School’s Annie show wows audiences

March 29 2018
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“Absolutely sensational” was the Twitter review by one parent, “Amazing – ended up watching it three times!” was another; “The talent and effort demonstrated by the kids was astounding.” Said a third.

These ‘rave’ reviews were prompted by Blackhorse Primary School’s Performing Arts Club’s production of the musical Annie, which wowed parents with the quality of the singing, dancing and acting. The cast, made up of children from across the school, had been practising twice a weeks since Christmas for a week-long run at the school just before Easter.

And the cast wasn’t made up of children with stage experience, quite the opposite: Ellie, who played Annie, had never really thought of herself as a singer before she was spotted busking with her ukulele in the playground just before Christmas. Ollie, who played Oliver Warbucks, is more used to the boxing ring than the stage (as an accomplished boxer and footballer) and had never sung solos in front of an audience. And Nathanial, whose performance of the evil Miss Hannigan was so convincing he made some Reception children cry during the dress-rehearsal, was so bitten by the acting bug that he’s joined a local theatre club!

Headteacher, Simon Botten, said: “As a school we’ve always been good at sports but our governors set us the challenge of becoming equally excellent at music, dance and drama. For the past three years we’ve therefore tried to offer many more opportunities in the arts with all children now receiving free professional music tuition in Years 1 to 5, and with a target of 50 per cent of children learning a musical instrument by 2020.”

It appears that this drive to champion the arts has paid off.  The show, the brainchild of Performing Arts Club producers Miss Sturge, Miss Daverson and Mrs Hayes, demonstrated just how far the school had come in developing excellent provision in the arts (a feature of the school’s curriculum which was also recognised in the school’s recent successful Ofsted inspection). 

Mr Botten added: “As well as fabulous children who will throw themselves whole-heartedly into any challenge, we are incredibly lucky to have staff like Mrs Hayes, Miss Sturge and Miss Daverson (along with a great many staff who helped along the way) who have the drive, enthusiasm and specialist skill necessary to put on a show of this standard. We know that these are performances which the children will never forget and will give them the confidence to succeed across the curriculum.”

The school’s Performing Arts team are already considering possibles for next year with Beauty and the Beast, Shrek and even Starlight Express on the shortlist.

Clips of Blackhorse’s Annie’ production can be found at: www.blackhorseprimary.org.uk/annie-2018/