Grease is still the word…
Monday 12th – Saturday 17th February, saw magic changes at The Kingsway School, when The T-Birds and Pink Ladies took over Foxland Hall, transforming it into Rydell High School as the Music Department presented this year’s smash-hit musical “Grease”.
Months of hard work and dedication paved the way for five nights of outstanding performances that had the audiences shouting for more.
A stellar cast (led by Harry Earnshaw as the ultra-cool Dany Zuko, and Ellie Nicholls as the pure and naïve Sandy Dumbrowski), performed high-energy interpretations of their characters and sang with conviction and style, leaving the audience hopelessly devoted to them.
Ethan Cash as Kenickie burned up the quarter mile in great style and Scarlett Dean, who played Rizzo, left us doubtful that there is anything (worse or otherwise) that she cannot do!
Rebekah Higginbotham whipped the cast and crew into shape as a wonderful Miss Lynch (any chance of booking her for an assembly?), while Patty (Kate Rogers) and Eugene (Caleb Lyndon) were endearing in equal measure as they juggled their way through the teenage trauma of pleasing both their headmistress and avoiding the jibes of the ‘coolest of the cool’.
Among the stars of the week, our Pink Ladies were oh so fabulously PINK! Snappy and sassy, Kenzie-Leigh Nicholson, Ella Norman and Estefany Fuguett-Guiterrez sniped and sang beautifully, each adding their own charm to the group.
Keep talking, woa keep talking…
Played by Max Carter, Adam Turner, and Alfie Bousfield, the boys were absolutely hy-y-y-y-y-y-dromatic , forming a totally convincing bond as the ‘T-Birds’; They were supreme. Fantastically funny as they bounced off one another from scene to scene and were totally engaging in their solo performances, with a particular highlight undoubtedly during Those Magic Changes as the boys transformed into fangirls before our eyes.
In all sincerity Jacob Lyndon aka Vince Fontaine was silky, smooth and suave as he clung to his microphone and wooed and schmoozed his way into our melting hearts. Also shining, Cha-Cha, played by Emily Carson, spun and swirled superbly - her expert moves on the dance floor unswayed by Vince’s expert moves on the mike.
Tell me more, tell me more about the super chorus; Olivia Ashmore, Millie Burnham, Lauren Williams, Lily Fogwill, Lucy Kerr, Neve Myers, Lottie Gibson, Sarah Morgan, Daisie Gormley, Ruby McGowan, Heidi Simmons, Emma Young, Tilly Earnshaw, Akira Edgson, Kitty Hinde and Amy Berry. Twirling, whirling and filling the stage with energy and expertise – a delight to work with and a delight to have on stage. Keep it up girls: lead parts surely await you! You are the ones that we want!
Our Rydell students strutted and jived their way through the five nights as though each one was the first. Their professionalism throughout the process was no less impressive and committed than their fabulously endearing and entertaining performances.
Born to teach electronics? Maybe… Born to be an outstanding form tutor? Possibly… Born to Hand Jive? Most definitely! Resplendent in his shiny black wig, Mr Nicolaou went above and beyond, performing for all five nights alongside the sprightly young cast with equal amounts of energy and passion. Keep the wig Mr N – you’ve earned it!
The audience were also treated to a surprise performer each night , with Mr Wood, Madame James, Mr Williams and Mr Lawton adding their own twist and sparkle as they transformed into the Teen Angel, each delivering Olivier-worthy renditions of Beauty School Dropout.
The cast were accompanied by an incredible live 9-piece band made up of music department staff and students past and present, including Sam Woods (Year 11) on drums and ex-student Ben Attfield on trombone.
We mustn’t forget our fantastic backstage team, under the guidance of Mr Moore. Grace O’Shaughnessy, Sam McManus, Rory Taylor, Mia Simister, Annabel Taylor, Lara Barbera, James Fagan and Jared Ikin all guaranteed that the show ran like a well-oiled machine, ensuring props were ready to go and scene changes were slick and sharp. Another mention of note – Millie Brown, who kept the cast well-lit each performance, and ran the lighting desk single-handedly – no small task!
We can’t leave without talking about our very own “Greased Lightning” – lovingly made by Mr Whitham and Mr Hall, before being meticulously painted and dressed to sparkle and dazzle the audience – and boy did she sparkle! Glitter-red paint complimented the lightning flashes and chrome body work. She was certainly one of the talking points of the show, and many of our audience couldn’t wait to get their photo taken in the car at the end of each performance.
So many staff to thank, for helping out with front of house, green room supervision, refreshments, set painting, COSTUMES – the list goes on (and on). Special thanks to Mr Moore, Mr Sager and Ms Heil for all of their hard work helping to bring the show to life. We are extremely grateful, and hope that they know that.
The audience swayed along mouthing all the words to the old favourites, and the cheers and applause at the end summed up what has been an incredible experience for all involved. New friendships have been forged and memories that will last a lifetime have been made. All in all, five fabulous nights in bleak February that we will remember forever.
‘A wop bop a loo bop a wop bam boo’!