Barnum – The Greatest ShowmanJanet Burrows
Having played to a full house each night, the curtains finally closed last night on Malton School’s production of Barnum.
After months of rehearsals, the cast and crew of over 80 students wowed audiences not only with their acting and singing skills, but with their circus skills too.
Jon Lee, drama teacher, said, “We have aimed really high with this year’s show and the students have worked so hard to meet the exacting standards of this classical musical. The show has really tested and extended their range of acting abilities.”
In order to prepare students for the show, Mr Lee organised a number of workshops to put them through their paces as well as give them the confidence to perform their newly developed skills on stage. These included a series of afternoons run by Jen Parry of High Hoops in York who coached the students in the use of aerial silks and hoops. The practice paid off and the students achieved some remarkable balancing feats on the silks.
Other students were assisted by members of York University’s Juggling and Circus Skills Society, who gave up 3 Sundays to teach juggling, circus skills and tricks. Alongside stilt walking, magic tricks, and even a tightrope walk by P T Barnum himself, students really brought the performance to life.
It wasn’t only the acting students that were challenged by Barnum, members of the school orchestra also served as pit musicians providing all the musical accompaniment. Pete Woodrow, music teacher, commented “Barnum is a challenging musical score and I’m very proud of all the students in the pit orchestra for playing to such a high standard of musical excellence for the performers on stage.” This was a quality, live performance in every sense of the word.
Mention must also go to those students and staff who worked so hard behind the scenes, creating the backdrops and scenery, making costumes, working on sound and lighting, providing refreshments and selling tickets. With more than 1 in 10 of all school staff and students involved in some way in the show, it really was an all school production everyone can be proud of.
After months of lunch-time, evening and weekend rehearsals, students can now enjoy a well-deserved rest and reflect on a truly memorable week.