For over nine months the Creative Arts department and Perins Youth Theatre at Perins School have been working non-stop to stage the sensational West End version of Phantom of the Opera.
This hugely ambitious project is made up of 120 Perins students forming the cast, orchestra and backstage team. The Main Hall has been transformed into an incredible set, where the audience will step back in time into the opera house of the Paris Opera Populaire. Stage Production Company, M3 Technology, have worked tirelessly to build the set which has all the special effects inspired from the West End production, including a flying chandelier and a motorised boat. They are also responsible for all technical aspects of the production including the lighting, sound and pyrotechnics.
For the dedicated team in Creative Arts, this production of Phantom is a dream come true and the students have all learnt valuable skills in what has been an unforgettable experience. Marilitsa Alexiou, Director of the Creative Arts Department, said, “I have been astounded by the maturity and dedication demonstrated by these pupils, both through their talents and their extraordinary sense of creative ambition. They have shown a great sense of responsibility both to one another and also the staff who have worked with them.”
Over the past few weeks the sounds of singing and music have flowed from the Creative Arts department as the school orchestra and the cast have been practicing for what will be the highlight of this year’s school calendar. 1,400 tickets have been sold for the production which premiered on Monday 12th July and runs until Saturday 16th July. Perins invited 240 local primary school children to experience the production on the opening day.
The cast were amazed to receive a personal note from Andrew Lloyd Webber, wishing them luck for the production and, in addition, the Phantom of the Opera West End cast made a good luck video courtesy of Daisy Hulbert, an ex-Perins student who plays a leading role in the London production.
Head Teacher Steve Jones said, “I can honestly say that this performance not only surpasses any school performance I have ever seen but genuinely rivals many professional productions. I am incredibly proud of the students and staff for their hard work, dedication and talents shown throughout this process.”
Feedback and comments from the audience have been fantastic so far, with people of all ages saying they have never seen a school performance like it. John Gleadall, writer and creator of Musicals4kidz, saw the production on Monday evening and said, “Congratulations to all involved. In over forty years involvement with school and youth theatre productions I have never seen such an ambitious musical production in a school. How brilliant to have a Performing Arts team who are dedicated enough to mount such a production and a leadership team, who must be bursting with pride, who can see the value of such a venture. Bravo, I applaud you to the rafters.” John added, “I never stand. I stood at the end of your show.