Skegness Grammar School pupils were given a best wishes message from an icon of the stage recently when they took on the West End classic, Evita.
On December 11 and 12, the Grammar School hosted a rare performance of the show, and Andrew Lloyd Webber even tweeted a good luck message to the school before their production.
Evita has an all-pupil cast and an orchestra made up of pupils, teachers, ex-teachers and external friends.
The orchestra, conducted by Grahame Baumber, played fantastically. The show was a huge success. Grahame Baumber and Deborah Atkinson were very much in charge of the whole performance, so there was no room for slack.
Rehearsals began in September. The cast, technical crew and teachers in charge were extremely dedicated, organising and attending countless practices during and after school.
Authentic costumes were worn by the talented cast, giving a realistic feel to the show.
Backdrops were designed by the pupils in the school’s art department, and Argentinian flags were placed at the entrance of the hall and on the stage.
The set was joined by the technical crew, who placed lighting effects to every scene, displaying the array of talent among the school’s pupils.
The rehearsals were filled with a frantic ambience surrounding the cast and the orchestra.
With the play only having been attempted once before by any school, it was a real test to see whether the creative arts department of Skegness Grammar School could pull off the show.
They did more than ‘pull it off’, they performed the show with excellence.
The dances throughout the show were performed with precision and perfect timing.
Casting, chosen by the music department, worked well as all pupils were fitted specificallly to a character.
Nia Holmes, a pupil in year nine, stole the show with the phenomenal performance of Evita. She said: “Being the main role and being year nine has been tough, as I am a lot younger than the other leads, but it has all been worth it.”
Nia landed the role in September and has performed the role with the maturity and grace of someone twice her age.
Dex Oswald, a pupil in year 13, played the part of Colonel Peron. His solo songs excelled as he carried them with clarity, silencing the audience.
When performing together Nia and Dex played an excellent couple.
Their dances were perfected to the second, their duets portrayed the love and sadness Peron and Eva woul dhave felt. Both of the main roles had monologues which were mesmerising, holding the captivated audience in their grasp. The pair ticked every box.
When the show ended, Mr Sprague, Skegness Grammar School’s Associate Headteacher spoke fondly to the audience. He said: “The show was absolutely awesome. It was a top to bottom Skegness Grammar School affair which was extremely special.”
Following on from this, flowers were presented to all of those who helped.