Romford Pictures: Youngsters - and Harvey the dog - stars of Havering College show staged in West End
18:00 10 May 2014
Young people with learning and physical challenges were among the cast of a community show staged by Havering College that raised the roof in a West End theatre.
Schools from across Havering, as well as Brentwood Barking and Dagenham, took part in the one-off production at Her Majesty’s Theatre in Haymarket, London – the home of The Phantom of the Opera.
Synergy Street – The Musical played on Sunday and starred cast members as young as six as well as Harvey, a springer spaniel cross terrier, owned by Havering College head of management accounts, Barbara Bows.
A year of planning and rehearsals under the leadership of director/producer Peter Dayson brought together talented performers, including youngsters from Ravensbourne School, in Harold Hill, and Corbets Tey School, in Upminster.
Among the cast was Havering College Quarles Campus student Shelley Naor, 24, who said: “This is the best day of my life. I want to do it more, more and more.”
Synergy Street’s storyline around the battle to save a much-loved community centre from the threat of closure was brought to life with 12 new songs written by Havering College Music lecturer Mr Dayson.
The principal leads were played by Peter Beadle as caretaker Ron Galpin, Taylor Gannon in the role of caring centre leader Sarah Roberts, and Erin Gibson as the formidable kids’ leader.
Joint stage manager for Synergy Street was former Havering College student Laura Garner, who now works at Her Majesty’s Theatre.
Mr Dayson said: “It takes a year to plan our annual cross over community projects.
“Synergy is all about working together to involve young people from all walks of life across the community.
“This is such a special day for all the students taking part – it’s an experience that will live with them for ever.
“I would like to take this opportunity to thank our colleagues in the industry who come every year for supporting us – it means the world to them.
“Thank you to all the schools that took part, all the carers and staff who have attended rehearsals, particularly mums and dads.”