In March 2020, we were fortunate to be able to enjoy Ffynone House’s production of the iconic musical ‘Grease’. Whilst the world seems quite different now, we wanted to share a magical memory with you and say “Thank you” to the talented pupils and staff that made it possible.
From its opening moments, ‘Grease’ bounced with astonishing energy and vigour. Just last year, many of these same young Performing Arts students were giving incredibly serious and moving portrayals of French revolutionaries in ‘Les Misérables,’ yet here they were mastering the complex moves of the ‘Hand Jive’ with complete credibility and confidence! It is testament to the dexterity of the performers and to the vision of director Kayte Walsh, that the ensemble can convey such different moods and characterisations with apparent ease.
Year 11 Daniel, who played Kenickie, appreciates all the hard work involved, “To think of how far the cast has come since auditions really puts into perspective the dedication and perseverance required for such an energetic musical. It’s extremely rewarding to be able to say you can act, sing and dance, moreover that you can do it all simultaneously!”
The rehearsal process commenced with a weekend residential at Margam Park. For many students, like Amelie in Year 8, this is one of the highlights of the annual school performance project, “I love spending time with like-minded peers of different ages. At the Margam sessions we get a chance to establish ourselves as a company and also have lots of fun!”
Although some may perceive ‘Grease’ to be an obvious choice for a school show, without nearly the same technical demands as something like ‘Les Misérables,’ it is in fact hugely challenging. Sophie in Year 10, who played Patty Simcox, is an accomplished performer both at school and in Class Act Theatre School. Even she acknowledged that, “the singing rehearsals have been the most difficult part of the process. Mrs Ramos, our super musical director, has extremely high expectations of us and did everything in her power to help us master the complicated harmonies in the show. The feeling when you and your cast mates ultimately nail all the parts in the song is unrivalled…and then you have to add in all the dance moves!”
Headteacher Michael Boulding sent his congratulations to all the cast and crew saying that, “our students have once again thrilled their audience with their talent and commitment in performance. We will always hold The Arts in great esteem here at Ffynone and our tradition of excellence in musical theatre continues with this superb production.”