Quartet prepare to star in Olympic ceremonies

GOING FOR GOLD: Alexandra Ewing, Serena Grant, Jaclyn Taylor and Chris Badrick have been chosen to take part in the London 2012 Olympic ceremonies.
GOING FOR GOLD: Alexandra Ewing, Serena Grant, Jaclyn Taylor and Chris Badrick have been chosen to take part in the London 2012 Olympic ceremonies.

FORMER Sudbury Upper School students will perform to over one billion people worldwide after being chosen to be a part of the London 2012 Olympics ceremonies.

Alexandra Ewing and Jaclyn Taylor, both 18, and Serena Grant, 19, will be performing in the opening ceremony, entitled Isles of Wonder, on July 27, while Josephine Chapman, 20, from Bures, and current student Chris Badrick, 18, from Sudbury, will take part in the closing ceremony on August 12.

“We were all just so happy and so excited,” said Jaclyn, who left the upper school last year and has been gaining performing arts experience. “I can’t wait for it.”

Alexandra, from Boxted, who is teaching acting at the school as part of her gap year, said: “It was really weird when we found out – I couldn’t believe I was going to be in the Olympics. I thought ‘Wow, that’s big’.”

The four were told about the chance to perform by the school’s head of creative arts, Lesley Turner.

Jaclyn, from Sudbury, added: “We got the email saying about the opportunity to perform, and I think we all thought the same thing, ‘Let’s do it’.”

Despite the pressure of dancing in front of a packed 80,000-seater stadium and a television audience of one-sixth of the planet, the quartet say they are not nervous.

“It is just so incredibly exciting,” said Chris. “It is a once in a lifetime opportunity.”

The group are currently preparing in secret rehearsals in London. The budget for the opening and closing ceremonies of the Olympics and Paralympics is more than £80million, and Danny Boyle, director of Slumdog Millionaire, is the artistic director for the opening ceremony.

“Danny was in my recall audition, but I didn’t realise,” said Alexandra. “Someone said he was standing there and I was just dancing right in front of him.”

Miss Turner said: “We are delighted to have played a small part in the London 2012 Olympics.

“We’re very proud of the students who have taken the opportunity of this once in a lifetime experience.”