Ariel pupils win every musical theatre category at East Grinstead arts festival

Ariel students show off their certificates
Ariel students show off their certificates

Ariel students from Crawley and East Grinstead swept the board in their fifth year of entering the East Grinstead Music and Arts Festival, which was held over the May Bank Holiday weekend and the previous weekend.

This year saw Ariel achieve its best ever results, with students across the two academies, who meet every Saturday in Crawley and East Grinstead, scooping the top spot in every musical theatre category.

Ariel East Grinstead principal Karen Brown, who coached and entered the students along with Crawley principal Abi Paige, said: “The competition was very strong this year with many seasoned performers taking part, so this was an amazing accomplishment.

“Entering a competition is always nerve-racking and we are so proud of how our students rose to the challenge. The judge was extremely complementary, especially of our work in the musical theatre categories where students shone at both acting and singing.”

The established festival was launched in 1968 to promote and encourage the arts of dancing, singing, speech and drama and it took place at the Chequer Mead Theatre.

Ariel Crawley Academy result highlights

Musical Theatre Solo (10-12 years) – first place, Grace Towning.

Musical Theatre Solo (16-18 years) – first place Lizzie Martin, second place Harry Simpson.

Musical Theatre Duet (16-18 years) – first place Lizzie Martin and Harry Simpson.

Dramatic Solo (12 years and under) – first place Grace Towning and second place Imogen Lamb.

Verse Speaking (11-12 years) – first place Bobbie Smith.

Prose Reading (new category) – first place Lulu Wormall in the six and under category.

Sixteen-year-old Harry Simpson from Holy Trinity School was also awarded a special £30 bursary for achieving the highest score and impressing the adjudicators the most over the whole competition.

Ariel always welcomes new students to their academies. No previous drama experience is needed and there is no audition.

For more information, or to arrange a visit to the Crawley or East Grinstead academy, call 01444 250407 or visit

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