Students from Hoi Polloi Academy impress judges at international festival

Seven- to 13-year-olds perform ‘The Little Mermaid’ at the Junior Theatre Festival in Birmingham
The students and educators from Hoi Polloi Academy in Birmingham, the UK.

Malta-based theatre school Hoi Polloi Academy has been recognised for acting excellence at Music Theatre International’s Junior Theatre Festival, held in Birmingham, the UK, last weekend.

The festival saw 33 theatre schools from across the UK, Europe and the US present 15 minutes of a Broadway Junior musical. They were adjudicated by theatre professionals, who assessed performances in music, acting, dance and overall execution. Following their evaluations, adjudicators provided constructive feedback to each group, nurturing further growth and learning in crucial areas.

The 30 performers from Hoi Polloi Academy’s middle and senior schools, ranging in age from seven to 13 years, gave an imaginative interpretation of The Little Mermaid Junior.

The judges were impressed by their performance and awarded them the ‘Achievement in Acting’ prize.

Students rehearsing for their interpretation of The Little Mermaid Junior in the UK.

One of the judges said: “For the first time I haven’t written anything down as I was so involved with the performance” praising the students that “your acting was amazing. You are the only group that has portrayed different worlds and it was so clear which world we were in.”

Marco A. Calleja, executive producer and director at HPA, said he was very proud of the students and educators.

“To compete at such a high international level was already a significant achievement. And for these professionals to recognise the amazing talents of our students is such an honour,” he said.

He continued: “Participating in such an event beautifully aligns with our school’s ‘three Es’ message: Engage, explore, and express. We have an amazing community and I want to express my sincere thanks to all parents, guardians, family and friends that supported this journey and created memories for our students that will last a lifetime.”

The Maltese students also participated in acting, dancing and singing workshops with West End luminaries, which offered them an opportunity to further grow their knowledge of performance and backstage.

Amy Farrugia, 9, and Daniele Farrugia, 11, were also selected to participate in an ‘all stars’ performance, working with selected students from all competing schools to present a fitting finale to the event.

Considered Europe’s largest celebration of musical theatre for young performers, the festival is held annually at the ICC in Birmingham and is produced by Music Theatre International (MTI).

For more information, parents and prospective students can explore the academy’s Facebook page and Instagram; reach out via e-mail at hello@hoipolloimalta.com; drop by The Creative Hub in Qormi or contact the academy directly by calling 9915 2535.

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