Chicago: students put on our most ambitious theatrical production yet

Chicago: students put on our most ambitious theatrical production yet

Murder, treachery…and all that jazz!

Hundreds of people came to watch our show, Chicago (High School Edition) for a hugely successful three date run in February 2019.

The hit Broadway musical came to the Academy Theatre, which was spectacularly transformed into a 1920s circus. Students from Years 7-10 took on roles as the merry murderesses (who walk a tightrope with the law), the lawyers and judges of the establishment (who run the show), the victims (the simple clowns caught up in the mayhem) and the chorus ensemble.

The story follows the media circus that erupts around a group of women who have murdered their husbands and lovers.

The show was by far the most ambitious production that the academy has yet seen, and made full use of our new state-of-the-art theatre, with professional lighting, a two-tier set, confetti canons and a 12-piece orchestra providing the live music.

The cast have been working hard on the show for many months, and put on four glorious performances during a busy week which also saw them perform in assemblies, undertake a gruelling rehearsal schedule and still find time for their Independent Learning Tasks!

During the months leading up to the show, Director Mr Pip tried to develop the cast and crew’s experience of a professional production, enlisting the help of Actor Anna-Jane Casey who played one of Chicago’s leading roles in London’s West End for almost 10 years. The cast were also buzzing before Christmas to receive a special video message from the current London cast, including Alexandra Burke and Duncan James from Blue!

Mr Pip said, “My first large scale production has been an exhilarating experience, especially putting our new Academy Theatre through its paces. It’s also been a delight working with the cast, they’ve achieved so much. From the auditions through to the final night, it has been a pleasure to see how they have all grown in confidence and have developed both their acting and stage technique. There have been some remarkable performances and I’m immensely proud of these extraordinary people and the way they leapt on-board with my directorial vision. I am also indebted to academy staff who pulled together and supported me, whether it was providing food for the team, opening / closing the building, being chaperones, helping with make-up and costumes, promoting us on social media, or taking warm-ups, being backstage or front of house. They were great. As well as their other (main) roles in the production, Mr Brice, Mr Stannard and Mr Montgomery have spent many late nights and early mornings working on the set and lights with me seven days a week! This has been inspiring… now the show’s over I hope their families recognise these strangers!”

A massive thank you to everyone who came and watched – we hope you enjoyed the show!