It was good to be back in the Big Schoolroom on Friday evening last for the first night of My Fair Lady, this year's senior play/musical, produced by Jeremy Stone, Julian Girdham and Geraldine Malone-Brady. It is a very demanding piece, with some very large individual roles, ensemble singing and frequent scene changes (the latter masterfully executed by Josh Buckingham and Ian Fraser who added their own quirky touches).
The two main roles (pictured) were perfectly cast. Poppy Vernon as Eliza sang and acted with exceptional confidence. Her scene at Ascot where she mingles with English high society was particularly effective. Oli Smith made the misogynist Professor Higgins unusually likeable. Michael McBurney as Pickering was very assured as Higgins's bemused sidekick.
The production looked terrific: the huge number of costumes (well done Helen Roden and Karen Hennessey) and the clever set. Both Oli and Fred Mann (as Alfie Doolittle)made good use of my grandfather's top hat. It was great to see so many pupils from Sixth Form down to Primary taking part, especially in the choruses; Geraldine Malone-Brady had worked her usual magic.
The smaller roles were also strong. I particularly enjoyed Shane Lavin's lovestruck Freddy, Gina Mirow as Mrs Pearce and Anna Traill as Mrs Higgins.
It was hugely enjoyed by pupils and adults alike in the audience. I know just how much work goes in to bringing it all together. Congratulations to everyone.
Many thanks to John for his kind comments. Later this week we'll have a full pupil review