Students from Face2face Performance Academy took to the boards at Theatre Severn to perform their production of ELF the Musical. The students, aged from nine to16, performed to a full house over two evenings.

The academy was set up a year ago with the aim of becoming a centre of excellence for performing arts in north Shropshire.

Since opening its doors, the performance academy has played host to workshops from West End stars, casting directors, musical theatre performances and coaching from stunt directors.

This was the performance academy's first full-scale musical, and there was no expense spared as the performance ticked all the boxes, from stunning scenery, sparkly costumes and even a scene with snow.

Audience member Derek Harrison said: "We were captivated and much impressed by the professionalism and enthusiasm shown by the entire cast, and the production, with sound, music, costumes, sets and lighting. It was a fine showcase of all the students' hard work and care."

The musical tells the story of the much-loved character Buddy, who is on a quest to find his real father in the city of New York, and follows the same plot as the Christmas film made famous by Will Ferrell.

Another audience member who commented on the production's professionalism was Eastenders actor and Academy patron Charlie Brooks.

"The show was a delight to watch from start to finish – the students have clearly been working very hard," she said.

"The production was slick and very funny – kudos to the leading man Cassius, who played the part of Buddy with superb timing and enthusiasm."

The lead coach and academy organiser said: "Face2Face is a place where students can develop their performing arts skills, in a safe and encouraging environment. The academy is unique as it offers guidance and weekly coaching from industry professionals and opportunities to perform termly.

"In recent months we have received workshops from stars from the West End musical Wicked, and we are soon to welcome a workshop from a TV and film casting director."

If anyone would to get involved, email