Woodhouse College
Alica Derome Rebecca Saul

Musical producers win Jack Petchey Award - Again!

Dated: 26 April 2019

Producers Isabel, Matilda and Amalia 
The second of our Jack Petchey Foundation awards this term goes to upper sixth students Amalia, Isabel and Matilda who have received recognition for the huge amount of work they have put into the Woodhouse Musical Theatre Showcase, which they staged before Easter.
The trio were all part of the musical theatre society last year and this year took up the producers’ baton and organised it all for lower sixth performers.
Isabel - “I don’t think we could ever be fully prepared for the amount of work it was, taking it on. Last year it was hard work because we were in it, but this time was on a different level.”
Matilda - “Initially we wanted to do an entire musical, as big as possible - ‘west end’ style! -and then we realised it wouldn’t show off the talents or benefit everyone that was taking part. Not everyone was an actor/singer/dancer, some just wanted to just do one or the other, so we decided to have a showcase where everyone could display what they wanted to do.”
Amalia - “It was a great night but so stressful, and the week running up to it was so busy. There’s a great old saying that goes ‘bad rehearsal, great performance’ - which isn’t really true but it definitely applied to us…”
Isabel - “It was a very supportive environment, everyone had their forte and then we intermingled so it was cohesive…”
Matilda - “I was more or less stage manager and did some choreography too, as I had, bizarrely, the most experience in that, and the other two are amazing musicians.”
Amalia -“Isobel conducted the band and worked out a lot of the music and did vocal coaching.”
Isabel - “We had a very professional band (actual professionals that we and the head of music managed to persuade to take part) and they seemed to have a real blast joining us. We were worried that these guys would come in and be like ‘Oh god, we have to work with these children…’ but they actually seemed genuinely impressed by the quality of our singers.”
Matilda - “We only had the day with the musicians to rehearse, but they were pros and just got it spot on, they were so together. We had a good mix of musicals represented at the showcase with songs from Grease, Chicago, Rocky Horror, Annie, and then the Addams family musical which was good because it had elements of latin and samba music.”
Amalia - “The choreography for that one was so good.”
Isabel - “What was really great is that so many people wanted to be involved.”
Matilda - “We’d have random students just dropping by and helping us to paint sets and stuff - and the backdrop looked incredible. There were a lot of people chipping in and making trips to Homebase at eight in the morning before college.”
Amalia - “Our lighting dept… these three girls just appeared and offered their services, and they just got what we needed immediately and it looked perfect.”
Matilda - “There was no ‘stand’ out performer because everyone did so well. Some took on a bit more work than others but all of them were great. Some people paid for their own costumes and stuff and put in way more effort than we expected from them.”
Isabel - “It’s been great to see how some people have grown over the year as well, and developed their strengths - some came originally without much confidence and then on stage we saw a completely different person.”
Matilda - “We are so pleased to receive the Jack Petchey award.”
Amalia - “When we were called to the principals office (to get the award) we were actually all scared we were in trouble - for maybe leaving a mess in the hall or spilling paint on the stage or something!”
Isabel - “I’m just so pleased to know that in our time at Woodhouse we’ve managed to get an award for something we’ve done and that all the hard effort really paid off.
Amalia - “With the JPF money we are going to take the whole cast to theatre to see one of the latest productions, it’ll be great to share it with them all.”
So what's next for the girls now that their own production has finished?
Matilda - “I’m going to study English lit. and drama at Royal Holloway, but I’m taking a gap year first to try and find some work in a theatre or tv production. I’ve been involved with theatre and drama groups for a very long time since I was little and love it. I think being part of a theatre group is like a being part of a family and it brings out the best in people.”
Isabel - “I’m doing music at Leeds and then maybe a performance school after.” (Isabel already sings professionally).
Amalia - “I plan to study English lit at either Nottingham or Durham Uni, focusing on screenplay and drama writing, and would love to continue that on in the musical theatre genre somehow. Music is a big part of my life (Amalia studies A level music and plays piano) here and outside college and I wouldn’t want to just park it, I like merging all the parts together.
Isabel - “Woodhouse has been so busy and non-stop for us, but good. This award has been a highlight for us as we all became best friends working on the musical theatre side, and have connected with lots of great people that are into the same sort of things.”
Matilda - “Woodhouse is such a positive shift from secondary school. To come here and meet such a well-rounded group of people from all different backgrounds - the diversity here is incredible - I’m really happy that I chose to come and think I’ve become a much better person. I’ve really developed, not just academically, but as in who I am.”
Amalia - “I think Woodhouse tests you the most, definitely out of any change you have experienced in your life so far. But the person you become here… it’s so rewarding.”
Congratulations to all the cast and crew of the Musical Theatre Society for an amazing production (which we hope to share some video of soon) and we look forward to the next batch of producers to emerge for next year.

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