Performing prodigies from Accrington have shown themselves to be young masters of drama and dance.

Seven pupils at The Performance Academy have already completed their GCSE drama – even though they are only aged 12 and 13.

Drama and musical theatre tutor Nicola Markham is “delighted” after all her students achieved their NCFE Level Two qualification – the equivalent of a grade A-C GCSE.

She said: “Their final piece was called Seaside Rendezvous and they all worked together to choreograph and design outfits.

“They also had to present a file for external assessment, which documents the work they have done, how they have progressed, skills and health and safety.

“The examiner, Harry Atkinson, commented on how it was some of the highest standards of work he had seen at that level.”

The academy plans to offer further drama qualifications in the future and possibly NCFE dance.

Its annual show saw 90 pupils performing in front of 400 people in three shows at The Coppice Theatre at Accrington and Rossendale College.

Principal Katherine Marriott-Pae said the show was called Summer Spectacular and it was a lively array of dance, drama and musical theatre.

She added: “Children got opportunities to show their technical skills in a fun and supportive non-competitive environment.”

The youngest dancer on stage was just three and all of the pupils got the chance to showcase their skills in a variety of performances.

Cinderella was the main ballet, along with mini productions of Bugsy Malone, Annie, and Cabaret. Nicola Markham also wrote a special Horrible Histories-style drama based on the Tudors called A Ruff Guide, featuring Henry VIII and his many wives.

Costumes were made by Nicola, along with her mother and a parent.

In the autumn, pupils will be entering a Performer of the Year dance competition in Manchester, and drama students will be at Fleetwood Festival in November.

Michael Berkin, who is ex-Royal Ballet School, will also be visiting the academy again to hold a masterclass and workshops on ballet.

The academy holds after school and weekend classes in ballet, tap, jazz, musical theatre, street dance and drama.

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