St John’s on-the-Hill School children had a fabulous two days in London where they went on two theatre trips to see musicals, The Lion King and Matilda, and visited the iconic Pineapple Dance Studios for exclusive drama workshops by the musicals’ cast members.

Year 7 and 8 children began their Performing Arts trip on Tuesday 7 February with a drama workshop by members of the Matilda cast at Pineapple Dance Studios. The students learned dance routines from the show, which they then saw in action during a performance of Matilda that evening. They also went for dinner at Planet Hollywood, where they got the opportunity to look at movie memorabilia, took part in an impressive 48 person manikin challenge and sang along to classic tunes from Hollywood’s golden age.

On Wednesday, the children headed to Pineapple Dance Studios again. This time they met cast members from The Lion King and learnt drama techniques and dance routines that will be used in their own production of The Lion King, in March. In the afternoon they got to sample chocolate delights on a visit to the giant M&M shop, where they were greeted by a cloud of sugar and the intoxicating smell of candy. Pupils also had the opportunity to watch street performers and some were even selected to join the acrobatic displays. Finally, the pupils watched The Lion King and saw the choreography they had learnt in action.

David Mitchell, Director of Music at St John’s on-the-Hill School, said: “We had a fantastic two days. Our students were blown away by the cast members’ talent, by the awesome music and the special effects. The shows were spectacular and our students came out buzzing with excitement and determined to put on their own brilliant show of The Lion King, in March.

“Meeting cast members from the musicals and taking part in their workshops made the performances personal to us. The Pineapple teachers really put our students through their paces, treating each session as if it were a professional rehearsal. Our students quickly got to grips with the moves and the concentration required. All of the staff were impressed with their effort and their dancing skills. Our children were an absolute joy and represented the school extremely well. I hope the memories made on this trip will stay with them.”