Anna Kennedy’s charity event, Autism’s Got Talent at the Mermaid Theatre in London on the 14th of October was extravagantly wholesome.

Unlike any other show or event, the audience, organisers and the performers are one big happy family.

Anna Kennedy with Eden-Raine Smith and Philip Barnett at the red carpet

Anna Kennedy has not only managed to pour her heart into this cause for 12 years now, but she has also created a community that deeply cares for one another.

The event was nothing short of a Britain’s/America’s Got Talent show. A large theatre almost sold out with families, friends and newcomers who have never seen other autistic or ADHD individuals like themselves.

It was a wonderful opportunity for families of autism to network and build friendships.

Philip Barnett in his gorgeous sparkly blazer, took centre stage and hosted what unfolded to be a sensational night. He introduced Anna Kennedy and Maggie Peterson first, the driving forces of the event to bless the stage for their inspiring efforts.

The stage was also honoured by the presence of some popular faces and LGBT activists who were presenters of the show.

Actress Vicky Michelle, best-selling author Samantha Lee Howe, professional dancer Robin Windsor, autistic Masterchef contestant Vanessa D’Souza, hairdresser and author Steven Smith and many more.

Phil then introduced the first performers, Pineapple Performing Arts, who opened the show.

Anna Kennedy and Steven Smith at the red carpet

ACT 1

Pineapple Performing Arts is a group of children and teenagers split into two. One was a cheerleader dancing group that wowed us with their suave. And the other was a pop dance group that made me want to groove along to their swag in my seat.

Maggie Peterson with Pineapple Performing Arts and Eden-Raine Smith

Isla McManus walked in like a sweet little angel,and left us gob-smacked with her punchy womanly voice. She’s a 10-year old autistic singer who has the vocal range of Christina Aguilera.

Finlay Minnis is a theatre singer who has sung in Macbeth, he glided onto the stage with oozing confidence. His elegant opera voice made my ears tingle and confirm the fact that he is indeed a rising star.

Oscar Bugaev is a mathematics genius at the age of 10. He calculated square root and cube roots of numbers within seconds, that’s maths I can’t even begin to comprehend at 26.

Oscar Bugaev and his sister

Skye Richards is a 11-year old girl who is born to be a performer. She did a medley of routines to show her versatility in hip-hop, whacking and pop dancing styles.

Nath Trevett is a Welsh singer, whose passion for music bled through his performance. A rockstar in the making with a gentle heart as a truthful lyricist.

Shay Marie Ellis is a 16 year-old Irish tap dancer, who frolicked the stage with her mastery of the art within a span of only 5 years.

Joey Chike is a singer and dancer who has his own album called “Normal” based on neurodiversity, autism and romance. He swept the stage with his cool moves and melodic voice and reappeared on stage with his group Atypical with Attitude.

The Atypical with Attitude crew featuring Joey Chike

Eden-Raine Smith is a dancer who knew how to set fire to the stage. She break-dances, and made sure she pop-locked the entire theatre down. A diva in the making.

Colin Brennen is a singer and motivational speaker who almost made me cry with his version of “Bring Him Home” from Lés Mirables. His voice was angelic, I swear I saw the smoke on the stage behind him turn into wings.

ACT 2

Atypical with Attitude is a neurodiverse lyrical dance group of men featuring Joey Chike. Their ease and synchronised movements to the beats of the song left us all begging for more.

Poppy Choi Wah Pandit is a 16 year old spoken word treat I didn’t see coming. Her talent for storytelling and drama in her delivery left me shocked and highly intrigued.

Abrianna Holmes is a young contemporary dancer who waltzed around the stage with poise. She occupied the stage with her skillful movements, a beautiful and raw talent.

Casper Moon is a singer-songwriter who popped on the stage with his guitar and serenaded with an acoustic melody. With a voice that sounds like Bryan Adams, charming the audience with grace.

Anna Kennedy, Casper Moon and Philip Barnett

Zach Brookes is a comedian who certainly loved taking the p*ss out of all people. His comedy was so relatable, I found myself saying, “Me!” at each of his lines.

Fred Tennant is a singer who is as cute as a button, with powerful statements in his lyrics that reinstates his strong attitude towards life.

Kian Butler is a singer, who looked dapper in his white tuxedo. He sang “All Of Me” by John Legend with a voice that captivated the theatre and spoke softly of his love for RuPaul’s Drag Race and Lady Gaga.

Kian Butler

Alanna Barry is a contemporary dancer who manoeuvres around the stage like a swan gliding through the lake. Her soft aura shone her innocence and passion right through her.

Henry Bradshaw is a singer who can hold a note that can finally trigger world peace. His  healing voice is magnetic and takes you on a journey of salvation without even realising it.

Pineapple Performing Arts closed the show with another stellar dance performance. Phil Barnett encouraged the audience to boogie along and ended the night by calling all of the guests and presenters to get on stage and bust some moves.

The show couldn’t have been more life-changing for me, I left with a joyful heart. As Phil and Anna would say, we are all talented human beings and we can do anything we put our mind to.

All of the performers on stage at the end of the show

To support Anna Kennedy and Autism’s Got Talent, CLICK HERE to find out more details about the cause and join the next event.

Audtions for Autism’s Got Talent 2024 will be taking place this week, to apply, CLICK HERE.

 

Article by Adishri Chengappa

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