Children as young as three amazed their audience in a special performance of superstar choreographer's The Nutcracker.

More than 450 pupils aged three to eleven participated in the sweet one-off performance.

It involved storytelling through dance with children surprising audiences by entering from different areas in and around the stage.

The skills and dance performances were impressive, given the six-week rehearsal period.

As part of the Waltham Forest London Borough of Culture 2019, Sir Matthew Bourne's dance company New Adventures had been working on a project with all students and teachers at the Wigton Road school.

Sir Matthew was honoured with the unveiling of a special plaque the day before the performance from pupils at Roger Ascham School in Walthamstow last Friday (March 15).

As part of the Waltham Forest London Borough of Culture 2019, Sir Matthew's dance company New Adventures had been working on a project with all students and teachers at the Wigton Road school for the previous six weeks.

Roger Ascham Primary School, the school Sir Matthew attended as a child, was the third whole school performance projects since the New Adventures project was launched in 2016.

Sir Matthew said: "I have great memories of this school. I’ve always been passionate about putting on shows and they obviously saw that in me and gave me the chance to pursue my passion from a young age. I’m so excited to be back here and to have this amazing tribute."

The adapted 45-minute version of 'The Nutcracker' was performed at Waltham Assembly Hall.

Parent Emma Moore said: "Watching my daughter and her whole school performing The Nutcracker on Friday was truly wonderful.

"The effort put in by the New Adventure team was apparent in a flawless magical show.

"Each child, and teacher, gave their all from the very youngest to the very oldest. It was an amazing opportunity and certainly something that no person in that audience can ever forget. It was joyous."

The audience of the special one-off performance were also enchanted and amused by the adorable disobedience to the steps from the younger children, one of which continually did the opposite of his peers, even attempting to run off stage at the worst time possible.

Headteacher Matthew Hanks said: "After 6 weeks of rehearsal and a lot of hard work from everyone involved, Friday’s performance of The Nutcracker was an unqualified success.

"I do not think I have ever seen a more impressive event put on by a school.

"To perform on such a huge stage to such a huge audience; to work so closely with an internationally celebrated company; to be in such a professionally produced show is an experience that will live with so many of our children for years to come.

"The New Adventures team were a pleasure and revelation to work with – to share in their expertise and be a part of what they do for the last 6 weeks has been a thoroughly positive experience.

"As I said on Friday, we were expecting to work with people who could dance; we didn’t realise they would be so skilled at motivating and communicating with our children."

The performance evoked a real sense of unity, with younger and older children featuring together: older students assisting and guiding the younger ones with the steps and stage directions.

The whole school and audience was buzzing with the excitement the students on stage were feeling, palpably evident to the audience.

The fun and lively free event which unsurprisingly inspired a huge queue out of the door before the performance.

Parent Lynne Miles said: "I was so excited to see my 7 year old and 4 year old dancing on stage at Walthamstow Assembly Hall with every single one of their school colleagues.

"The whole thing has been an absolutely unique experience from start to finish; they are so lucky to have been able to work with Matthew Bourne and New Adventures."

Leader of Waltham Forest Council, Councillor Claire Coghill added: "As a council, we are determined to do everything we can to boost the life chances of our residents.

"I believe in the transformative power of culture to broaden horizons and create opportunities for our young people, which is why we bid to be the Mayor’s first ever London Borough of Culture.

"Matthew Bourne’s New Adventures company have done an extraordinary job working with more than 400 children who have had the opportunity to learn what it takes to put on a production like this.

"What the audience saw at Walthamstow Assembly Hall is the next generation discovering and unleashing their creativity for future London and national audiences to enjoy."