Performers eager to return to stage

PROMISING dancers and singers couldn’t wait to get back on the stage after 18 months of Covid shutdown.

The star performers of the Gillian Banks Theatre School were finally back in action last weekend with a Magics of the Musicals show at Gulliver’s Valley.

It was the first time they had shown their skills in public since spring last year, when lockdown hit as they rehearsed for two shows at the Civic — the first time in 50 years founder Gillian Banks had failed to stage a planned production at Rotherham’s main venue.

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Gillian admitted she had thought deeply about whether to call it a day but had decided to come back stronger, and has arranged the installation of new girders at her rehearsal space, as part of wider refurbishment, to allow more students to learn and practice trapeze, rope and other aerial acrobatic and dance techniques.

Gillian, who said she was now training the grandchildren of students who she worked several years ago, added: “I really want to see the children back in the studio and not through Zoom anymore, although it has kept them engaged and socialised during the darker times.”

The student performers will be at Magna in October for the Mayor’s Charity Ball.

Gillian added: “Performances and training are very much back on the agenda, and getting the children back into the studios is where it all begins for the final rehearsals.”