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Andover College’s Performing Arts department have showcased their talent and skills in a new way, live and virtual, fitting to suit our times. This year’s pantomime, Beauty and the Beast was livestreamed for all to watch through YouTube.

The annual pantomime is an event all those at the college look forward to each year. The pantomime will be available to watch on YouTube for the general public, local schools, students and staff at the college.

Students have been intensively rehearsing since October for the performance which brought many of the college’s departments together to work on the show. The Performing Arts, Music and Dance students have been working together on various parts of the performance and Stage Management students were in charge of controlling the set design, lighting and sound for each of the three shows alongside Digital Media students for livestreaming expertise. 

All students involved have been in an academic bubble, following government guidance, to protect the students and staff. Group songs were pre-recorded in a Covid-safe environment to limit the potential spread of the virus.

Head of Performing Arts, Rob Collier said: “The pantomime is an important part of the Christmas tradition at Andover College and is a great way to start the Christmas period with some festive cheer. This is even more important this year than usual. We are living in extraordinary times which led to us needing to go to massive lengths to ensure that we are still able to present the Pantomime this year. The Pantomime shows that Andover College is all about teamwork. The staff and students all come together to create this incredible performance and they do it with such professionalism. This again has been more evident than usual as the students have had to adapt to the livestreaming environment. This has meant that we have been lucky enough to collaborate with the Music Students for the live band, the livestream aspect has been managed by our Stage Management students in conjunction with Digital Media Students. We are proud to give our students the experience they need to be prepared for the industry. The pantomime will always be my favourite time of the year and I have thoroughly enjoyed working with the team this year and adapting to the challenges that have been presented to us.”

Emre, Andover College Performing Arts student, said “I am playing the character of The Beast in the Beauty and the Beast pantomime. I am very excited to be playing the Beast as I have loved cultivating the character and making it unique in order to represent a meaningful persona on stage. From the first rehearsal to the last it has been wonderful creating this piece as we have all worked very hard on and off stage. We would not be able to showcase this pantomime without the professionalism and support of the teachers and the team backstage. It’s been a huge challenge to adapt to performing to a camera and not getting the immediate reaction we normally would but it’s been amazing to adapt and experience new things while also putting on a live show in these difficult times. Overall it has been an educational yet brilliant experience and I can assure you it is a pantomime you cannot miss and we are honoured to be able to present something extraordinary to bring some much needed Christmas cheer direct into people’s households.”