School production of The Addams Family hailed 'a remarkable achievement'
Ben Harris

We are very proud of the cast of this year’s school production ‘The Addams Family’, who worked incredibly hard to put on a fantastic show despite the Covid-19 restrictions.

The restrictions were implemented to keep our cast and staff as safe as possible but had a major impact on the way the show was rehearsed and performed. Typically, the size of the cast for our musical productions is between 35-60 students but, to ensure the cast could maintain social distancing backstage, this year we had a cast of just 17 students. This meant each cast member was required to play both a principal role and an ensemble role, with some cast members playing two principal roles. The cast had their own individual costumes and props to eliminate any cross-contact and the school band were separated by protective screens backstage.

We cannot praise the students involved enough for their hard work, dedication and boundless energy and enthusiasm in their approach to the production, particularly under challenging conditions and with the prospect of the production potentially having to be cancelled at any moment. The cast put on an outstanding show which we were pleased to be able to stream online as well as welcome a small, socially distanced audience to watch the performances in the Richard Whiteley Theatre. Although it might be an unexpected reaction to such a wonderfully macabre musical, The Addams Family helped to bring a sense of normality to the autumn term and provided some much-needed escapism for both the cast and audience.

Director of Performing Arts, Gareth Warburton, said "This was a remarkable achievement in the face of real adversity. The Arts have suffered and continue to suffer due to the pandemic. We were able to do what many professional theatres and companies have found impossible. We were fortunate to be able to operate a bubble system in rehearsals and performance. The effective way the tiny audience were managed meant that the cast had a live experience. Hopefully this was evident in the recordings which were available to be streamed. The cast were truly remarkable pushing themselves to achieve fantastic results in the face of real adversity."

Headmaster, Mark Turnbull, said “I must confess that it is not a piece I have seen before, but it turns out that it is wholesome, witty, and was skillfully acted by our students. I am so impressed by all those students who took part on stage and backstage, dedicating hours of time for a performance that not only uplifted them, but all those who will have the pleasure of watching it. In dark times it was an ideal tonic; indicative once again that committed children are able to get the balance right in achieving the best learning outcomes.”