A sell-out crowd cheered on the young performers at Wendell Park primary at the Cobbold Road school’s annual W-Factor talent show.
From gymnastics to dancing, singing to martial arts, the breadth of the youngsters’ ability was on display in a sparkling showcase staged in the school hall.
With funds raised being diverted back to help the school, The Greatest Show featured 11 acts involving 21 children, entertaining more than 250 parents, friends and staff.
Judged by choreographer and Wendell School mum Colleen Joseph, former Wendell teacher Ms Latham, current teacher Mr Morgan and Irish percussionist Ruari Glasheen, the evening began with gymnast Amelia Uka.
The flexibility of the Year 6 pupil impressed the judges so much that she scooped the prize for best solo act.
Beating off stiff competition, two six-year-olds, Yasmin Neche and Alia Reis, scooped the top prize, singing Tomorrow from the film Annie and Girl in the Mirror, with the audience commanded to join in.
Amir Gherissi’s taekwondo moves to the song Kung Fu Fighting prompted judge Ruari to comment: “You have rhythm, my friend.”
Dancers performed to Aloha and Ava Max’s song Sweet but Psycho, and showed off their calypso moves, while Noah Foxwell and his six-year-old brother Max performed an endearing version of Say Something by A Great Big World, which was judged to be “better than the original”, and was – the adjudicators claimed – testament to their “unbelievable bond”.
After a rousing rendition of the Greatest Showman’s From Now On, with enthusiastic audience participation, the competition resumed as Luka Hook, Andrej Ceric and Curtis Green delivered a stomping version of We Will Rock You. By adding a rap (with topical mentions of Theresa May) they made the song their own, and won the prize for best group.
Year 4 pupil Izzy Meldrum created magic, singer Asiya Hashi impressed with her delivery of Chris Brown’s Say Goodbye, and three breakdancing boys – Elyas Ahmadi, Romarni Campbell and Taiyo Ikeda-MacDermott – showed great personality.
Their well-rehearsed fusion of capoeira and hip hop earned them two prizes: best original act and the Wendell Choice, the coveted people’s prize, chosen by fellow students at the school.
Francesca Keys, mother of Oscar and Caitlin in Year 4, said: “The W Factor is a highlight of the school’s year. This is the fourth one I’ve been to and I think it was the best yet. The level of talent is so high and covers such a range of skill. It’s obvious that a lot of practice has gone into each performance and it has paid off.”
Hosted by school head girl Maria Jangu and head boy Alex Johnston-Braim, and compered by the BBC Radio 4 presenter Matthew Price, the show was produced by Year 4 teacher Ayan Yusuf and Year 6 teacher Charlotte Fairclough.
Estate agents Haus, which has an office in Askew Road, sponsored the show.
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