I haven’t checked for statistics, but I’ll venture to suggest that a vast proportion of our popular actors and musicians will have made their debut performance in a college or school production. I’ve never bothered with college shows before, thinking that they’re put on entirely for the benefit of doting parents, aged aunts, and reluctant siblings.It was like that in my day, over forty years ago, but I need to think again. During the intervening years everything has changed. The Thorp Academy is staging ‘We Will Rock You’ over three evenings this week. I went to the first performance last night, but you still have two opportunities to catch it, either this evening or tomorrow.
A relative who is quite a well-known actress told me that the thing she loves most about the theatre is the fact that everyone has to pull together to make one large entity. Not only those before us on the stage, but the writers, musicians, composers, folk manning front of house, the people who write and print the programmes, the set designers, the lighting and sound technicians. The list is endless. Lose any single one of these cogs and you just don’t have a show.
This was a perfect example of a big team pulling together, the whole academy in fact. It was lovely to see very young people, who probably only joined the Thorp Academy last September, performing alongside older students and sixth formers. No surprise then, that the college motto is Together We Achieve.
The music is by Queen and Ben Elton. I don’t know much about Ben Elton, but I know a lot about Queen and these numbers are difficult to sing. We had some fine performances. The programme notes tell me that there are two casts, cast A and cast B. I believe that it was cast B performing last night, and they are:
The ‘A’ Line up is;
Galileo Cameron Withcombe
Scaramouche Maddy Clarke
Meat Georgie Brooks
Britney Jessica Weymes
Pop Hannah Douglass
Killer Queen Abbie Rutherfod
Khashoggi Harrison Kane
They are accompanied by twenty five or so other actors, singers, and dancers, and a talented band of musicians, comprising of;
Keys Sinead Nangle & Peter Bourne
Guitars Brian Emmerson, Cameron Glover & Steve Williamson
Drums Richard Towler
Saxophone Andrew Middleton
The other members of the cast are, Imogen Moore, Niamh Euers, Maia Wilkinson, Anna Heath, Hannah Douglass, Jessica Thomas, Kenza Limam, Chris Lord, Matthew George, Joshua Cockbain, Annie Dabb, Sophie Henderson, Ellie Robson, Erin Kirby, Ellie Oliver, Emma Teasdale, Carla Stewart, Robyn Briggs, Phoebe Earnshaw, Ailsa Holmes, Sunny Howlader, Emma Kendal, Sarah March, Benjamin Marrs, Emily Morde, Charlotte Murphy, Simran Pahal, Gracie Thornburn and Ryan Whitfield.
All the Queen favourites are in there, including; Killer Queen, Kind of Magic, Radio Gaga, I want to Break Free, and Crazy Little Thing Called Love. They were delivered with gusto and enthusiasm. I can’t single out any one performer; they were all immensely accomplished, though I particularly enjoyed the energetic dancing by the young lady wearing a Beatles tee shirt! The unwelcome intrusion of the fire alarm going off, shortly after the interval, didn’t knock the performers one iota. They took it so much in their stride that they could easily have been seasoned thespians used to treading the boards of the Old Vic.
The set is designed by the academy’s art department, and it gave the performers a professional platform on which to maximise their multiple talents. I was pleased to see a full house.
“We Will Rock You” runs for a further two evenings, at 7pm on Wednesday 11th February, and Thursday 12th February. Tickets are £4 each, contact Thorp Academy
The show lasts until approximately 9.30pm and refreshments are provided during the interval.