Stars shine at Hastings Britain’s Got Talent auditions

10-year-old rapper Tawana Matiza. Photo by Priory Meadow
10-year-old rapper Tawana Matiza. Photo by Priory Meadow

Aspiring stars showed off their performance skills in the 2017 Britain’s Got Talent auditions in Hastings on Sunday (September 18).

A 10-year-old rapper and a 13-year-old schoolgirl who taught herself to play the ukulele were among those who were keen to impress judges in the ITV talent show.

Mum Mandy Thorogood with singer daughter Leah. Photo by Priory Meadow

Mum Mandy Thorogood with singer daughter Leah. Photo by Priory Meadow

Contenders of all ages were invited to show off their skills at Priory Meadow Shopping Centre, with auditions from all types of performer from singers and dancers to novelty acts.

But the contenders will not know until early next year whether or not they have been successful enough to make it through to the next stages of the competition – the judges audition.

Among the youngest to audition at Priory Meadow was 10-year-old St Paul’s Primary School’s Tawana Matiza, who performed a rap she created about her home town of Hastings.

Her father, Kudzanai, said: “Music is her life. It’s always been her dream to be a singer, and to entertain people.

Ukulele player Georgia Strain. Photo by Priory Meadow

Ukulele player Georgia Strain. Photo by Priory Meadow

“She’s started to write a few numbers herself and she also sings other people’s songs.

“She likes all kinds of music but is a big fan of rap and very good at it too.”

Another youngster who sings all around the house is Lacey Miles who performed her rendition of Justin Bieber’s hit, Love Yourself.

Her mother, Kara, of Hollington Old Lane, St Leonards, said: “Lacey was amazing. We were up nearly all night practising because we only heard about the auditions the night before and Lacey had done no preparation for them.

Lacey Miles with her mum Kara after her audition. Photo by Priory Meadow

Lacey Miles with her mum Kara after her audition. Photo by Priory Meadow

“So we all helped her to brush up and get ready to give a good performance.”

Lacey, a St Leonards Primary Academy pupil, is inspired by her late father, George Georgiou, when she sings.

“He died of a heart attack when Lacey was just eight months old and although she never really knew him, she’s always asked a lot about him,” explained Kara.

“We’ve told her so much about her dad and how much he loved her that she still feels very emotional about him and she’s inherited some of his character.

“He’d be very proud to see her singing on stage.”

Lacey is also a keen dancer, a trophy winning gymnast and member of the popular Tornados Twirlers entertainment troupe in Hastings.

Another young star of the day was instrumentalist Georgia Starkin, 13, who taught herself to play the ukulele after putting one on her Christmas wish list a couple of years ago.

“I don’t go to classes to learn it, but I try to practice nearly every day after school. I enjoy playing all kinds of music on it, especially pop songs,” she said.

Georgia, of St Helens Down, is studying music for her GCSE examinations at Robertsbridge Community College.

Georgie also enjoys piano lessons and takes classes at Hastings Stage Studio, school of performing arts.

Her parents, Laura and Jeremy Starkin, are among her biggest fans.

“Georgia’s always loved music and puts a lot of work into it,” Laura said.

“We were very proud of her when she completely taught herself to play the ukulele without any tuition whatsoever and she has achieved a high standard for her age.”

Priory Meadow Shopping Centre manager Stacey Bell said: “It is excellent news for Hastings and East Sussex as a whole to have auditions here at Priory Meadow, as it is a great way to celebrate our fantastic and diverse local talent.”

Don’t miss out on all the latest breaking news where you live.

Here are four ways you can be sure you’ll be amongst the first to know what’s going on.

1) Make our website your homepage at www.hastingsobserver.co.uk/
2) Like our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/hastingsobserver
3) Follow us on Twitter @HastingsObs
4) Register with us by clicking on ‘sign in’ (top right corner). You can then receive our daily newsletter AND add your point of view to stories that you read here.

And do share with your family and friends - so they don’t miss out!

The Hastings Observer - always the first with your local news.

Be part of it.