Talented pupils from Wykham Park Academy have showcased their creativity and brought Baltimore in the 1960s to life through a production of Hairspray.
The show has certainly proved popular with the residents of Banbury who have flocked to Wykham Theatre since opening night, earlier this week, and tonight’s performance (Friday Feb 14th) has now sold out.
The Broadway musical is a family-friendly choice and described as being ‘piled bouffant high with laughter, romance and deliriously tuneful songs.’
The cast of 37 performers rehearsed every week for three nights following auditions in June last year. There were also two weekend rehearsals and an all-day rehearsal off timetable.
Rachel White, subject lead for drama at Wykham Park, which is a part of the Aspirations Academies Trust, said the show’s success is a reflection of the hard work and commitment shown by the students who range in age from 11 to 16. She told the Banbury Guardian: ‘’I could not be any prouder at the moment of our wonderful students.
‘’For some of the young people at our school, it is the most important aspect of their school lives – it builds friendship, trust and respect across year groups, genders and races.
‘’The confidence that our young people have from being part of something so magical is priceless – they have grown as a unit and I would honestly say that we are a family.
‘’The arts build communities and that is what is happening at Wykham Park – we have a family of students and staff all with a passion for the arts.’’
Pupils from nearby Harriers and Dashwood, which are feeder primary schools, came to watch a matinee performance which also served as a technical run.
Ms White said: ‘’The students loved it and it is a fantastic opportunity for our young people in the community to see the exciting things that happen at Wykham Park.
‘’The professionalism and kindness of our students with the primary school students was simply outstanding. It was a lovely moment when some of the cast stayed during their lunchtime to teach the dance routines to Dashwood students, it really was a ‘magic’ moment.’’
The school production is now an annual event and students have previously had the opportunity to perform Sister Act and Joseph.
Ms White said: ‘’Hairspray was chosen because it has the most amazing songs, dances and a really positive moral message behind it. We knew that it could potentially be a tricky show to put on but we absolutely love a challenge and our students have really stepped up to this challenge.’’
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