We are in the midst of what people widely regard as one of the most depressing times of the year – with short days and dreary weather getting many of us down in the dumps.

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But a group of performing arts students from Ipswich put on a brave face this weekend as they dedicated their lessons to one of the most enduring of British traits – the stiff upper lip.

Renditions of My Fair Lady and period drama performances formed just part of the event at the Stagecoach theatre arts school, designed to be uplifting in the face of the negativity surrounding January and February.

Sarah Corbett, school principal, said: “About this time every year, because people are going on about it being the most depressing time of the year, we try to do something to turn that on its head.

“This year we thought we would do what the aristocracy do and put on a brave face on and show that we are not bothered or scared about what is going on.

“This is a way of teaching them things they should be learning anyway but in a fun way and a way of saying we don’t give two hoots about what is going on.”

Ballroom dancing was also used to help lift the spirits of the pupils, who also dressed up for the aristocracy-themed lessons.

Sarah added: “They did really well and they really got into the spirit of it.

“The parents also put in a real effort. We are lucky because this is a good community and the parents get involved.”

For more information about the school, visit www.stagecoach.co.uk/ipswich

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