19.07.2019 - Legally Blonde

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Highfields School Drama, Dance and Music departments are incredibly proud of the recent production of Legally Blonde. With 136 students involved from years 7-13, as well as staff members, the performances were a tremendous success - concluding with a standing ovation on Saturday night. This fabulously fun award winning musical is based on the adored movie. It follows the transformation of Elle Woods (played by Year 10’s Superbly talented Scarlett) as she tackles stereotypes and scandal in pursuit of her dreams. Elle Woods appears to have it all, but her life is turned upside down when Warner (played by Year 13’s Ben) dumps her so he can attend Harvard Law. Determined to get him back, Elle ingeniously charms her way into the prestigious law school. While there, she struggles with peers, professors, her ex (and his new girlfriend, Vivienne - played by talented Year 11, Imogen). With the support of new friends, especially love interest Emmett (Jamie - Year 10) and Paulette (Amy - Year 12), Elle quickly realises her potential and sets out to prove herself to the world. She also wins the respect of fellow student Enid (Mollie - Year 10) as she wins the case for Brooke Wyndham’s (Emily - Year 13) trial!

 

The show was directed by Head of Drama, Dance and Theatre Miss Bonsall who was incredibly impressed by the students' commitment to the performance and their dedicated focus throughout. Head of Music and the shows Musical Director, Kris Rowley, ensured the musical performances were to an exceptionally high standard. The band, which consisted of woodwind, brass, bass guitar, keyboards and drums and percussion was made up of students and staff members of the music department. “The music was a particular challenge this year - this show is constant musically and very demanding”. Both Miss Bonsall and Mr Rowley auditioned the students in February, along with Dance and Drama teachers Mrs Petch (choreographer) and Miss Wright (assistant director). Since then, the students have rehearsed 3 nights and 3 lunchtimes a week, as well as a full weekend just before the performance. Molly Diggle, Year 13 student, was also on the production team as assistant choreographer. She worked closely with the Principal Dancers (10 hand picked dance students ranging from Year 7-13), the Greek Chorus (also ranging across all year groups) and the Delta Nu Girls (played by Daisy - Year 11, Charlotte - Year 9 and Amber - Year 9).

 

Props and scenery were brilliantly created with help from the Art department, Tony O’Reilly, Work Experience students and site staff. Backstage was ran by year 9 and 10 drama GCSE students and year 10 students Tom and Cohen were responsible for lighting.

 

The almost 70-strong chorus and ensemble sang and danced to a very high standard and gave all their energy to every performance. Every single member was accurate and completely in character throughout. After the show, parent commented: ‘I really enjoyed the inclusivity of the showed felt the whole class were fully committed and performed to the highest standard, however large or small their role’. The lead roles managed to really convey a variety of ages and backgrounds of the characters despite the fact that they are all secondary students. A special mention goes to Charlie (year 13) who played ‘shark lawyer and lecturer’ Callahan, demonstrating he was a class act. This year, we had 4 staff members involved, who also played lecturers (Mr Brooks, Mr Redhead, Mr Cole and Mr Flett). Another audience member praised "the hugely inclusive cast" and that "every child had a chance to shine, rotating who was seen on stage throughout”.

 

Generous support from the local community was gratefully received, such as scaffolding set from JEC Scaffolding Ltd and advertising signage firm MVIS. 25 different local firms donated raffle prizes.

 

Miss Bonsall said, "I am tremendously proud of the commitment and talent that our students have shown. We have given six public performances and each one has astounded me with their level of musical and theatrical quality. The performances represent a huge amount of hard work and dedication from everyone involved and I am very excited that we have produced such an impressive level of quality in every aspect of the production - from the acting, singing and dancing to musical accompaniment, set and lighting and sound. This was my third full school production at Highfields and although an incredibly ambitious show with a huge cast, we feel we pulled it off! After Little Shop of Horror's and Footloose being hugely successful, it was a pressure to raise the barre again! But we did! I believe the success is down to the team work between the students. They are so supportive of one another and they really pulled together in the last few weeks particularly. It’s important to remember some of our leads had never been in a show before, or a show at Highfields at least! Some had never let their parents hear them sing before either! It was a momentous and special moment for many! I am already looking forward to producing next year's musical.”

 

Professional photos available from Foyetography.