News Feature: Chicago Musical!
After a short hiatus, the much-anticipated school musical made its debut before half term in a spectacular series of performances that left audiences dazzled.
The show opened with a bang on a Wednesday night with audience members stating how, “Amazed and in awe,” they were. Highlights included the live music, the Hot Honey Rag dance, and the spectacular Cell Block Tango – “One of the best songs in the show,” according to Ms Breckon, and one which Ms Tibbets, “Really enjoyed choreographing.”
But arguably the biggest highlight of all was the fabulous cast; Ms Murphy specifically stating how she loved the, “New talent,” this year with pupils trying out who had never done so before, making their incredible debut. Shoutouts from the teachers included to Mariam, who played both Roxy and Mary “brilliantly”; Sebastian – one of said debut pupils – “Who was always on time, always off script and really accepting of feedback during rehearsals,” and did a marvelous job as Billy; Eliza who learnt the part of Mary just a week before opening night and “Did an incredible job”; Nya, who played Velma, whose songs were “Delivered to such a high standard” and took great time and energy to get everything “Just right”; and, finally, Na’ima who was a “Great support” to the dancers throughout, putting lots of time and practice into it.
But the show wasn’t without its troubles. Even in the idealistic world of musicals, the virus dominating our lives for the past few years could not be avoided, with Ms Murphy stating the challenges of producing a show were that “Cast members were unwell and isolating which made some rehearsals difficult,” and Ms Tibbets expressing how they were, “Lucky to get through our performance week with a full cast.”
Yet, despite these challenges, the show ended up in Bolingbroke history with Ms Breckon stating how she was, “So sad when it was all over,” despite the nerves and anxieties of the first show. And Darcey Hanson – a dancer in the show – stated that, “[the choreography was] challenging but when we did it all together and got it in time it felt exciting and worth the effort." In fact, the show ended up selling out, with Ms Murphy reflecting on them: “They were fantastic!” and describing now having a “big Chicago shaped hole in [her] life!” Ms Tibbets talked of the “fond memories” she hopes the cast will look back on and Ms Breckon also added on the great bonding experience of the show - “Those memories are for life!”