Outdoor theatre blossoms

Blackpool Grand Theatre's Tony Stone with students at the official opening of Millfield school's new outdoor theatre.

Blackpool Grand Theatre's Tony Stone with students at the official opening of Millfield school's new outdoor theatre.

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A FRESH new project has blossomed into life as students took to the boards of their outdoor theatre for the first time.

Budding actors at Millfield Science and Performing Arts College were able to take to the new stage as part of an environmental garden open day on Wednesday.

With a laurel hedge backdrop and wings and new wooden seating, the environmentally friendly theatre has been a long time in the planning.

The first seed of the idea was planted as the Belvedere Road school developed its environmental garden seven years ago.

But seeing it finally in use is a magical sight for Bob Thompson, a senior science technician at the school.

He said: “I’m very proud the way the students have worked as a team and given up their time and energy to create this wonderful outdoor learning environment.

“We hope the present and future students as well as the community will have many years of enjoyment from the theatre and the garden, as it continues to mature and grow.

“It has given me a great sense of satisfaction to finally achieve our dream.”

Work to put terraced seating around the stage began in October, using funds from the school’s Chairman’s Challenge cash award, which they were given for their work promoting healthy lifestyles.

Pupils have helped staff with the project every step of the way not only helping dig up the area where the tiered seating was laid, but also moving stones into place.

But it was worth it according to students.

Aimee Daly, from Year 10, said: “The garden development is inspiring, as it is so much nicer to be outside surrounded by nature.

“It has given the students the opportunity to take part in something productive that we wouldn’t usually do.”

Tom Smith, from Year 9, added: “I’ve really enjoyed working with Mr Thompson and have learnt a lot of new skills outside the classroom, which I will be able to use in the future.

“It has been great fun even in the rain.”

Headteacher Sean Bullen added: “We are delighted with the theatre and feel it provides many opportunities for the youngsters of Millfield.”