11th October 2019 — A West End star brought a touch of glamour to Roedean school this term when she held theatre workshops for its pupils.
Charlotte Kennedy, who has just finished playing Cosette in the West End production of Les Miserables, spent the day at the Brighton school with Year 9 and 10s rehearsing the blocking and performance of the song At The End Of The Day from the hit musical.
The school’s theatre director Katy Markey explained: “The whole of Year 9 came today to do this workshop and in groups they had just 50 minutes to learn all the staging and blocking of this song in the original show. They worked incredibly hard and I can see how it lifts their confidence and self-esteem. We are not just concentrating on getting the girls who already love drama to do this – everyone has had a go and experienced what it’s like to get instruction from someone right at the top of her game.”
Charlotte, who first joined Les Mis five years ago at the age of 20 and has enjoyed wide acclaim for the role, said it was tough to learn so much in one session, adding that the exercise was great for all pupils, not just those who wanted a career on the stage.
She said: “This is about acting through song, which is not easy. I’ve seen the girls really blossom today and grow in confidence and that’s wonderful to witness. Often people think that if you didn’t start singing and dancing at an early age then you won't end up doing it for a career but I didn’t really start until I was 15. Then I just fell in love with performing and that was that!
“I hope that by coming along to Roedean and talking about my career and how I got into the West End will inspire girls in whatever they hope to do – its about not giving up and realising that there will be lots of knock backs but its important to keep on going and accept that rejection is a part of your development.”
Year 10's drama scholars also had the chance to sample some of Charlotte’s expertise as they were given a session on singing the iconic song I Dreamed A Dream.
Pupil Beatrice Shilliam said: “It’s been an amazing experience to be taught by someone like Charlotte who has had West End experience of the original show. It’s been so inspirational because it’s a dream to be in the West End. She was a terrific teacher because she got us to go out of our comfort zone and try something new.”