What this? Aliens landing in our Area?

EXPLOSIONS, smoke and even handheld pyrotechnics will be among the special effects when aliens invade the Hippodrome in Great Yarmouth next month. Technology will feature heavily in the musical Area 51 by Great Yarmouth College's performing arts students.

EXPLOSIONS, smoke and even handheld pyrotechnics will be among the special effects when aliens invade the Hippodrome in Great Yarmouth next month.

Technology will feature heavily in the musical Area 51 by Great Yarmouth College's performing arts students.

The circus ring will be transformed into the secret US military base in Groom Lake, Nevada, targeted for an alien invasion in the musical drama.

Smoke, lasers and electronic special effects will support the action in the East Anglian premiere of the show previously performed mostly in America and Canada.

The show's writer, Daniel O'Brien, is keeping in close touch with the students and the show's director Nick Ball as they begin rehearsals in earnest for the three-night run in June.

And he persuaded a professional cartoonist friend to design posters to publicise the production and draw caricatures of the cast for the souvenir programme.

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O'Brien was nominated for a best new writer award for the Really Useful Group, founded and owned by Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber, and Area 51 was a finalist in the Vivian Ellis Prize for best new musicals.

First and second year students on the BTEC National Diploma are excited to be performing the sci-fi rock musical.

Oliver Tibble plays the lead Rick Adams with Emily Fairweather as Dolores.

Second year student Frankie Goffin, who recently played the lead role in Yerma, said: “The songs and music are fantastic. It's a brilliant show and we really hope people will come to see it.”

This is the third year the students have taken their summer show to the Hippodrome. Their first was We Will Rock You and last year's show Disco Inferno also received standing ovations from the audiences throughout its three-night run.

Area 51 is at the Hippodrome from Thursday June 18 to Saturday June 20 at 7.30pm nightly.

For tickets contact the Hippodrome Box Office on 01493 844172 or visit the website www.hippodromecircus.co.uk.