Andover College have said they are “proud” of their performing arts students after they performed their annual charity pantomime – with a few Covid twists.

Students at the college have been rehearsing for Beauty and the Beast since October for the performance, which brought together a variety of courses including performing arts, music, dance, stage management and digital media.

The event was live-streamed on YouTube for members of the public to enjoy, with three shows performed over the course of this week, starting on December 8.

Emre, a performing arts student who played The Beast, said: “From the first rehearsal to the last it has been wonderful creating this piece as we have all worked very hard on and off stage. We would not be able to showcase this pantomime without the professionalism and support of the teachers and the team backstage.

“It’s been a huge challenge to adapt to performing to a camera and not getting the immediate reaction we normally would but it’s been amazing to adapt and experience new things while also putting on a live show in these difficult times.

“Overall it has been an educational yet brilliant experience and I can assure you it is a pantomime you cannot miss and we are honoured to be able to present something extraordinary to bring some much needed Christmas cheer direct into people’s households.”

To adapt to Covid regulations, the students involved in the play formed an academic bubble to protect themselves, other students and staff. Group songs were pre-recorded in a Covid-safe environment to limit the potential spread of the virus, following advice from the government that suggests loud singing can produce “20 times” the aerosol of a normal speaking voice.

The college’s head of performing arts, Rob Collier, said: “We are living in extraordinary times which led to us needing to go to massive lengths to ensure that we are still able to present the Pantomime this year. The Pantomime shows that Andover College is all about teamwork. The staff and students all come together to create this incredible performance and they do it with such professionalism.

“This again has been more evident than usual as the students have had to adapt to the livestreaming environment. This has meant that we have been lucky enough to collaborate with the Music Students for the live band, the livestream aspect has been managed by our Stage Management students in conjunction with Digital Media Students.

“We are proud to give our students the experience they need to be prepared for the industry. The pantomime will always be my favourite time of the year and I have thoroughly enjoyed working with the team this year and adapting to the challenges that have been presented to us.”

A recording of the livestream can be viewed on Andover College’s YouTube channel, found here.