Chickenshed performers move Britain’s Got Talent judge to tears with ‘incredible’ act

Southgate charity’s young cast receive ‘golden buzzer’ from Alesha Dixon after inclusive song and dance performance on ITV’s Saturday night show

Chickenshed performers celebrate their 'golden buzzer' moment on Britain's Got Talent (credit ITV)
Chickenshed performers celebrate their ‘golden buzzer’ moment on Britain’s Got Talent (credit ITV)

Performers from Chickenshed Theatre in Southgate stole the show on Britain’s Got Talent on Saturday night – receiving a ‘golden buzzer’ from judge Alesha Dixon after moving her to tears.

A cast aged from five to 37 filled the stage with an uplifting three-and-a-half minute performance featuring rapping, singing and dancing that had the audience and judges on their feet with a standing ovation before it had even finished.

Alesha Dixon was moved to tears and pushed her golden buzzer, triggering confetti to rain down on the stage. It means Chickenshed now skip past the bootcamp stage of the competition, sending them straight to the live shows that are still to come.

Saturday’s performance at The London Palladium was pre-recorded in January and had been kept a secret by Chickenshed until the night it was due to air.

It began with three cast members – Gabriel, Jimmy and Cara, who will be familiar to anyone who saw Chickenshed’s acclaimed panto Jack! last Christmas – explaining the ethos of the theatre company. Cara said: “Chickenshed is so many things for so many different people – if you have a passion for theatre and you love theatre, then you are welcome.

“We are an inclusive company, we don’t audition, and that is why there are so many of us! We celebrate our difference and we love that. It’s what makes us, us.”

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Jimmy added: “We have been going 50 years now but there is still so much change to make. It is about celebrating our young people.”

The performance then began with Jimmy rapping about the “struggles we are mentally facing” in a “world that is messed up” before Cara began singing that she is “full of life and full of wonder”. The trio were then joined by the full cast, who filled nearly every inch of the stage.

The chorus – “we are full of wonder” – was sung with passion by the full cast. There was even a solo from one of the youngest girls on stage, who sang: “This life is contagious, go tell your neighbours”!

Children with both physical and mental disabilities were part of the cast, as is nearly always the case with Chickenshed shows staged at the charity’s theatre in Chase Side, Southgate.

After the standing ovation and golden buzzer celebration, judge Bruno Tonioli said: “Beautiful and powerful, every character came alive.”

Amanda Holden said: “The singing was amazing, the choreography was amazing, and for me it is about the love on stage in front of us and what it represents.”

Even the hard-to-please Simon Cowell was full of praise when he said: “I have known Chickenshed for a long time and I have always wondered when you are going to come on. The work you do is incredible.”

Alesha Dixon added: “I love every single thing you stand for and represent. Inclusivity is so important.”

Enfield Council leader Nesil Caliskan was among those watching on TV on Saturday night. She said on Twitter: “So proud to have this brilliant theatre company based in Enfield supporting so many young people in North London and beyond.”

Watch Chickenshed’s Britain’s Got Talent performance on ITVX:

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