GUEST COLUMN: Festival will show county’s got talent, by Coun Liz Plant

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Showcase 2016 will feature performances from young people across the county and the project will feature everything from hip hop to rock and pop, street dance, contemporary dance, drama and comedy, all weaved together to entertain.

It’s Nottinghamshire’s answer to Britain’s Got Talent meets X-Factor!

The annual music, film, dance and drama extravaganza is organised by our county youth arts team with three evening events at the Palace Theatre in Mansfield and the Royal Concert Hall in Nottingham. The County Youth Arts Showcase project works with more than 400 young people each year for several months in preparation for the show with initial auditions taking place in the autumn.

This is one of the most eagerly anticipated events in the calendar for us to showcase the talents of young people across the county who excel in music, film, dance and drama. Showcase 2016 will once again be a great programme with high quality entertainment which everyone will enjoy.

Here are more details about each of the three events:

· Unity Showcase – Thursday February 18, at 7.30pm at the Palace Theatre, in Mansfield

This event is a large music ensemble with solo acts. It will be a creation of music spanning the seven districts of Nottinghamshire featuring different groups and performers to produce an ensemble performance. This year the music is an original composed piece with Angus McLeod and Mark Allsop as composers/facilitators, and assisted by Sam Jones and Bru-C working with young people working at the Old Library in Mansfield. There will be a documentary style film shown during the evening with a variety of other performances on the night.

Tickets are £3.50 or £2 from Palace Theatre Box Office on 01623 633133.

· Dance and Drama – Friday February 19, at 7.30pm, at the Palace Theatre, in Mansfield

This event will feature a range of dance, drama and other projects. It will feature performances from a range of groups including Wheelchair dance from Cauldwell House; Back Foot Forward (Tuxford), Rush Dance (Rushcliffe) Retford Oaks (Retford), Jungle Bunch (Bilsthorpe), Positive Moves (Gedling), Flying High Interm Youth Dance (Gedling), The Prototypes (Mansfield) Steppin’ Serlby Dance (Mansfield), Outwood Portland Academy, North Notts Youth Dance Company, Reach Learning Disability Southwell and Valley Dance (Worksop), MX4 Street Dance (Mansfield).

There will also be a film shown on the night by the Xzibit group led by Jon Bevan from County Youth Arts whose team of young people took inspiration from sculptures at Rufford Abbey Country Park to produce a dance film there.

Tickets are £3.50 or £2 from Palace Theatre Box Office on 01623 633133.

· Music Showcase – Tuesday February 23, at 8pm, at the Royal Concert Hall, in Nottingham

This event will be a music showcase featuring The Able Orchestra of students from Fountaindale School working with Si Tew and Ronnie Sampson from County Youth Arts to develop their own music using iPads and technology. The Supergroup – talented musicians who have been brought together to form a band following their auditions – who will be collaborating with Rob Green when they appear at the Royal Concert Hall. The ‘Earth Below’ County Youth Arts Supergroup formed this year with Nina Smith and Matt Blick.

Other performers will include Abi Brown with Destiny and Jephthah, Rachael Dixon, Encaptured, Charlie Fearon, 15 Keys, the Classical Supergroup and the National Choir.

Tickets are free (but must be obtained in advance) from the Royal Concert Hall Box Office on 0115 9895555. The event will begin with a Music Industry panel at 7pm which will feature tips and advice on careers within the music industry.

For more details about the event visit www.nottinghamshire.gov.uk/countyyoutharts