Students Receive High Praise From Arts Company

Cast members of the Severn Valley Railway’s Wizard Express event

Two Bridgnorth Endowed students have been highly commended by a local arts company for their outstanding performances in the Severn Valley Railway’s Wizard Express event, which took place over half term.

The co-director of Reachout Arts UK, Gem Bridges, got in touch with the Head personally to let him know that Miles Humphries and Fergus Edwards had “absolutely excelled themselves and represented Bridgnorth Endowed School in an extremely positive way.”

Although the talented pair had originally gone along to the auditions for the experience, they were reported to have blown the team away and had been hired there and then.

The Wizard Express is a popular family event that offers ‘young witches and wizards’ the chance to travel along the enchanted Severn Valley, experience a world of magic and interact with wonderful characters that entertain throughout the day.

This type of performance is particularly challenging for actors as they need to stay in character continuously and keep the ideas for words and actions flowing.

Gem explained: “This event is extremely immersive and requires committed improvisation actors, something that takes years to train in. There’s no scope for rehearsal, you have to know your character and those around you inside out to be able to respond to visitors without thinking about it too much.”

“Both boys did such a great job that families truly believed they were the characters we had tasked them to be.”

Fergus took on the role of Head of House in the wizard school, and Gem revealed that they still find it hard to believe that he has this level of skill and talent at the young age of 14.

Miles played the Wand Boy and delivered wands to the families on the trains as if he were a paper boy – only with magic wands. The Severn Valley Railway has received many positive reviews about the event and Miles’ name has cropped up a number of times for being a credit to the team.

Fergus as the wizard school’s Head of House

But the appreciation didn’t stop there as Miles and Fergus turned up every day to help set up the event and stayed back in the evenings to pack away, something they weren’t expected to do but clearly demonstrated their strong work ethic, commitment and sheer professionalism.

Gem summed up: “We cannot sing their praises enough; they truly have been an absolute asset to our creative team. They did the job with as much enthusiasm and skill as those who have completed master’s degrees in theatre.”

Miles and Fergus have already been asked to return for future Reachout projects and will also appear in next year’s school show – Beauty and the Beast.

Looking further ahead, Miles, who is currently in Year 11, is thinking about doing A Level Film Studies as he hopes to pursue a TV directing career.

Fergus is in Year 10 and, although he has only been involved in theatre for the past 12 months, he is loving it. He hasn’t quite decided what he wants to move into, but it will definitely be theatre based.

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