Oakham’s actors achieved the feat of five nights of standing ovations in front of a full house for their fantastic performances in Chicago.
“This is one of the most popular musicals in Broadway history, and audiences have really high expectations,” says Oakham’s Director of Drama, Gilly Norell. “The pupils certainly didn’t disappoint – they were outstanding. They didn’t drop the ball on any of the nights, which, given the age of the children, shows a phenomenal consistency of performance which is really quite rare this young.”
The cast of 26 actors, from Form 3 to Form 7, built a really strong connection and their camaraderie was evident in their performances. Whilst all of the performances were excellent, the show’s female leads – who are both Drama Scholars – were exceptional. Kitty, who played Roxie Hart, showcased why her talents have been recognised by the National Youth Theatre, whilst Lizzie, who has only just joined Oakham, shone in the role of Velma Kelly.
Although they may not have been seen on stage, the orchestra was brilliant – with the QET’s new sound equipment amplifying the excellent quality of the music for everyone in the audience. The professional standard set design, lighting and costumes also brought all the pizazz and jazz, as well as celebrity and criminality to the stage at Oakham.
“We rarely stage anything more than once – but Chicago is one of the few plays that we’ve re-staged at Oakham,” concludes Gilly. “This cast brought it to life in a way that is as memorable as the cast of 2013. What was particularly wonderful was that many members of the former cast returned, meaning that old and new characters could meet each other and share their experiences of ‘all that jazz’.”
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