Breaking from tradition a student team was asked to take over choosing and producing the School Show for next February.
The Addams Family – The Musical is being directed by Jamil Abbasi (who also plays male lead Gomez), with assistant director Madeleine Fletcher, musical director Luca Wetherall and choreographer Luke James.
Jamil, 17, said: “The School Show is not simply about performing, but also about thinking skills and applying them in a creative way. We wanted to show off as many different talents as possible.”
This year, Director of Music Mr Emery, overall producer, with Mr Kershaw, overall director, have stepped back to let the student team take control. Mr Emery asked the team to compile a list of 10 possible musical shows.
“The list got whittled down as we needed the right balance of female and male roles, and a show different from last year’s more traditional Guys & Dolls. Also only a limited number of shows are licenced for performance,” said Jamil.
“As a result, The Addams Family has not been seen in the West End, but it’s light-hearted with lots of mad characterisations, so lends itself well as a school show. You have the Addams family who are weird and a massive contrast with the super-straight Midwestern Beineke family.
“It’s great to see students getting into these big characters and bringing it out of themselves. This musical needs both grandness and a camp vibe. It’s just so not real, which is a beautiful thing.
“The cast also includes the ensemble of Addams Ancestors (undead zombies), which means we can bring new people forward even if they don’t have main parts, give everyone a character and allow them to grow.”
Rehearsals began earlier than usual “in an attempt to reduce panic and alarm!” chuckled Jamil, adding: “We want people to think like actors. By being all part of the same thing at the same time, the show allows students to bond more across year groups which does not happen that much.”
Given Jamil’s huge dedication to drama, especially with The Empire Youth Theatre, it’s surprising that this is only the third School Show he has been involved in, apart from Sweeney Todd and Guys & Dolls.
He said: “I was on ski-ing trips instead during Years 7-10 and didn’t know if theatre was my passion, but now I do. I want people to remember this show as a good show, not simply just a good school show!”
The Addams Family with music and lyrics by Andrew Lippa, is based on Charles Addams’ ghoulish cartoon characters in The New Yorker magazine, and premiered on Broadway, in 2010. The score includes the famous finger-clicking Vic Mizzy tv and film theme. This Blue Coat production has a cast of 52 members and a 25-player show band.
Any parents wishing to help with supervision, costumes etc will be warmly welcomed. Please email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- The Addams Family – The Musical is on 12, 13 and 14 February 2019, at Shirley Hall, Blue Coat School.