As the excitement around the School Production builds, we spoke to some of our leading cast members to find out a bit more about them. Introducing Isabella (Eliza Doolittle), Charlie and Lyla (Henry Higgins) and Keira and Lily (Colonel Pickering).
Why did you want to get involved in the School Production?
Lily: The shows are always handled by the crew and staff so professionally – it is such a fun taste of theatre that allows everyone the opportunity to shine, because anyone and everyone can get involved with the show, whether that is in the ensemble, the crew or as the leads.
Isabella: Working in the production is very rewarding, whichever area of it you are involved with, since it gives you a goal to work towards outside of the classroom and examinations, and, in that respect, helps you de-stress and have fun after your day.
Lyla: I find the School Productions are the best way to get involved and make bonds with pupils across all Year Groups. It brings people together, as well as being an extremely enjoyable project to work on. The memories made during the productions are the ones I will keep forever.
What is the best thing about being part of the cast?
Charlie: Every year the cast is filled with such a talented and enthusiastic bunch who are all dedicated to giving the best performance possible. We are all bonded immediately by our love of the stage, so it is not long before we all strike up new friendships. Some of my closest friends now are people I met in the cast of Beauty and the Beast back in March 2020.
Keira: Making new friends is 100% the best part. I have met so many people from different years due to being in various casts and I am so glad to have met all of them.
Isabella: I have particularly enjoyed being able to work with people from a range of other Year Groups. With all the time the cast and crew end up rehearsing together, everyone ends up being more close-knit by the end of it, and because everyone is so supportive of each other you feel more at ease than you might otherwise do when contributing to a task such as this.
What have you learnt during your time doing productions at Farnborough Hill?
Keira: I have learnt that putting together a production is a lot of hard work, but so worth it. The number of hours that go into planning and rehearsing seems gruelling at the time, but once you have the first performance with a real audience, the satisfaction of a job well done is amazing.
Isabella: I have come to appreciate how much work goes on behind the scenes to give a memorable performance. There are so many different teams working for months to get the show together (wardrobe, technical, set creators just to name a few), and they are all vital to make sure everything goes smoothly on the night. You would not necessarily get to see them all when going to watch a production, and it is interesting to learn how these teams are all interdependent on each other in some way.
Lily: In my time doing productions at Farnborough Hill, I have learnt that theatre is not just about the final performance being perfect but also about the fun along the way in rehearsals and the satisfaction of seeing a show start to come together.
What advice would you give to the younger years about getting involved in productions?
Lyla: Go for it! In my first production, I had never made more friends in the space of a few hours. Many of the fondest memories I have of Farnborough Hill were made with the casts of the productions, so I cannot recommend getting involved enough.
Keira: Get involved! Even if you do not like acting, you can do hair and makeup, backstage or even running the lighting cues whilst getting to wear a cool headset.
Charlie: If you are even the slightest bit interested in being a part of the production, I would strongly encourage you to go for it. There is a role to suit anyone, whether you would prefer to be onstage or backstage. Also, do not be worried if you feel like you will not know anyone in the cast - everyone is friendly and welcoming, and you will get the chance to meet people from other Year Groups that you may not have spoken to before.
What would be your dream musical to be part of, and why?
Lily: I would have to say ‘Les Misérables’ or ‘Into the Woods’. The reason I would pick these two is because the sense of ensemble is essential.
Isabella: I would love to do ‘Les Misérables’, simply because it has so much great music and an intriguing overlap of stories within the main plot, not to mention being very emotional to watch.
Charlie: Honestly, if you had asked me this question this time last year 'My Fair Lady' would have been one of my answers, so it is brilliant to tick that one off the theatre bucket list!
Performances will take place in the Hall on Tuesday 8 March to Friday 11 March 2022 inclusive starting at 6.30 pm and finishing at approximately 9.00 pm. The Box Office opens on Monday 14 February. To book tickets please click here.