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Grease Lightning Hits Challoner

A magnificent fusion between students at Richard Challoner School and Willson Academy produced an electrifying production of Grease last week, with four complete sell-out performances.

The production showcased the performing arts opportunities available at the school, with polished performances demonstrating the consistent effort and passion of the fifty 14-18 year-old students involved.  The short rehearsal period of just ten weeks had meant students rehearsing tirelessly and during every single available break.

Commenting on the musical aspects of the show, Musical Director, Mr Jonnie Bridges said, “It is a great chance for students to demonstrate their all singing and all dancing capabilities. We’ve never had so many students in costume doing huge, choreographed routines like this before – many boys’ schools wouldn’t! The score is iconic of the era and the music is well-known; I’m pleased that we’ve managed to do it justice.”

The toe-tapping and general feeling of exhilaration among the audiences reflected the comments made that many had paid considerably more for tickets in the West End and been less impressed. Miss Sharon Willson, Director and Choreographer of the show, and with over twenty years’ experience performing key roles around the country, was delighted with the success of the show:  “It has been a truly amazing experience to see our students flourish in their different roles, and heart-warming to see real teamwork come together so seamlessly”.

The 1950s musical provided an appealing challenge for the stage crew and design management team of students and staff who produced intricate and eye-catching scenery and props. Grease was the third highly successful collaboration between Richard Challoner and Willson Academy, following Me and My Girl and Crazy for You.

Around 15 students are enjoying their first year of studies for the Performing Arts BTEC which is now offered in the school’s state-of-the-art studios and is already showing popularity for next year.

The Challoner community awaits confirmation of the next smash-hit musical to take the Challoner stage by storm…