Celebrity parents and supporters shared tips for success at an evening to help a school revamp its rare and unusual hall.

Stars including Claire Skinner, Tracy-Ann Oberman, Samantha Spiro, Shaun Dingwall, Tom Basden and Adam James performed poetry and prose written by pupils, staff and parents at Acland Burghley School.

The school needs to raise £300,000 so its unusual brutalist hexagonal hall can undergo a £1.6m revamp to be a live venue.

It will also serve as the UK’s first Museum of Brutalist Architecture (MoBA).

The evening last Thursday (April 25) was hosted by former pupil and comedian Joe Bor, helped by Year 8 pupil and Bafta-winning Sky Kids presenter Jeriah Kibusi, 13, and fellow pupil Charlotte Wilson.

Sacha Skarbek, a parent at the school who co-wrote smash hit singles Wrecking Ball for Miley Cyrus,  James Blunt’s You’re Beautiful, and several Adele songs, shared some of secrets of his multi-award-winning creative process.​

Ham & High: Jeriah Kibusi, Thanos Sachpazidis. Charlotte Wilson and Joe BorJeriah Kibusi, Thanos Sachpazidis. Charlotte Wilson and Joe Bor (Image: Nathalie Raffray)

He said: "As a songwriter there are three words that come into play quite a lot.

"You need a lot of luck, then you need to be persistent, you need to have some empathy; you need to understand, you need to be open emotionally and listen to people."

Mr Skarbek said he was "slightly perplexed" as to why he was invited.

"I'm a songwriter, a music producer. I'm not a performer and definitely not a singer, " he added before singing his global smash hit Blunt and Cyrus songs pitch perfect.

Pupils performed in bands, as duets, or sang solo, with a performance from folk instrumentalist Sam Amidon, who encouraged the audience to sing along with his pieces.

"What a great school, I feel very happy to be here," said actor and singer Samantha Spiro. "What a brilliant evening to turn this already amazing space into something even more amazing." 

Most celebrities connection to the school was through parents or staff.

Ham & High: Claire Skinner and Shaun Dingwall support Acland Burghley School's fundraiserClaire Skinner and Shaun Dingwall support Acland Burghley School's fundraiser (Image: Nathalie Raffray)

Claire Skinner, who starred in the sitcom Outnumbered, told the Ham & High that she enjoyed walking around the brutalist Barbican hall.

"I didn't know that this was here," she added. "It's a double thing, I can get to support an amazing project and have a little look".

Soldier Soldier actor Shaun Dingwall said: "It's a community project that needs help. One thing that stuck out for me was the lack of wheelchair access. Buildings have to have that, especially community buildings so it will be amazing if they can provide that."

The brutalist hall - which means it was built using raw concrete - was created in 1964 by architects Howell, Killick, Partridge and Amis.

Ham & High: (L_R) Sarah and Lucy Amis, granddaughter and daughter of architect Stanley Amis(L_R) Sarah and Lucy Amis, granddaughter and daughter of architect Stanley Amis (Image: Nathalie Raffray)

Stanley Amis's daughter Lucy Amis and grandaughter Sarah Amis were at the event.

Lucy said: "It's really nice to hear they are both honouring the school and moving to renovate the assembly hall and the move to have a brutalist museum."

Sarah added: "It's really nice to see one of your granddad's works being recognised and people enjoying and appreciating it."

The project has already been pledged funding from the National Lottery Fund but this can only be accessed if the remaining sum can be raised.

People can donate to the project at Donor packages – A Hall for All

Headteacher Nicholas John told the room that when he started in the role he addressed staff in a hall with a leaking roof. He said the hall had been patched up but was "central in so many ways" both to the school and the wider community.

He added: "It's hexagonal shape reflects the diversity of our community and the value we put on creativity.

"It's separation from the main building emphasises it as a hall for all, accessible by all, an asset for all local people."