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I know that people have probably heard enough about The Little Mermaid at this point, but I really can’t write an article about the school without talking about this fabulous production.
If you haven’t been along to see the show already, you really should grab a ticket fast! I have been involved in many musicals over the years and directed a number of shows involving high school students here at the M&D and also at other schools I have worked at.
I worked on a production at a school in London that specialised in Performing Arts and involved students who went on to act in the Harry Potter films, the Royal Shakespeare Company, various TV shows and a briefly successful English Girl Group. They also had a budget of close to 50,000 pounds and a professional theatre on site.
That show was pretty impressive, but honestly this one is not far behind! It is definitely one of the most enjoyable shows I have worked on and I have been blown away by the talent on display, especially as most of the kids have barely performed before.
But musicals are about much more than audience acclamation, cheers and compliments. They are about bringing people together and showing people they are capable of much more than they think.
I have seen the kids grow in confidence throughout the rehearsals and seen friendships develop between kids who would normally never talk to each other. There are kids who aren’t good at sport, but they find themselves being a vital part of the team when they do a musical. They get pushed to be better, and refuse to believe they can do it, but then beam with delight when they realise they have hit the high note, or found their character, or got the timing of a dance just right.
Musical theatre literally changed my life, as I met my wife during a show, and I hope it has a positive impact for all these kids as well.
I must also mention all the staff who have pitched in and been part of the team, and especially to Miss Katrina Harris who has been fantastic as director. She has never directed a musical before, and she has done such a wonderful job. There are very few people in town who can fully appreciate just how difficult it is to direct a show like this, and I’m one of them, so I have nothing but respect for the job she has done.
I’m very proud of all the students and staff involved in the show and I love that we have a culture where so many people have pitched in and made this show possible – other schools just can’t manage it, but we can!
Thanks also to the parents and families who have been so supportive and allowed their kids to have a go.
I can’t wait for the next one!