Students get tips from stars

IT is not every day budding actors and actresses get the chance to learn from the best. But a group of Suffolk students have been taking tips from one of the nation's much-moved stars of the stage in preparation for their school production.

IT is not every day budding actors and actresses get the chance to learn from the best. But a group of Suffolk students have been taking tips from one of the nation's much-moved stars of the stage in preparation for their school production.

Ruthie Henshall and her husband, Tim Howar, made a special visit to County Upper School in Bury St Edmunds to help youngsters get ready for their own performance of West End musical West Side Story, which is being shown in February.

“It has been lovely doing this with Tim and I have been knocked down by the standard of the performances I have seen here today,” said Ruthie.

“Youngsters like this are the future of the industry and I always find it so inspiring because they are so full of life and enthusiasm.

“West Side Story is one of the greatest musicals but also one of the hardest, and for these students to be so great so early on in their rehearsing is amazing. Tim and I will definitely come back and watch the show.”

Ruthie, who is no stranger to the West End, is currently filming Britain Sings Christmas - a television show aiming to find the nation's ultimate festive tune.

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“Anyone who wanted to get involved in the production had the opportunity to do so, and we have around 100 cast members, an orchestra, and 40 back-stage workers,” said the school's music director Rebecca Green.

“We have only just started rehearsals and it has been great for the pupils to get advice from Ruthie and Tim.”