YOUNG people at a Swindon-based performing arts school performed a show in memory of a staff member who died of Covid.

Revolution Performing Arts students showed off their skills in Oliver Lansley's The Terrible Infants last month to pay tribute to 44-year-old Ellen-Gayle Harewood,

RPA founder Fi Da Silva Adams said: “Ellen was the very first school ambassador and was working very hard to spread the joy of RPA to the young people of Leicestershire and Northamptonshire. Sadly, Ellen passed away very suddenly on November 7. She was dearly loved by us all."

Ellen-Gayle was a self-employed actress, writer and drama tutor who had worked on several creative projects across the UK, South Africa, Dubai and Uganda.

As an independent artist, she directed shows, founded youth groups, hosted events and had been part of the history-making female stand-up comedy troupe, Funny Girls UAE.

Fi and Ellen met during the pandemic lockdowns through The Export Department’s Andrea Collins-Clifton. Andrea thought Fi could help Ellen with her own business but when the two met, they discovered they had such a similar synergy and ethos that they decided to work together.

Ellen-Gayle was passionate about the arts and consistently pursued the opportunity to perform and share her experience with the next generation.

Friends say she brought warm, outgoing enthusiasm and energy to her classes to ensure students remained engaged and inspired to learn.

Fi added: "Ellen reached into your heart and just squeezed it a little tighter.

"She was a joyous beacon of light and championed all young people to be the amazing vibrant people they are. Just like the amazing vibrant flourish of humanity that was our dear friend, Ellen.”

This loss added an extra poignancy to the production of The Terrible Enfants.

The collection of cautionary tales full of music, dance and puppetry based on the story Les Enfants Terribles saw young people from RPA Rapport CIC involved in every aspect of the production process – from the acting and the set design to the tech and stage management.

The performances took place last month at The Swindon Arts Centr.

Revolution Performing Arts is a performing arts companies for children and young people. It was founded in 2007 by Fi Da Silva Adams and aims to empowering young people to celebrate their individuality through the power of performing arts.

RPA is based in Swindon and has classes across the town including Shrivenham, as well as having venues in North Wiltshire, Oxfordshire and Gloucestershire.