College production of Grease hits the high notes

Birkenhead Sixth Form College’s Spring production of Grease went down a storm with audiences across two nights, as students put their acting, singing, dancing and musicianship skills under the spotlight.

With a cast selected from all year groups within College, and a band of student musicians to accompany them, the hard work in preparation for the Spring spectacular paid off with dividends as fellow students, staff and visiting friends and family enjoyed an all-singing, all-dancing musical with slicked back hair and polka dots.

Seb Reynolds and Olivia Clark led the ensemble as central characters Danny Zuko and Sandy Olsson, serenading each other with such classics as ‘Summer Lovin’’ and ‘You’re The One That I Want’, while other iconic songs were performed during the story of summer romance by the rest of the cast as the T-Birds and Pink Ladies.

The show was directed by Head of Drama, Sian Murray, with Head of Music Alec Hulton conducting the band. Head of Dance, Kirsty Thornton, also choreographed the famous ‘hand jive’ scene, as all elements of the performing arts worked together to come up with a seamlessly slick performance of the ‘70s favourite.

A production of Grease was originally on the cards for March 2020 with a wholly different cast of students from that year group, but all their hard work in rehearsal was curtailed with the show having to be cancelled due to COVID-19. This set of gifted performers picked up the mantle this year and gave a performance to remember.

Sian said after the show, “This group have worked so hard over the previous few months to pull this off, and they absolutely smashed it. They’ve spent their own free time rehearsing and practising the songs, and they deserve their moment in the spotlight.

“Annual productions are a big undertaking for students as they all have their academic studies to prioritise, but I’m sure all the students in this cast will tell others that committing to activities outside the classroom is so rewarding, and they’ve made friends for life by meeting people that they never would have met otherwise.”

Sian explained, “Getting out of your comfort zone is a really important life skill and to see where the students have got to from their starting point of rehearsing to now is just testament to how much it can develop you as a person. They’ve been a pleasure to work with and the applause at the end of the show will stay with them for a long time. Huge congratulations to all of them.”

The annual College production is among other events that showcase the performance culture at the College, such as December’s ‘Masked Performer’ with students taking to the stage in disguise to deliver superb vocal renditions of their favourite songs, and the audience having to guess who it was under the mask. The Dance students also put on an annual showcase, with themes running through their brilliantly choreographed and highly-skilled routines.

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