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Georgia Ainsley, 15, as the Cheshire Cat, and Gabrielle Elliott, 12, as little Alice in December’s show

Manor Community Academy shines on stage

The Hartlepool secondary school is earning rave reviews for their drama performances

Posted by Charley Rogers | February 10, 2018 | School life

Manor Community Academy already has an excellent reputation for producing stars of the stage and screen. Now the staff at Manor, a Northern Education Trust (NET) school, are looking to provide the perfect platform for more students to build on such high standards for years to come.

Manor has seen Hannah Marram perform in Singing in the Rain in Paris and James Pattison shine in My Fair Lady in Reading. Lewis McBean and Callum Rayment have also hit the stage in Salad Days and big pantomimes respectively.

Current performing arts students at Manor earned rave reviews for their performances in their own pre-Christmas production of Alice in Wonderland.

An upcoming dance show, choir concerts and The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe are all planned and will take place in a state-of-the-art school theatre NET has invested in.

Manor’s Head of Drama Caroline Cole, who works closely with head of dance Sarah Savage, said: “Manor Community Academy has always had an excellent reputation for performing arts.”

“This has largely come about due to the hard work of pupils and the staff who work alongside them but also the support of senior leaders, parents and the academy and wider community.”

“We are fortunate that the level of support is continuing, if not increasing, now we are a part of Northern Education Trust and we’re hoping we can move the department forward with future musical productions, workshops and plays.”

“We’re excited for what the future holds for our performing arts family.”

Manor’s performing arts students have regularly achieved above the national average in GCSE results.

There is a drive to help students become better people, too, after the launch of increased enrichment options, and they are being encouraged to get involved in sport and extra-curricular activities.

Coming here has been a real confidence boost for me and a real privilege. – Georgia Ainsley, Year 11, Manor Community Academy

Year 11 student Georgia Ainsley, 15, was a Cheshire Cat in Alice and has previously starred in Oliver, The Wizard of Oz and A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

The former Eskdale Academy pupil, studying for her GCSEs this year, said: “Coming here has been a real confidence boost for me and a real privilege.' 

“I took drama as an option and there has been a lot of support in the final year. The teachers are doing everything they can to ensure we get the top grades and there has been lots of intervention.”

“The behaviour has been better and that has made it easier to learn in lessons.”

While Georgia will leave Manor this year, Gabrielle Elliott only started Year 7 in September.

Gabrielle, 12, arrived from Ferns Primary and was little Alice in December’s show.

She said: “I only used to go to music lessons for the flute, had never been on stage. I auditioned in my second week and got the part.' 

“I loved it. It was something different and amazing, it was much bigger than I thought and we all worked so hard on it.” 

“Everyone welcomes you at Manor and I have gained more confidence by going on stage after dancing classes with Mrs Savage.”

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