A trip to the theatre transformed into a celebrity meet-and-greet last night, as pupils and staff from Malet Lambert were surprised with a visit from Take That at Hull New Theatre.
Twenty pupils and staff had been invited to attend a performance of The Band, a musical featuring songs by Take That, as a gesture to commemorate 26 years since the band performed at Malet Lambert when they were just starting out in 1992.
As the pupils were sitting quietly as part of a live broadcast on ITV Calendar News, Mark, Gary and Howard of Take That walked into the theatre, to a chorus of gasps and excited whispers.
Thrilled pupils had the chance to chat to the band members and take photos, before heading off to wait for the musical to start.
To be a part of the trip, pupils had to write a letter outlining why they should be chosen.
One Year 9 pupil, Heather, decided to apply in a creative way, by re-writing the lyrics to one of their best-loved hits, ‘Back For Good’.
When Gary Barlow was handed her entry letter, he started singing it out loud to the room, much to Heather’s delight.
She said, “I love musical theatre, which is why I applied to go. I didn’t expect to meet the band there at all and it was just incredible when he started singing the words I had written.
“I asked him to sign it for me, so now I’ll probably frame it and hang it on my wall.
“I was so shocked to see them there. There were rumours we would be meeting one of the cast members, which would have been great, but this was even better!
“The musical was fantastic, I really loved it. It was a great experience.”
Year 11 pupil Yasmin took the opportunity to pass Gary some of her own music while she was there.
Yasmin writes her own music and plays at a variety of venues and events around Hull, plus has been featured on BBC Introducing on BBC Radio Humberside.
She said, “My dad mentioned that it was rumoured they would be at the performance so I had a CD in my bag just in case.
“I didn’t know we were actually going to meet them. I was so shocked!
“I seized the opportunity and went up to Gary and gave him my CD, saying it was a thank you gift for inviting us here.
“Hopefully, he will listen to it.”
Pupils then settled down to watch The Band, a new musical about a group of young girls and their love for a boy band in the 90s.
The characters meet as adults 25 years later, and the story follows their individual journeys through life, interspersed with Take That hits throughout.
Everyone raved about the show, particularly the impressive set, great script and excellent soundtrack, with one pupil even giving it ‘1000 out of 10!’
At the end of the night, Take That appeared on stage with the cast to sing a medley of their hits, to the delight of the audience.
The pupils were praised by Hull New Theatre for their behaviour and attitude throughout the trip.