing just how they had been trained to,” she said.

VADA offers lessons accredited by the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Arts for children aged from three to 18.It is the first stage school in West Yorkshire to secure the rights to West End hit Elf The Musical, which will be performed next year.

For more information visit the VADA website at www.vacademyofdramaticarts.com, email vadacastingmanagement@gmail.com or telephone 07796 688571.