At 4pm on Friday, the eager cast of Year 5 and 6 pupils descended on Museum theatre to get to work on their ambitious challenge of putting on a production of Annie in just 48 hours.
Mr Newell and Mrs Mistry put everyone straight to work, building confidence, training memory and encouraging observation of surroundings and cues with a variety of warm-up games. Anticipation rose as the twenty-nine excited cast members were split into groups and saw their first scene. Workshopping of the first scene of the play allowed everyone to become comfortable with the quick journey from read-through, to rehearsal, to performance that would become commonplace over the weekend. Soon, it was time to head to the Performing Arts Studio, our base for the rest of the weekend to try out the first full group rehearsal of ‘Hard Knock Life’.
Admittedly, a little preparation had gone into the production – the Performing Arts Club had been working on a ‘Hard Knock Life’ dance for a few weeks, meaning they were able to team up with other cast members to teach each other one of the most iconic scenes from the musical. But soon the first day came to a close, and it was off home to do some script reading, but most importantly – get a good nights sleep.
Everyone dove in head first on Saturday morning filming the first scene with enthusiasm and all the energy ‘Hard Knock Life’ requires. This way the weekend continued, with rehearsals and filming following each other in quick succession, all of the pupils wowing with their ability to adapt so quickly and learn complicated lines with only small windows for practice.
Annie’s usual cast is small, so Rossall’s version sees both a Year 6 and a Year 5 pupil take on almost all characters. This truly showed off the family community of Rossall as the two year groups worked together to rehearse, stood in for each other when breaks were required, paid attention to each other’s costumes, and taught each other songs and choreography.
Every single cast member shone, no matter the size of their part, and the fun had by all is evident in the performance video. If you haven’t already, why not settle down and watch ‘Annie’ this weekend? We hear some cast member families are on their fifth watch already!
Rossall Preparatory School would like to extend their thanks to Mrs Mistry, Mr Newell and Mr Campbell for helping us put together such a fantastic production over a busy, but incredibly fun, weekend.