Joint Schools’ Productions
Monmouth School for Boys and Monmouth School for Girls Present Hairspray the Musical
From the moment the curtains opened, the audience knew they were in for a high-energy, toe-tapping treat. A double-cast enabled a junior and senior school portrayal of the lead roles in the Broadway smash, Hairspray.
The fast-paced plot explored the issues of racism and body-image in 1960s Baltimore in an uplifting and refreshing way. There were break-out performances from the lead characters over the four nights of sell-out performances with each ensemble bringing something new to the parts.
Directed by Timothy Clegg with Mario Conway as Musical Director, Amanda Poyner as Producer and choreographed by Rhyan Parry, the performances received standing ovations for the sheer exuberance of the singers and dancers. On a cold wet night, Hairspray was just the tonic!
With a cast of over 40 pupils assembled from Year 7 right through to the Year 13 and including girls from Monmouth School for Girls, this production of Shakespeare’s famous tale of the supernatural, ambition and murder most foul came to The Blake stage at the end of the Lent term. A great deal of time and energy went into this project, particularly in focusing on the essence of the play and distilling this into just one hour. The use of gauze screens, atmospheric lighting, sound collages and choreographed movement sequences, together with a committed cast brought this play to life in all its horrific glory and left audiences visibly shaken and with the cackling of the witches remaining with them long after the performances had ended. Josh deserves special mention for his accomplished portrayal of the complexities of Macbeth and his initial reluctance to commit regicide. This was an ambitious and highly-acclaimed production by the Drama department: Philip Griffin, David Murray and Andy Shakeshaft.