We’re really excited that performers from Chickenshed Theatre, a member of Enterprise Cooperative Trust (ECT), wowed Britain’s Got Talent judges with a golden buzzer act on Saturday night, moving straight through to the upcoming live shows.
Their audition at The London Palladium was a show-stopping ensemble of rapping, singing, and dancing that received a standing ovation before it had even finished. The emotional performance of Naughty Boy and Emeli Sande’s ‘Wonder’ started with a rap about the “struggles we are mentally facing” in a “world that is messed up” and moved to an uplifting chorus from the whole cast singing they are “full of life and full of wonder.”
A solo from one of the youngest girls on stage included an important message that “this life is contagious, go and tell your neighbours!” It moved Judge Alesha Dixon to tears, and she bestowed the rare ‘golden buzzer’, fast-tracking the group to the semi-finals.
Chickenshed Theatre Company is a charity based in Enfield which works to change lives through performance and theatre. It has substantially grown since 1974 on the belief that everyone should be able to perform and create. It celebrates and supports young people by providing creative performing arts education, community workshops and outreach, and youth mentoring with access to training and practical work experiences.
On stage, cast members Gabriel, Jimmy, and Cara, outlined the charity’s ethos, saying “Chickenshed is so many things for so many different people – if you have a passion for theatre and you love theatre, then you are welcome. We are an inclusive company, we don’t audition, and that is why there are so many of us. We celebrate our difference, and we love that.”
Individuals from the 60-strong cast aged between 5 and 37 opened up about their experiences. One member, Jimmy, credited Chickenshed with saving his life after he lost his mum at 16. Gabriel Palmer performed in his wheelchair, saying “I’ve been in a wheelchair for most of my life, but I wouldn’t change it for anything because that’s who I am. Everybody deserves a chance to show their talents – and Chickenshed does that tenfold.” One of the company’s main purposes is to promote inclusivity within theatre.
Their inspiring work and principles clearly resonated with the judges, with Alesha Dixon saying “I love every single thing you stand for and represent. Inclusivity is so important.” Even hard-to-please Simon Cowell was full of praise, saying he has “known Chickenshed for a long time and have always wondered when you are going to come on. The work you do is incredible. That’s why we have a golden buzzer.”
At ECT, we couldn’t be prouder to be partnered with such a wonderful and multitalented organisation that brings so much to the local community. The aims and efforts of the team resonate strongly with the values we hold at ECT, and the work we do together as a collective entity – alongside our other members and partners.
We are so excited for Chickenshed and offer the biggest congratulations to all the team and cast involved. We can’t wait to see them back on our screens at the live shows later this year and hope everyone at home tunes in to vote for this amazing group of young performers. If you missed their audition, watch it now at: https://youtu.be/agt9pzj3V-g