HIgh School Musical is the show every starry-eyed teenager wants to be in…
They’ve seen the film, know the words off by heart and followed the real-life romance of movie stars Zac Efron and Vanessa Hudgens.
So a live version of Disney’s cinematic love story, High School Musical Jr, proved a popular choice for the end of term production at Frederick Gent School, South Normanton.
Two public performances on consecutive nights this week drew large numbers of proud parents and supportive students, some enjoying the show so much on the first night that they returned for the second.
There was plenty to marvel at in this energetic production which fizzed like freshly poured Coca Cola.
Great dance routines and fine ensemble singing from the 50-strong cast coupled with short, snappy scenes made their mark on the audience.
High spots included the boys performing awesome synchronised moves with basketballs and the audition number What I’ve Been Looking For sung by Shirley Sharples and Hayden Smith in the roles of Sharpay and Ryan.
Leading lights Jack Hale and Hayley Cunningham gelled as the shy, slightly awkward sweethearts Troy and Gabriella. Hayley’s sweet voice shone in their signature duet Breaking Free. Jack gave his best vocal performance in Get’Cha Head In The Game which he sang while practising basketball moves.
Staging was minimalist but effective with cube-shaped seating and fold-up tables giving a fresh and modern feel to the piece.
Images of a classroom, gym, theatre, corridor and school exterior were flashed up onto a screen to depict the changing scenes.
Pupils lived up to the show’s most famous song, We’re All In This Together, by taking on technical and backstage duties.
This shining example of team work was masterminded by members of staff. Producer and choreographer was Jo Petch, director was Stewart Summerell and the musical director was Ross Donaldson.