Talent from Kent on show at KSG Cultural Celebration
Young performers from across Kent lit up the Winter Gardens in Margate on Sunday evening at the Kent School Games Cultural Celebration.
The Cultural Celebration, sister event of the Kent School Games run by Kent County Council, showcases artistic talent and featured 150 able-bodied and disabled young performers from the region.
In a performance centred around a brother and sister’s dreams deaf performer Wilfred Jenkins and Miranda Beinart played the lead characters of Tom and Charlotte. Jenkins aged 20 from Margate is profoundly deaf and autistic and is currently studying ‘Bright Futures’ at QEQM as part of East Kent College, whilst Beinart, aged 10, trains at Danz Studio in Folkestone and has spent much of the summer filming a feature film titled ‘Seagull’ set in Folkestone.
The talented duo were joined on stage by 150 young performers from across Kent, including One Direction tribute band 1D Tribute, singer songwriter Ryan Taber, poet Will Turner, rising opera star Kayleigh Stevens Keatley, singers Hollie Firmin, Aaliyah Ginn, Shannon Taiwo and Bradley Bissett as well as dancers from Ashford’s Dance Warehouse, the Canterbury Academy, Zest Dance Group, Greenacre Academy and Cascade (Canterbury Academy).
The youngest performers on the night, the Bridge and Patrixbourne CEP School Choir delighted the audience with a performance of the Pharrell William’s song Happy, whilst a signing choir made up of deaf children ensured deaf members of the audience were equally entertained.
The Cultural Celebration is a sister event to the successful Kent School Games which brings together schools across Kent in competitive sporting events. The events are the brainchild of Paul Carter, Leader of Kent County Council, who wanted to provide more opportunities for school children across the region to participate in sports and the arts.
Following the performance Paul Carter, Leader of Kent County Council said:
“Sports, arts and culture are so important to young people. We started this eight years ago because I felt there were not enough schools playing competitive sports so we created the Kent School Games and alongside it the Cultural Celebration. Tonight has been an incredibly moving evening, with fantastic performances across the board, but especially from the lead actor Wilfred Jenkins. These events help young people to build confidence and self esteem and build long-lasting friendships.”
Charlotte Jenkins, mother of Wilfred Jenkins was a very proud audience member and explained what performing brings to her son who is profoundly deaf, autistic and suffers from dyspraxia which affects coordination:
“Wilf started acting in the nativity play at school when he was three and it’s continued from there, he works very hard and has been rehearsing this role for months. Performing brings out a whole different side to Wilf, he’s not shy but when he performs on stage he shines like a star.”
The Cultural Celebration is supported by The Roger De Haan Trust, Trevor Minter a representative of the Trust said:
“It’s been the most wonderful evening, we have listened to the most beautiful voices and seen some incredible talent. We do a lot to support youth sport and culture and this event brings our interests together wonderfully.”
Josephine Buchan, the Cultural Celebration Artistic Director explained the importance of the arts for personal development:
“The arts help children to communicate and improve confidence and self esteem which then enables them to connect with other people, the single most important thing in life. These shows aren’t about turning them into the next generation of performers, although some will go on to be performers, but by teaching them to communicate it helps them to go to job interviews, have inter-personal relationships and connect with each other and their lives are enriched as a consequence.”
Free to use images attached - photo credit: Tim Stubbings Photography
Highlights video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kEnnmX4zrTg
Individual Performances: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZXf7zqmyfTY&list=PLlEWQs2Z0EfGTFuzg9PUsHlJq0oSF5qPR
Notes to Editors:
Full list of performers:
Wilfred Jenkins - (East Kent College)
Miranda Beinart - (Folkstone)
Zoe and Peter Hammond - Inspiration Inclusive Theatre (Margate)
Bradley Bissett (Chatham & Clarendon)
Aaliyah Ginn (WIB)
Kayleigh Stevens Keatley (Chatham & Clarendon)
Ryan Taber (Simon Langton Boys Grammar School)
Fergus England (St Edmunds)
Milen Santhosh (Simon Langton Boys Grammar School)
Nick Stephenson (Canterbury Academy)
Charlie Waller (Herne Bay High)
Poppy Clarke Kray (Chatham & Clarendon)
Bethan Fahy (Chatham & Clarendon)
Amy Kempton (Canterbury College)
Charlotte Williams (Chatham & Clarendon)
Bridge and Patrixbourne CEP School Choir
Hannah Baxter (Chatham & Clarendon)
Jack Whitnell (Canterbury Academy)
James Bishop (Simon Langton Boys Grammar School)
Jacob Titterton (St Edmunds)
Ryan Hosier ( Simon Langton Boys Grammar School)
Cascade (Canterbury Academy)
Zest Dance Group
About the Kent School Games:
The biennial Kent School Games first began in 2008 as a Kent County Council Olympic and Paralympic legacy project to inspire schools and young people across Kent to participate in competitive school sport. The Kent School Games is a multi-sport competition open to all young people aged 4 – 18 in primary, secondary and special needs schools. The Games are made up of four levels of activity: competition in schools, between schools, at county/area level and a national event for the most talented school age athletes. The Cultural Celebration provides school children opportunities to participate in the arts.
For more information go to: http://www.kentschoolgames.com/index.php
About Inspiration Inclusive Theatre:
Inspiration Inclusive Theatre run by Peter and Zoe Hammond is an inclusive theatre and arts company, building participants skills in theatre performance, working inclusively and collaborating as a 'Multi-abled' group. https://www.facebook.com/Inspirationinclusivetheatre/?fref=ts
About The Roger De Haan Trust:
The Roger De Haan Charitable Trust was established in 1978 by Sir Roger De Haan, a former Chairman of the Saga Group, and his father Sidney, Saga's founder. The Trust supports a wide range of charitable causes and activities, mainly concentrated in the area around Folkestone, Hythe and the Romney Marsh in Kent. www.rdhct.org.uk