The annual musical at Chapel-en-le-Frith High School has become an eagerly anticipated event and this year’s production of “Bugsy Malone” exceeded the packed audience’s expectations.
Involving a cast and crew of more than 80 students, drawn from all year groups and all levels of ability, the performance was a showcase for the depth and range of the acting, dancing and musical talents of the school. The cast and chorus were ably supported by the live band, made up of year 10 and 11 instrumentalists, who helped to create the atmosphere of Prohibition-era New York in a boisterous and energetic setting of this popular musical.
The show was a true ensemble piece but was lit up by the outstanding performances of Tom Reimann-Jones as everyone’s favourite guy, Bugsy Malone, Daisy Thorogood as the innocent yet no-nonsense Blousey, Harry Bloor as a lovably menacing Fat Sam, Amy Heery as the seductive Tallulah and Laurie Oliver as a suave Dandy Dan. Other strong performances from a number of year 11 students, playing the roles of comic hoodlums, boxers or speakeasy girls, enabled the performance to run smoothly and professionally and it was evident that their experience and energy supported and guided the younger members of the cast.
A particular strength lay in the dynamic singing and movement of the Chorus, who gave their all in bringing this vivid story to life. The full cast rendition of the fast-paced, ‘Fat Sam’s Grand Slam’ was a notable highlight as was the magnificent and emotional finale, ‘You Give a Little Love’.
The technical crew, led by Geno Sharpe, provided atmospheric lighting and sound effects essential to the success of such a production. Above all, however, the students involved appreciated the leadership, hard work and tireless dedication of directors Steph Bramwell and Jayne Marling, along with that of the musical directors Andrea Wright and Sarah Ledbury.
The show ran for three sold-out nights and ended with a splat-covered audience giving a standing ovation to the exhilarated cast.