Ariel Crawley students win top spots at Arts Festival

Students celebrate with their shields and certificates
Students celebrate with their shields and certificates

Ariel students from Crawley and East Grinstead celebrated their best ever results in their sixth year of entering the East Grinstead Music and Arts Festival.

The event was launched in 1968 to promote the arts of dancing, singing, speech and drama and took place at Chequer Mead, East Grinstead.

Ivy Brown with her certificate

Ivy Brown with her certificate

Students across the two academies, who meet every Saturday in Crawley and East Grinstead, performed with such commitment and passion this year that they were awarded the top spot in all but one of the musical theatre categories.

The competitors demonstrated confidence and determination against a high standard of competition and all enjoyed the festival and the chance to meet other competitors.

Crawley principal Abi Paige, who coached and entered the students along with Ariel East Grinstead principal Karen Brown, said: “This was a first for many of our students and they were all brilliant and brave. It was such a big day for them to perform in front of these experienced judges. It’s so rewarding to see students grow in confidence and ability, and to share how talented they all are with others.”

Ariel Crawley Academy result highlights

Lizzie Martin

Lizzie Martin

Musical Theatre Solo (13-15 years) – Grace Towning, 1st place.

Musical Theatre Solo (16-18 years) – Lizzie Martin, 1st.

Musical Theatre Duet (12-15 years) – Grace Towning and Grace Graham, 2nd place.

Musical Theatre Duet (16-18 years) – Lizzie Martin and Harry Simpson, 1st place.

Verse speaking (6 and under) – Cora Brown and Ivy Brown, Joint 1st.

Prose reading (under 6 years) – Cora Brown, 1st place.

Prose reading (6-9 years) – Molly Brown, 3rd place.

Prose reading (12-15 years) – Billy Tuffs, 1st place.

Poetry readying (6-9 years) – Molly Brown and Leo Dicken, joint 3rd place.

Dramatic solo (13-15 years) – Grace Graham, 2nd place.

Dramatic solo (16-18) – Louise Grant, 3rd place.

Dramatic Shakespeare monologue (16-18 years) – Lizzie Martin, 1st place.

Group improvisation (new category, 13-15 years) – Crawley’s team, 1st place.

Lizzie Martin, 18, was also awarded the Ariel Drama Academy Musical Theatre Shield for her performance of ‘Always Starting Over’. The judges were bowled over by her performance and described it as a “spectacular piece of musical theatre”.

Lizzie and long-time duet partner Harry Simpson were also applauded for winning their musical theatre duet category for the third consecutive year.

Ariel always welcomes new students. No previous drama experience is needed and there is no audition. For more information or to arrange a visit call 01444 250407 or log on to

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