Young Londoners shine at XLP awards
Published 11 July 2012
Young Londoners showed off their creative talents at the XLP charity's 14th annual Arts Showcase final.
XLP is an urban youth charity working with over 60 schools and communities in inner London.
School students were treated to performances from 16 acts in the finals at the Mermaid Theatre, in Blackfriars.
The winner was Sebastian Tuma, an illusionist from Blackheath Bluecoats school, who amazed, teased and baffled the audience with his tricks.
"I still can't believe I won the XLP London Finals. Everyone was so good," he said.
Emily Dessi-Maken, a singer-songwriter from Kingsdale School in Lewisham, won second place with one of her own compositions, and Skittles, a dance crew from Bishop Challoner School in Tower Hamlets, were third.
One young performer was presented with the David Idowu Youth Voice Award after relaying their grief over losing a close friend to knife crime.
The award was presented by Grace Idowu, who lost her son David after he was stabbed in 2008.
This year's showcase prize was presented by Liberal Democrat Deputy Leader, Simon Hughes, and the founder of XLP, Patrick Regan.
Mr Hughes said: “I have seen some incredible talent here tonight, and I know that this isn’t the end for any of you, it’s just the beginning.”
Mr Regan said the Arts Showcase programme was all about bringing hope to young people across London and giving them a platform from which to "articulate some of the challenges they are facing whilst demonstrating their incredible talents".
"This year was no exception," he said.
"The atmosphere in the theatre was superb. Young people encouraging each other, no matter where they live or go to school, teachers, parents and friends supporting every act with outrageous enthusiasm, and respect and appreciation shown by all and for all.”
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