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It was worth the wait! Our joint annual musical production with Merchant Taylors’, Chicago, was an astounding showcase of talent and drive as performers took to the stage to bring this musical extravaganza to life.
St Helen’s hosted three fabulous performances attended by a live audience and the cast and crew were rewarded with standing ovations each night.
So why Chicago?
The dominating female cast. I think it’s very hard to find musicals that have such a strong female presence. It’s one I have wanted to do for years, but we were never allowed the rights to do it, as it was still being performed on Broadway and the West End. This version has been adapted for secondary schools, so you will find that not all of the songs are in here and the language is very tame as well.
Mrs Connell, Head of Drama
Here’s what some of our cast had to say…
We were both involved in this year’s joint St Helen’s and Merchant Taylors’ production of ‘Chicago’, with Aimee managing all of the costumes and Elin performing on stage. Rehearsals began in September at the start of term and the production spanned from the 24th to the 26th of November. The company was made up of over 40 students: cast, crew and technicians, this all made for a fantastic performance of the classic Broadway musical.
Aimee and Elin, Sixth Formers
As a wardrobe assistant, I organised the cast’s props and costumes during performances and rehearsals, as well as making sure quick costume changes ran smoothly. I sorted the costume rails, sewed on missing buttons and altered dresses. It was chaotic, but a great experience. Some cast members rushed to me with costume emergencies just before they were about to go on stage or if they couldn’t find a prop.
I enjoyed being responsible for the backstage costume team and leadership responsibilities that came with it. The cast were so kind and accommodating; in rehearsals, we would chat backstage or sit on the stage as I fixed their costumes or pinned their dresses. My favourite moment was bonding over ‘Downton Abbey’ with the backstage crew! I really enjoyed the whole overall experience.
Aimee, Sixth Former
I was primarily performing in the ensemble and although the rehearsals began with awkward introductions, by the end the whole company were all so close. The experience of being in ‘Chicago’ was so thrilling and it gave me an insight into the world of onstage acting which I love and want to pursue.
The week leading up to the shows were so busy and I was running entirely on adrenaline. The all-day rehearsals were enjoyable although exhausting, and I spent them singing in the wings and hurrying on for my debut performance in ‘Cell Block Tango’.
The off-stage renditions of ‘Mamma Mia’ and ‘High School Musical’ were my favourite moments, I will really miss the weekly rehearsals.
Elin, Sixth Former
Congratulations to our remarkable cast, crew, musicians and staff who worked tirelessly to bring Chicago to St Helen’s.