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Broadway star goes to college in Warrington


ONLY a few months after performing at the Oscars in front of Meryl Streep and Denzel Washington, Natalie Weiss was performing in Warrington.
The Broadway performer was at Priestley College teaching a rendition of “This Is Me” from “The Greatest Showman” and sharing anecdotes of meeting Hugh Jackman and Zac Efron.
Student Tommy Bowden said: “It was one of the best experiences of my life to be working on a song that has become so popular with someone who performed it on the 0movie’s soundtrack and at the Oscars.”
Priestley’s performing arts department had booked the workshop after hearing that Natalie was in the country for several weeks on work commitments.
The day started with a focus on riffing and progressed into rehearsals of a performance based on the memorable Oscars’ performance by Keala Settle.
After a full run through of “This Is Me” some of Priestley’s young performers sang solos before receiving critiques from Natalie and her travelling companion Andrew Hodge, who has himself toured across America in shows such as “Cats”, “42nd Street” and “A Chorus Line”.
Several of the college’s former students returned for the workshop with Hannah Gallimore wowing the American Idol semi-finalist.
“I had the best time working with the students at Priestley College,” said Natalie. “The enthusiastic energy and natural talent in that room was so inspiring. I hope to come back and work with them in the near future!”
Natalie appears on the ensemble for the Hugh Jackman musical, “The Greatest Showman”, which has been a phenomenon in the UK selling more than 500,000 albums and raking in around £50 million at the UK box office.
She has also appeared in the US national tours of Wicked and Les Miserables.
At the end of the workshop Natalie sang “Breathe” – written by Kooman and Dimond – on the stage where Priestley’s students will be performing “Fame” in just a few weeks.
“I honestly think it will be a day our students will never forget,” said head of performing arts Sarah Graham.
“To receive intensive and constructive advice from someone with Natalie’s experience and talent is so valuable and we could see the improvement in individuals’ performances as they day went on.”


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