A performing arts company celebrated its 10th anniversary with shows at a West-End theatre.

Students from Make Believe, based in Southend Road, Woodford Green, performed at London's Novello Theatre, in Covent Garden, on July 13 and 20. 

The performances of OMG! and Annie included 2,500 children picked from the company's 40 schools across London.

Founder of Make Believe, Joel Kern, won the South East England award of the Federation of Small Business Young Entrepreneur of the Year in April.

He set up Make Believe at 15 and has seen the company grow to 40 groups who meet weekly, including one which is hosted at Caterham High School, in Caterham Avenue, Clayhall. 

Mr Kern was delighted with the company's first West-End show which also coincided with their 10th anniversary.

The 25-year-old said: "To celebrate our 10th anniversary we decided to give our talented youngsters an opportunity to test themselves at one of the UK's most prestigious venues.

"Their response was amazing, youngsters come to us to learn and enjoy performing arts and the magical performances have confirmed that they are able to perform at the highest level.

“I always believe that what you put into life you get back in return and Make Believe has been an amazing journey.

"We have built a strong foundation and I believe there is no end to where we can go.

“I am proud to be a part of such a great company and have always said with one mind, one dream and one focus you can achieve anything and with hard work and determination anything is possible.”