Outstanding show fit for the West End
Harrogate Grammar School opened its doors last week to take its audience through a Queen extravaganza in the Ben Elton musical of ‘We Will Rock You’! A true ‘whole school’ performance, from cast to crew, which certainly got people dancing in the aisles!
With a cast of 73, comprising of Year 7 to Year 13 students, this was one of the biggest musicals Harrogate Grammar School have ever staged! Performed over three nights, each night provided an amazing evening’s entertainment for its sell-out audience.
Led by the Performing Arts Faculty, the cast told the tale of a future where music is forbidden and all humans listen to the same generic sound controlled by ‘Globalsoft’ all under the command of the Killer Queen, performed outstandingly by Ellie Pickersgill. The Bohemians seek the ‘dreamer’ that will show them the way to true Rock. The heroes Galileo Figaro, played by Alfie Richards and Rob Appleton, and Scaramouche, played by Charlotte Atkinson, travel to the Seven Seas of Rhye to save them all.
A nine week rehearsal period saw the band expertly master the music and perform it to outstanding praise, special mention to Tom Gugan who escaped the comfort of the dark confines of the band pit to shout down the Killer Queen with “We’re Galileo’s band”! The success of the production lay in the consistently flawless performance of the Band including rehearsals where Jacob Dale expertly stepped in to Mr Kemp’s conducting shoes. Particular mention goes to Adam Ainsley from his outstanding playing throughout.
The cast brilliantly captured the sound of Queen and gave the show the power it needed to be successful. Stand out moments included Year 11 student Phoebe Kyriakopoulos with her controlling and playful manipulation of the Bohemians in ‘Seven Seas of Rhye’ and the clever storytelling by Year 13 student Joe Greenwood in ‘Days of our Lives’. Dylan Lam-Decker, who joined Harrogate Grammar School as a Year 12 student in September 2017, gave a flawless and unbelievably energetic performance as leader of the Bohemians, rock legend ‘Britney Spears’…!! The challenge of duel casting the role of Galileo was expertly handled by Alfie Richards and Rob Appleton as each performance gave an individual, mesmerising and professional rendition of the character; the saviour of rock, accompanied skillfully by the enormously talented Charlotte Atkinson as Scaramouche.
Joe Greenwood, Rob Appleton, Charlotte Atkinson and Dylan Lam-Decker
The crew, led by Year 13 student Jacob Connell, confidently overcame a range of technical challenges including a live feed with green screen. The cast rehearsed daily to transport their audience to this future world and flawlessly sing the challenging classics from one the most iconic bands in the world!
The audience feedback praised the talent of all students, the fun of the evening and the enthusiasm of all involved particularly in the final night when we saw full audience participation in ‘We Will Rock You’ and ‘We are the Champions’.
Richard Sheriff, Executive Headteacher of Harrogate Grammar School said: “It was an absolute delight to be able to sit and enjoy this terrific performance by such a talented cast of young people, the standard seems to go up and up each year and feels more like a west end theatre production than being in attendance at a school play.”
Feedback from parents was gushing with them stating; “Absolutely fabulous!”, “Fabulous final show, well done to everyone involved, so much talent”, “Amazing last night of We Will Rock You, massive well done to everyone involved”.
A truly amazing show, congratulations to all involved!