Wolverhampton's Grand Theatre youth choir stage Gleefest

Wolverhampton | News | Published:

Mix together rock chicks, geeks and cheerleaders withToe-tapping tunes and dazzling costumes and it can mean only one thing - Gleefest!

And the young cast who performed the upbeat show at say their joy at performing in a show inspired by the TV show Glee has made them yearn for a stage career.

The cast of 45 members of the theatre group's youth choir Grand Ambition, aged between seven and 18, staged the show following six months of preparation.

And their coaches have tipped members of the choir for future stardom.

Faraz Rafiq, of Willenhall, compared, sang and danced in the show. He said: "Peoples' reaction just gives that boost you need to realise you can really make a go of this."

The 18-year-old, of Lauder Close, Sedgley, said he was planning to complete his performing arts course at North-East Wolverhampton Academy before going on to stage school.

Faraz, who performed a solo version of Make 'Em Laugh from Singin in the Rain, said: "I want to go to on to the West End. I wouldn't mind stage or screen but you get that buzz with theatre, from performing live, that you don't get anywhere else.

"Gleefest! was a phenomenal experience. I'm sad it's over."


Saturday's two-and-a-half hour show featured 30 songs, including several from the hit TV musical-comedy, such as Maroon 5's Moves Like Jagger, old and new pop classics like Black-eyed Peas' I Gotta Feeling and tributes to shows like Grease and Chicago.

Another performer, Lydia Kirwan, of Wordsworth Road, The Scotlands, Wolverhampton, said she was often passing up opportunities other teenagers wouldn't to pursue her dream of a stage career.

The 17-year-old, who performed a solo version of All That Jazz as well as group songs, said: "There's been times in the past where I've wanted to go out with my mates, hanging out, going to parties, but the end result makes it worth it.

"The show was amazing. The crowd really interacted with us. Things like this make me proud to say this is what I want to do for a career."


Ben Evans, aged 11, of Penn, said he had found the Glee TV show inspirational.

He said: "It's brilliant how they can be talking normally and then burst into song. The show was hard but, once I get on stage, it's a good thrill."

Louise Bent, manager of Grand Ambition, said: "There's a few that stand out, the ones that you can see rule the stage.

"Some of them could be in Glee - especially the older ones.

"You walk into rehearsals and its just like the show, you have pretty cheerleaders, geeks, rock chicks - so many lovely, different personalities."

Louise said Saturday's performance was "a fantastic, memorable show."

She said Grand Ambition was looking for new members, particularly males aged between 15 and 18. Those interested should call the theatre on 01902 573320.

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