Performance Week at the YMCA Village, wrapped up on Friday and proved to be a resounding success, unveiling the creativity and talent of children in the local community. Throughout the half term week, over 30 enthusiastic young participants immersed themselves in the realm of performing arts, benefiting from the mentorship of West End professionals and industry experts from the YMCA.

Throughout the week, the YMCA Village was buzzing with excitement and creative energy. Children had the unique opportunity to work closely with accomplished professionals in the performing arts, helping them hone their skills and uncover their potential.

The week kicked off with Lauren Byrne, who led the group through songs from the iconic musical “Matilda,” expressed her enthusiasm for the event, Byrne emphasized the importance of connecting with the audience, “This week has been about nurturing young performers and providing them with the tools to express themselves through the magic of musical theatre, when you’re acting you may be talking just to me, but the whole audience has to be part of that conversation.”

Lauren Byrne


Tuesday saw Glyn Kerslake, a distinguished West End talent, leading an inspiring singing workshop, drawing from his extensive experience to expertly guide participants through songs from renowned musical “Les Misérables.” He emphasised the transformative power of music and its unique role in conveying emotions. Kirsty Ingram, renowned for her roles in musical theatre productions like “Hairspray,” provided expert guidance on Wednesday in a dynamic dance and musical theatre workshop inspired by the hit show “Hairspray,”.  Her mentorship extended beyond dance skills, boosting confidence and nurturing creativity among the participants.

Glyn Kerslake
Glyn leading students during Performance Week

Leia said, “Glyn was really good because he taught us such a big dance number and a big song from Les Miserable in less than a day!”

Christina Riley, the Creative Programme Coordinator, was thrilled with the success of Performance Week and said, “This was a fantastic opportunity for children to ignite their creativity, learn from industry professionals, and develop their skills. We wanted to ensure that finances weren’t a barrier to pursuing a passion for the arts.”

Parents were thrilled with of Performance Week. Nikki shared, “My daughter Annabella has had an amazing week! On Wednesday she came home happier than I’ve seen her in a long time, and it was wonderful to see their enthusiasm in the Friday performance. Thanks so much!”

Friday saw the budding artists showcasing the songs, dances, and acting they had practiced throughout the week during the final performance, with parents, friends, and family gathered to watch these emerging performers in action.

Students showcasing their talent to friends and family

Performance Week was made possible through the dedication of the YMCA team and the support of funding from Nottinghamshire County Council, Local Communities Fund.

The success of Performance Week at the Village reinforces our commitment to nurturing local talent and providing accessible pathways for children to explore their passions. The YMCA Village continues to be a space for opportunity and creativity for the youth of Newark and Sherwood.

For more information about the YMCA Creative Academy weekly term-time creative arts classes

YMCA Creative Academy

Weekly sessions, take place every Tuesday and Thursday during school term-time, offer a consistent and structured environment for young participants to cultivate their artistic talents. Participants can expect to engage in a wide range of creative arts, from acting and singing to dance. YMCA provide expert guidance and mentorship, helping young individuals develop their skills and self-expression in a supportive and nurturing setting.