252893ae298be8d9d2753ad7f6a018e9e25af27e.2400.1200.98.102.3312.1658MIDDLESBROUGH Town Hall’s popular Saturday Performing Arts class is about to take to the stage with a brand new summer show.

Miss Ella was especially created and written for them, with performances on Monday, July 18 and Tuesday, July 19 at Middlesbrough Theatre.

The group – made up of six- to 18-year-olds – has been working since January on the piece which takes its inspiration from the classic fairy tale Cinderella but relocates it to post war Britain and sets the story against the backdrop of the North East coastline.

Filled with classic songs from stars like Vera Lynn along with some numbers which have been given a postmodern jukebox feel, this will be one musical not to miss.

Middlesbrough Town Hall Performing Arts has always offered students a unique opportunity to work, develop and increase their skills in acting, voice work, singing, dancing and movement in the heart of Middlesbrough.

The team behind the group aim to help the students achieve and excel in as many different ways as possible, and with the creation of a new piece of children’s theatre a natural next step and challenge.

In the past the students have had a fantastic range of opportunities to take part in some memorable experiences such as parades, showcases and wonderful summer shows including performances of Disney’s Aladdin, Alice In Wonderland, Oliver and Annie.

Tutor Chloe Bell said: “As always we asked the students what show they would like to do and gave them a list of different ideas.

“As we discussed thoughts on shows and how we could reinterpret them it just suddenly seemed as easy to write a new one from scratch.

“We were already fortunate to have local playwright David Tuffnell working with the group as an acting coach so we asked him to put something together.”

David added: “This has been great for me – the children are wonderful to work with and they have had some brilliant ideas.

“Initially I had done the first scene of the show and the children auditioned using the script I had created.

“Once it was cast it meant everything became easier as I could start to write parts that were for specific individuals, I could chat with the students about their characters and what I thought could happen and they could then feedback to me.

Music tutor Victoria Holtom said “The key part is that the show really is unique to this group of children – they will be the first group to perform it and that is such an amazing experience that not many people get to have.”

Tutors Chloe Bell, Victoria Holtom, Sarah Atkinson and David Tuffnell have a wide variety of drama school backgrounds including LAMDA, Central School of Speech and Drama, Arts Educational Schools and Italia Conti, along with teachers who work professionally throughout the North East.

Classes are led in a fun and energetic environment with a high expectation on students and staff to work hard to achieve results and do the best they can.

This group is not only a chance for children to learn new performance techniques but classes and shows build confidence, improve communication skills and give children the chance to be part of a company where they can make new friends for life. And this show is most definitely a memory to treasure.

Miss Ella at Middlesbrough Theatre July 18 and 19 starting at 7.30pm

Tickets £10/£8 concessions

MTH Performing Arts classes run weekly, term time, 10am to 1pm (seven- to 11-year-olds) and 1.30pm to 4.30pm (12- to 16-year-olds).

Sessions are £7 and block booking is required for each half term.

To book or for further information, call the Box Office on 01642 81 51 81 or book online at www.middlesbroughtheatre.co.uk