Churchill Academy

We Will Rock You: Review


What a show! Breaking Mad Productions – the company formed by the Year 12 BTEC Performing Arts students this year – took a packed house in to the future on Wednesday evening. It was a future under the control of the evil Globalsoft Corporation, determined to wipe out the spirit of rock and roll and destroy “real” music forever! Luckily, a courageous band of rebels – the Bohemians – were determined to keep rock and roll alive and break free from the control and oppression of Globalsoft and the villainous Killer Queen!

The BTEC requires students to stage a performance that is a minimum of seven minutes in duration, and it’s a mark of the ambition and enthusiasm of Churchill’s students that they decided to stage a full two-hour musical with nearly 30 iconic and challenging songs in it instead!

One of the real strengths of our BTEC course is that the students are involved in every aspect of production. Not only were they acting in it – often in multiple roles – but they all had responsibilities for production, direction, design and publicity as well. Each of these behind-the-scenes aspects was equally impressive, from the professional finish on the programme to the costumes, the slick set design, multimedia video screen, staging and lighting.

The cast were then able to build their performances on top of this solid foundation, and what fantastic performances they were. Students joining the course are often singers, dancers or actors, but this show required everyone to use all three disciplines, which they did with real enthusiasm and energy. There were laughs aplenty, but the show also touched real sadness and pathos in the “No-one but you” scene led by Elise Thomas. Lorin Henderson’s comic timing and delivery shone through as Scaramouche, whilst Elliot Scott proved a reliable scene-stealer as the larger-than-life Britney Spears. Tom Johnson was a threatening sidekick to Katie Barber’s Killer Queen, and Katie’s stunning vocals on her solo numbers brought the house down. The production was held together by Ed Boulton as Galileo Figaro, whose total commitment to his role was hugely impressive.

Above all though, this was a massive team effort and the Teen Queens and Bohemians, supported by a fantastic chorus of main school students, all gave superb characterisation to their roles. The technical crew were superb and even treated us to a guitar solo! The whole room was literally rocking to the foot-stamps and hand-claps of the title-track finale and every one of the sold-out audience left with a grin on their face. The only big disgrace was that it was a one-night-only show, but I’m sure these students won’t be kicking their can all over the place for long – I can’t wait to see what they have in store for us next!

Thanks to all the Performing Arts staff who worked with the students to put on this wonderful show. 

Review by Mr Hildrew