After two weeks of over 200 auditions just before the Easter holiday, we knew that this was not going to be a nice easy musical with a few enthusiastic girls! We made a decision early on to not cut at the audition stage, if a girl wanted to be in Bugsy and was prepared to go through the terror of a singing and acting audition in front of adults, she would be in the production. The band was made up entirely of students and the dancing was choreographed by Deanna Walker in Year 12. Every cast member, band member and back stage helper in Bugsy played a major part, requiring an exceptional degree of dedication, enthusiasm and patience.
Bugsy Malone is set in the Prohibition Era. Prohibition in the United States was a national ban on the sale, manufacture, and transportation of alcohol, in place from 1920 to 1933. Effective enforcement of the alcohol ban proved to be very difficult and led to widespread flouting of the law.
The action starts with a mobster being "splurged" by members of Dandy Dan's gang, using rapid-fire custard-shooting "splurge guns" and at Fat Sam's speakeasy Fat Sam himself is worried about rival Dandy Dan. Blousey Brown, an aspiring singer, has come for an audition, and Bugsy Malone, a boxing promoter with no money, meets Blousey and is smitten.....
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This combined Parkstone and Poole Grammar performance of Fiddler on the Roof is set in Tsarist Russia in 1905. It opens with Tevye, a poor Jewish milkman with five daughters, explaining the customs of the Jews in the Russian shtetl of Anatevka, where their lives are as precarious as the perch of a fiddler on a roof. Tevye attempts to maintain his family and Jewish religious traditions while outside influences encroach upon their lives. He must cope with both the strong-willed actions of his three older daughters — each one's choice of husband moves further away from the customs of his faith — and with the edict of the Tsar that evicts the Jews from their village. The performances were played to packed audiences who were in awe of the quality of the production.
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This combined Parkstone and Poole Grammar performance of Grease involved well over one hundred students in Years 9 to 13. Grease takes place in and around the fictitious Rydell High School where the rebellious, happy, thrill-loving class of 59 start a new year. There is a new girl at school, Sandy Dumbrowski. She and the leader of the T-Birds, Danny Zuko, had a brief love affair the summer before, but the summer ended for them with unresolved feelings of love. Sandy and Danny soon bump into each other at school, and while Sandy is happy to see Danny, he brushes her off to be cool . .
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Three nights in October saw the culmination of ten months' hard work when the school hosted performances of the musical Into the Woods. In a joint production with Poole Grammar School, the two schools enthusiastically and excitedly demonstrated their strong talents and teamwork by offering four spectacular shows. From the talented musicians and actors to the artistic lighting technicians, scenery painters and make-up artists – everyone performed to their highest capability and this was reflected in the highest quality performances.
Into the Woods (music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim and story by James Lapine) is a unique musical, bringing in many famous fairy tale characters such as Rapunzel, the Ugly Sisters, Little Red Riding Hood and Cinderella, to produce a sometimes dark, but highly funny dramatic piece.
The final performance welcomed local dignitaries and community members to the school, including the Mayor and Annette Brooke MP. At the end of the show the Mayor kindly offered a warm and amusing speech to the evening's guests when he eloquently echoed the audience's appreciation of such a highly gifted group of students and staff. Congratulations to all involved!
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Red Riding Hood
This year's production of Oliver involved pupils from Years 8 to 10. As with previous Lower School Productions, if a girl wanted to be in Oliver and was prepared to go through the terror of a singing and acting audition in front of adults, she was in the production. Despite the large number, every girl involved had a decent amount of time on stage and, for many, this was the very first time that they have been involved in any type of theatrical performance.
The dramatic story of Oliver Twist was the first work of Charles Dickens to be presented as a successful stage musical. The plot of Dickens' original novel is considerably simplified for the purposes of the musical, with Fagin being represented more as a comic character than as a villain, and large portions of the latter part of the story being completely left out.
The effort, dedication and enthusiasm of the actors, musicians, dancers, back stage crew and directors Lorna and Andrew Farbridge over just six full weeks of rehearsal produced three captivating, highly professional and memorable performances.
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In October 2007, students from Parkstone and Poole Grammar Schools performed in a joint schools’ production of the musical Oklahoma! They offered vibrant and enthralling performances in three evening shows as well as a matinee for local schools.
Directed by Lorna and Andrew Farbridge, this production involved most Year 8 and Year 9 students and was a tremendous success.
Bugsy Malone was originally released in the 1970s.
Set in downtown New York in the middle of the prohibition era, Bugsy Malone tells the tale of gangster warfare in a world where bullets have been replaced with custard pies and flour bombs.