WHAT A SUPER (CALIFRAGILISTIC) SHOW!
What a Super(califragilistic) Show!
As I walked back into the packed Sports Hall after the interval in this stunning production, I overhead one audience member say “Well, The Lion King was good but I think this is the best ever”. Certainly, in terms of cast members, it is hard to disagree. By the final number there were over one hundred pupils on stage; a fabulous tribute to the effort and energy put into this show by the production team.
Where to start with the superlatives? Firstly, there was the set itself. One minute it was an Edwardian drawing room and then, with a few folding of flaps, it became Jane and Michael’s colourful bedroom. This was topped with the London skyline and, if that wasn’t enough, various park gates and shop fronts floated in and out (almost removing a microphone at one point!).
However, it was the cast that really made it. Every member, from chorus to lead, threw themselves into it with abandon. Amongst the supporting roles, Hattie Dunn as Mrs Corry was an energetic lead for ‘Supercalifragilistic’ and it was tremendous to see some of the pupils who have only recently joined the Sixth Form being involved with Max Otto excellent as a belligerent Von Hussler. Rachael Shepherd and Charlie Bolton provided strong comic support as Mrs Brill and Robertson Ay, the Banks’ servants. Alice Grieg brought a wonderful air of frustration to Mrs Banks with Alfie Dackcombe as her husband exuding a feeling of having the world on his shoulders. I was lucky enough to see both pairings of Jane and Michael (Katja Lindblom & Callum Southall and Tilly Nickell & Tom Owen) and it is impossible to separate them. Both pairings were energetic and feisty, seeing off all their various nannies, even (with the help of Mary Poppins), the Holy Terror, Miss Andrew, played ferociously by Charlotte Robinson.
Finally, if there is such a thing as star-quality, Paige Allgrove and Ben Drummond should bottle and sell it. Paige, as the eponymous lead, was everything the Banks children requested, flying in and out on wires and leading them on exciting adventures on the London rooftops or in the park. Ben’s energy as Bert the chimneysweep was astounding, particularly as he led a huge complement of sweeps through a tap-dancing masterclass during Step in Time.
By the end of the very hot evening I am sure all the cast were absolutely exhausted but it certainly did not show. The audience were on the feet, cheering them to the rafters. As one parent said on the way out, “It could have been twice as long”. Huge congratulations to Mrs Harris, Mrs Robinson, Miss Hunter, Mr Williams and Miss Bolton for creating a show which was ‘practically perfect in every way’.
Jeremy Robertson, Teacher of English
Flickr Photographs captured by David Wiltshire Photography
Film Highlights captured by Yellow Balloon Films