Undoubtedly, the staging of ‘Billy Elliot’ is one of the most challenging of musicals – with acting, dancing, singing and music all in need of top-level performances, but also a high degree of empathy for a time which for many parents is well within our yesterdays but for the students is from a distant age.

Even so, under the direction of Mr Branch, and with production support from Mr Hughes and Mrs Gardner, the cast pulled of a series of truly remarkable shows. Amongst a swathe of outstanding performances, particular acclaim went to Megan Jacobs and Emma Lawrence as Grandma, Esme Wade and Bethan McCormick as Mrs Wilkinson, and  of course Matt Sykes as Billy.

The final night echoed the other shows with copious applause coming from beaming families proudly looking on at the stage – and there was even time for a rendition of ‘Happy Birthday’ to Matt Sykes (Billy) who had a 13th birthday to celebrate.

Emotional nights with an exceptional production team, an outstanding cast, and a real reason to be proud that we are The Friary.