Lovers of musical theatre and the 1939 film were treated to two nights of singing, dancing, wizards and Yellow Brick Roads with the school’s summer production of The Wizard of Oz. Ms Ahsan who directed the pupils from JLC to Year 10 was thrilled by the positive response of both parents and friends. She said, “I think parents loved watching their children having such a good time on stage and that’s what it’s all about”.
After a month of rehearsals, the pupils were simply word perfect; “At first I didn’t think I could learn so many lines but it’s amazing what you can do when you have the pressure of 400 hundred people coming to watch you!” said Dominic Parkman who played the Scarecrow to great appreciation and applause. Other notable performances came from both Dorothy’s – Emma Barber on Wednesday night and Ella Meeks on Thursday night. Both gave it their all and stole the audience’s heart. George King gave a performance worthy of the West End with his portrayal of the Cowardly Lion and what a lot of laughs he received when he sang, “If I Were King of the Forest”! Richie Heyward’s Tin Man is also noteworthy with his subtle performance of a sweet romantic – in fact his performance had both heart and soul! Emily Wilson’s singing was truly magnificent and it was a magical experience to hear her voice fill the theatre with her rendition of “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” at the finale”. Her grandma pointed out, “It’s the best play I’ve seen at Hulme hall and I’ve seen a few!”
Yehia, Shahin and Elaine gave lovely performances as Uncle Henry and Auntie Em and both said how much they enjoyed being involved. Sarah Fisher enjoyed her cameo as Ms Gulch, although she gave the audience (and cast!) a fright on the first night when she forgot to take Toto back to the stage. “I was determined not to forget on the second night”, she said, and true to her word, Toto made a much quicker appearance on Thursday! Toto is yet to comment having been talent-scouted; he will be appearing on Broadway next month! The role of the Wicked Witch of the West played on consecutive nights by both Olivia Mealey and Khadijah Malik was a sight to be beheld, both playing the part with aplomb – and smoke! But the person who astounded and amazed the audience the most was Thomas Purves who played the part of the great and powerful Wizard of Oz. “I had no idea he was capable of projecting his voice so well” said a very surprised Ms Wornell, “I wasn’t sure that it was his voice at first until he came out from behind the curtain!”
Key Stage 3 students were responsible for the fantastic dancing and singing sequences and, as Ms Ahsan pointed out, were a joy to work with. “I have never had so much fun directing a play before – the pupils were so willing to work hard and enjoy themselves. I really value each and every one of them, including some of our more little pupils from the JLC who provided the cute factor!”
Ms Ahsan would also like to thank Mr Ng for the fantastic video footage of the Wizard, Mr Swanton for his props, Miss Thomas for her beautiful hand-painted stage set and Miss Vigne for assisting her and, last but not least, Mrs Bevan and her fabulous band for the fantastic music. “It was a team effort and we all brought this play to life in good old Hulme Hall Style!”
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