Review: Mercury rises as Harrogate students stage Queen musical

Harrogate Grammar School student ready to rock!
Harrogate Grammar School student ready to rock!

Harrogate Grammar School opened its doors last week to take its audience through a Queen extravaganza in the Ben Elton musical of We Will Rock You!

A true whole school performance, from cast to crew, which certainly got people dancing in the aisles.

Harrogate Grammar School student ready to rock!

Harrogate Grammar School student ready to rock!

With a cast of 73, comprising years seven to 13 students, this was one of the biggest musicals Harrogate Grammar School has ever staged.

Performed over three nights, each night provided an amazing evening’s entertainment for its sell-out audience.

Led by the Performing Arts Faculty, the cast told the tale of a future where music is forbidden and all humans listen to the same generic sound controlled by Globalsoft, all under the command of the Killer Queen, performed outstandingly by Ellie Pickersgill.

The Bohemians seek the dreamer that will show them the way to true Rock. The heroes Galileo Figaro, played by Alfie Richards and Rob Appleton, and Scaramouche, played by Charlotte Atkinson, travel to the Seven Seas of Rhye to save them all. A nine-week rehearsal period saw the band expertly master the music and perform it to outstanding praise, special mention to Tom Gugan who escaped the comfort of the dark confines of the band pit to shout down the Killer Queen with “We’re Galileo’s band!”

The success of the production lay in the consistently flawless performance of the band, including rehearsals where Jacob Dale expertly stepped in to Mr Kemp’s conducting shoes.

Particular mention goes to Adam Ainsley from his outstanding playing throughout.

The cast brilliantly captured the sound of Queen – fronted by the unforgettable Freddie Mercury – and gave the show the power it needed to be successful.

Stand-out moments included year 11 student Phoebe Kyriakopoulos with her controlling and playful manipulation of the Bohemians in Seven Seas of Rhye and the clever storytelling by Joe Greenwood in Days of our Lives.

Dylan Lam-Decker, who joined Harrogate Grammar School as a Year 12 student in September, gave a flawless and unbelievably energetic performance as leader of the Bohemians, rock legend Britney Spears. The crew, led by Year 13 student Jacob Connell, confidently overcame a range of technical challenges including a live feed with green screen. The cast rehearsed daily to transport their audience to this future world and flawlessly sing the challenging classics from one the most iconic bands in the world! The audience feedback praised the talent of all students.

Richard Sheriff, Executive Headteacher of Harrogate Grammar School, said: “It was an absolute delight to be able to sit and enjoy this terrific performance by such a talented cast of young people.

“The standard seems to go up and up each year and feels more like a west end theatre production than being in attendance at a school play.”

Feedback from parents was gushing with them stating; “Absolutely fabulous!”, “Amazing last night of We Will Rock You, massive well done to everyone involved”.