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The creative minds behind the public performances of Makin’ Steps seldom fail to impress and To The Movies was no exception.
Just for starters, the opening bars of the theme to Jaws accompanied by a menacing shark’s fin took us through a compilation of over twenty movies played out in silhouette on the company’s big screen before Abbie Middleton Evans and Charlotte and Janine Rudin took us into the Little Shop of Horrors. There we had our first encounter with Reece Harper, playing the nerdy Seymour.
This impressive young man is growing in confidence, ably demonstrated in his contributions to both musical theatre and dance numbers.
Twelve months ago when reviewing iTimeTravel I suggested that the company’s backing-singers could have been more visible and sure enough that was noted and the huge range and versatility of voices were used to tremendous effect.
What was also interesting was the increase in the number of credible and capable male performers, both dancers and singers, like Danny Evans who came to the fore in the Purple Rain Prince tribute choreographed by Scott Simpson.
There were frequent reminders of the full range of training the students are engaged in at Makin’ Steps – musical theatre and singing, modern and street dance, ballet and tap dancing and although I’m becoming more familiar with some of the terminology – step, shuffle, ball-change – I don’t think I will ever stop marvelling at how you can move seamlessly from having 20 young penguins with very Happy Feet to the foot-tapping, hand-clapping, world of Mary Poppins that brought the first half of the show to a close.
Ross Simpson’s choreography in numbers like Romeo Must Die suggested that these young performers are terrifyingly streetwise, whilst elsewhere the sensitive en pointe direction of Lana Williams hinted that they are just as much in command of their minds as their bodies. In fact, Makin’ Steps showcased, not only the talent of the here and now, but the promise of the future.
Brooke Turnstill and Abbie Middleton Evans are rapidly becoming the Makin’ Steps headline acts. When Brooke sang the words I don’t want to hurt anymore from The Bodyguard you really felt she meant it and Abbie’s rendition of On My Own from Les Mis was of West End standard. However there are others honing their skills and beginning to flourish who will soon be snapping at their heels.
The pièce de résistance however came in an extraordinary pre-recorded video montage of 11 of the company’s singers performing acapella themes from Star Wars. Technically flawless, vocally stunning, very, very funny, this feat of theatrical engineering by Ross Simpson and Makin’ Steps was phenomenal.
I suggested on the way home that if loaded onto YouTube it would get loads of hits. “No”, my seven-year-old daughter informed me “you mean it will go viral”. I stand corrected. Well done Margaret Wright and all at Makin’ Steps.
One thing has always been clear, Makin’ Steps have always had a close eye on the future and their latest production reflected this with all the elements of talent and quality that Harlow audiences have come to expect.
The flexible but cunning narrative centres around two girls, Maisie Humphreys and Abbie Middleton, exploring a new app on their iPad called “iTimeTravel”.
Unaware of quite what this will allow them to do they take a leap into the unknown and travel back through Makin’ Steps past productions to join in with the present ensemble and to take a glimpse of what the future might have in store.
And so the audience are treated to thirty-four numbers over two and a half hours from the company’s extensive repertoire – street dance and hip hop, ballet and tap dancing, musical theatre and quality singing that could grace any professional venue during any era.
In fact, increasingly, it is the quality of the vocals that are drawing me to Makin’ Steps productions and my only criticism is although the dance performers were centre-stage and rightly so, the “backing-singers” could have been more visible. They certainly deserved to be.
Five performances over four days, Makin’ Steps played to packed houses at their Potter Street base location.
A quick glimpse at the programme shows you that Makin’ Steps is very much a family-affair and with the majority of audience members greeting proprietor Margaret Wright with a hug and a kiss it’s very clear who the head of the household is. Don’t upset mum and the show’s guaranteed to be a sure-fire success.
With astonishingly, more than 90 performers involved in this tremendous showcase, it’s hard to single anyone out but the vocals of Hannah Furness (What Now) and Brooke Turnstill (Thinking Out Loud) were particularly impressive. And the choreographers, who are integrated members of the company, should be immensely proud of the work they achieved.
The pièce de résistance was saved for the moment that Maisie and Abbie literally jumped into the screen of the giant iPad and out again. Clearly there are few barriers Makin’ Steps can’t break through – just give them TIME.
What strikes me, time and again when I see Makin’ Steps productions is not just the sheer professionalism of the performances but the reflection of the confidence and conviction shown by Harlow’s young people taking part. They say that Britain has Got Talent. Well, Makin’ Steps is growing it and showing it and it’s something that they and the entire town should be proud of.
Review by Ian Beckett
The first number sung, “Beyonce’s 7/11” was by Sinead Wiseman and showed her diverse range of vocals, backed by 5 of our formation team.
The mood was then changed with a Sam Smith medley, sung by Maddison Sarkies, Charlotte Rudin, and Masisie Humphreys. These included “Stay with me”,”Lay me down”, “Restart” and “Not the only one”.
It was a real honour to be asked by Harlow Chairman Ian Beckett to take part and return for a second time to the Civic dinner. The last time we performed was for Councillor Mike Garnett at the Civic Centre.
The night was a huge success and we had great feedback from the guests.
Check out our performance! To book us for your event please call 01279 304937
Light, Art, Action!
20th February 2015
Makin’ Steps performance team provided the entertainment for the Gibberd Galleries opening night – Private view of their new exhibition Light, Art, Action! with 2 high energy numbers – an opening number comprising of live singing and dancing and then an especially choreographed piece that has been inspired by one of the sculptures in the town.
An exhibition of art, dance, theatre and student artwork.
• Theatre Design sets and Costume – The Society of British Theatre Designers
• Live Dance Performances – Makin Steps Performing Arts,
• Harlow College Art and Design Students – Gallery wall mural
• Harlow student exhibition organised by the Young Curators
Inspired by local sculpture and music from emerging composers (Alumi from University of Hertfordshire and students from Hertfordshire College of music) dancers, artists and theatre designers join together to transform the Gibberd Gallery into a magical set. This exhibition will be packed with live dance performances inspired by the sculpture collection with commissioned music pieces, plus films of dance in the gallery. The gallery walls have been used as a canvas for Harlow College Art and Design students to create a mural depicting all styles of dance.
Six theatre designers will be showcased each is a member of The Society of British Theatre Designers. The display in the Gibberd Gallery has been adapted from their recent show ‘Make:Believe’ at Nottingham Trent University. This includes working theatre set models, costume, photographs and films of live theatre performances. Each design shown was created for a real theatre in the last four years, two pieces were created for shows at The Royal Opera House in London. The six designers are;
• Bob Crowley
• Simon Daw
• Matt Deely
• Shizuka Hariu
• Kimie Nakano
• Antonella Petraccaro
A programme of events will include live dance performances, life drawing of clothed dancers, theatre set workshop, Dame Laura Knight talk and dance workshops. The Young Curators will also be organising a small schools exhibition along the same theme which will launch our new dedicated childrens gallery.
Thank you to our amazing dancers & singers who performed at the Gibberd Gallery with two fantastic performances which was well received by the audience. Thanks also to Ross Simpson – Record Producer from Woodbury Recording Studios for mixing the awesome live vocals.
As always we are very proud of you all and your professionalism – you did us proud!
Check out our video created especially for the Gibberd Gallery
We are back for our new term which starts from 1st September and we are enrolling for classes in Street Dance, Ballet, Tap, Modern, Singing, Acting & Musical Theatre.
We are very excited to be back and ready for a new term of exciting classes and new projects that we have in store.
Established in 1984 Makin’ Steps Performing Arts school offers a diverse range of dance classes in Harlow as well as other performance skills classes such as acting & singing. We believe that our teachers can, through their vast experience and I.S.T.D and LAMDA recognised teaching methods offer the best Dance, Singing and Acting Lesson in the Essex Area.
Our extensive range of classes include hip hop/street dance, ballet, tiny tots’ ballet, modern, tap, singing,acting/voice technique, and pas de deux, making it the biggest school in the area offering this range of classes.Lessons start from as little as £4.25 a class which guarantees you first class tuition at an amazing value for money too! Whether you want to get fit, try a new hobby, make new friends or have been inspired by all the dancing shows on TV like “Got To Dance” – our team of professional, fully qualified, insured and CRB registered teachers are here to make sure you have a fun, safe and enjoyable experience! Makin’ Steps tutors are experienced, fully qualified and CRB registered professionals who are experts in their teaching fields..
Our principle teachers have worked alongside top artists such as Kylie Minogue & Robbie Williams on TV shows such as MTV & The Brits Awards as well as choreographing for TV shows such as Top Of The Pops and Strictly Come Dancing. This experience and knowledge combined with qualifications from one of the world’s leading dance examinations boards is what sets Makin’ Steps a part from many other local schools. Proof of the high standard you will receive at Makin ’Steps is shown by the fact that many of the school’s pupils have furthered their training at professional London based colleges such as Performers, London Studio Centre and Colin’s Performing Arts, with past and present pupils engaging in professional contracts all over the world.
Makin steps team performing at today’s millwards school fete.
Tune into BBC radio Essex at 4.30pm today to hear a interview with Makin’ Steps proprietor Margaret Wright. The Radio station called Makin’ Steps and asked if we would do an interview live on air giving its listeners the low down on the school and what we have to offer.
Makin’ Steps 30th Anniversary Show Review
FORGET Britain’s Got Talent, Makin’ Steps have proved that Harlow’s got talent.
Ambitious, breath-taking and in parts jaw-dropping, the performing arts school’s amazing anniversary show was an adrenalin-fuelled ride through 30 years of teaching in Harlow.
A breathless journey from street dance to classical ballet and from tap and modern to musical theatre, with beautifully choreographed numbers, the show had the audience on their feet and dancing along. Any concerns the group might have overstretched themselves were swiftly put to bed with a seamless introductory sequence that had the audience gasping and cheering in equal measures. And despite some very young performers, the hugely talented cast did not put a foot wrong throughout the three-hour song and dance extravaganza.
As well as dancing–Makin’ Steps professional live band – under the musical guidance of Ross Simpson – gave the performance a professional feel that wouldn’t be out of place in London’s West End.
But it wasn’t just the school’s obvious flair for showmanship that shone through. The smiles on the faces of the performers told their own story–one of a committed group of youngsters comfortable in their own ability and grateful for the opportunity to showcase their skills in front of an audience of hundreds. From the adorable suit-wearing tots to the accomplished adults pulling off gravity-defying routines, the show struck the perfect balance between the cute and the jaw-droppingly acrobatic and really did showcase the talents of every student… and even some of their teachers!
So hats off to Makin’ Steps for their fantastic performance and for 30 years of nurturing Harlow’s talented young singers and dancers.
About the Show Book Tickets Seating Plan T&C's
Makin’ Steps is back with a very special “30th Anniversary” show at the Harlow Leisurezone from the 29th – 31st May 2014.
A spectacular production celebrating Makin’ Steps 30th year of teaching perfomring arts in Harlow. The show features students performing a vast variety of song and dance styles beautifully showcasing the versatility and talent of the schools pupils.
With beautifully choreographed numbers that include everything from Street Dance to classical Ballet and from Tap, Modern and right through to musical theatre this show is sure to have something to appeal to the whole family. This coupled with amazing costumes, lighting, special effects and all performed on a unique purpose built stage with a set that is sure to blow your mind you will be crazy to miss out on this very special 30th anniversary production.
As well as dancing – Makin’ Steps professional live band (under the musical direction of Ross Simpson) superbly recreates every song to accompany the schools singers giving the show a very unique approach.
If you have never seen a Makin’ Steps show before then here is your chance to see why Makin’ Steps is Harlow’s premier performing arts school.
TICKETS ON SALE FROM 10am 9TH MARCH 2014
PERFORMANCES AT 7.30PM ON THURSDAY 29TH & FRIDAY 30TH
3PM & 7.30PM ON SATURDAY 31ST
To book tickets please call 01279 304 937 or click here to book online.
Previous production reviews from the Harlow Star and Quotes From Robert Halfon-MP
“Stunning show is proof that Harlow’s got talent.” – Harlow Star “This was no ordinary concert, this was an all lights flashing, pyro’s exploding, rhythms-pulsing musicians-excelling concert that had the audience shouting for more..” – Harlow Star
Just seen most incredible show by @MakinSteps in Leizurezone:Creative Genius,Incredible choreography,Fantastic music,singing and dance -Robert Halfon MP
SLICK, ambitious and breathtakingly bold, Makin’ Steps’ dazzling diamond jubilee showcase was an adrenaline-pumping thrill-ride through 60 years of pop culture -Harlow Star