The Senior School decided against a musical for this year’s drama production, opting instead for the play version of Willy Russell’s ‘Blood Brothers’.
The production marked the first large performance in the school’s new Performing Arts Studio. Students and staff transformed the Black Box studio into a 1970’s Liverpudlian housing estate, complete with time appropriate posters, graffiti and housing development sites.
With the backdrop and audience in place, budding actors from Years 7 to 13 twice performed the acclaimed piece, studied at GCSE level at Rossall.
Blood Brothers follows Mickey and Eddie, twins separated at birth, over the span of twenty years. This allowed for the cast to ‘age’ between the first and second acts.
Dragon students Henry Singleton, Oscar Mistry, and Leonie Beswick played Mickey, Eddie and Linda respectively; with Will Ratcliffe, Alex Marden and Lucie Prescott taking up the roles in Act 2.
Henry delivered Mickey’s famous ‘I Wish I Was Our Sammy’ monologue with gusto, with Will contrasting the childishness of Mickey as the harsh reality of working-class Liverpool set in.
Oscar’s carefree Eddie, enamoured by the roughness of Mickey, was mirrored fantastically by Alex, who portrayed Eddie’s privilege and disconnect from his unknown twin in a way that showed he’d studied Oscar’s performance well.
Leonie and Lucie’s transition from innocence to young adulthood never seemed overshadowed by Mickey and Eddie. Megan Moore and Sophia Deplidge also proved strong performers with their opposing mother roles; Megan as the emotional Mrs Johnstone and Sophia as the cold and paranoid Mrs Lyons.
The small cast, completed by four narrators (Alice Hellewell, Georgia Oldham, Ellie Qualter and Tayla-Daisy Hoyle) and some scene-stealing supporting actors (Myles Davies, Morgan Wallace, Joe Smith, Natasha Mistry and Jessica Singleton) proved that Rossall doesn’t need big musical numbers to make a lasting impression.
LAMDA teacher, and producer of this year’s Senior School production, Chris Campbell, employed his experience with smaller production companies to mould the students into their own mini theatre company; complete with students operating lighting and sound for the two performances. This company camaraderie and experience in extended elements of theatre was a valuable experience for all performers and behind-the-scenes crew, and will no doubt enhance their drama and theatre studies and future performances.