What an amazing, magical, joyful, talented and hilarious cast of students entertained packed audiences this October with their production of the Wizard of Oz. The professionalism of these performances was hugely impressive, having been put together in a short few weeks: the students delivered word-perfect, witty lines with confidence and the musicality was superb.
It was great to see so many children of all ages shining in ensemble parts and individual scenes: from the Munchkins to the Winkie Guards, the Toto team, Aunt Em and Uncle Henry to the Lullaby League, the dancing Jitterbugs to the indignant Trees. A few individual performances must be picked out, though…
To the title role, Henry brought a characteristic blend of humour and wordplay, while the lead character of Dorothy was brought to lovable life by Evie: what an impressive solo of ‘Somewhere Over the Rainbow’! Dorothy’s friends were captivating… Freya sang stunningly and yearningly of the Tin Man’s quest to gain a heart; Samson had us all laughing out loud as the brainless, straw-strewing Scarecrow; and Arlo wowed the audience with his characterful, convincing, comical Cowardly Lion. Liam was an evil whirlwind of a Wicked Witch, and Ruby a pitch-perfect Glinda.
The show could not have been performed so smoothly and professionally without the backstage crew. The transformations of cast members from Kansas farmhands to magical characters from Oz were achieved with wizardry by the makeup team backstage: Mrs Kendrick, Jo-Jo Webb, Hafwen, Rosie and Lizzie. Stage hands Sienna and Libby whisked props out of sight while Jacob, Oliver and Nathan Dean created transformative sound and lighting effects. Miss Thornton and Miss Turner were ably supported by Ahab, Caleb, Toby and the Year 8 and Year 10 DT students in creating set and props. A huge thanks to all these students and members of staff who gave up their time to put on such a great performance, as well as many other volunteers such as Ms Bloor, Mr Craig, Ms Troman and Alison Gould. As Musical Director and piano accompanist, Mr Jane was a driving force behind the excellence of this show.
But the biggest round of applause on the night rightly went to Mrs ‘Wizard’ Symons. What can we say? She made this show happen. What a superstar. Thank you!
More photos can be found on our Five Islands Academy Facebook Page.