Ripon stage students find great success

Youngsters from Ripon-based Upstage Academy school of performance recently found success at various competitions after two years of lockdown restrictions.

By Janet Harrison
Friday, 8th April 2022, 12:07 pm

For three weekends children attended the Harrogate competitive festival of music speech and drama, competing in Acting and Musical Theatre and devised Drama.

“The festival is extremely competitive,” said Principle Amelia Urukalo.

“We entered 14 categories with 45 students from Ripon and placed in every category winning 1st place in 13 of them.

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“We had five acts put forward to the speech and drama championships and won with our student Alfie Davies.”

And the students of the Ripon Academy attended Skipton music festival where they won first to third places and best stage presence at the festival final.

Further success followed when 45 students undertook their LAMDA (London Academy of Music and Dramatic Arts) and every student gained the highest grade bracket possible at distinction.

“Many achieved 100 per cent,” added Amelia, who added that the success hadn’t been achieved overnight.

“We made a group commitment during lockdown to ensure we could survive as a small business,” she said.

“We didn’t miss a single class, ensuring we kept the children challenged with online workshops with Westend stars, competitions, festivals adjudicated by leaders of the national youth theatre.

“Our students showed incredible resilience in ensuring they continued their training and supported the school.

“With nearly two years of no performance opportunities we are beyond proud of them all.”

This July the students will take to the stage of Harrogate theatre to perform the multi-award winning musical Hairspray.