Pakefield High School production promises to leave audience wanting more

PUBLISHED: 09:33 04 March 2016 | UPDATED: 09:33 04 March 2016

Pakefield High School production of Oliver.

PHOTO: Nick Butcher

Pakefield High School production of Oliver. PHOTO: Nick Butcher


“Come along – we will leave you wanting more.”


The show’s cast includes Matthew Bunn as Oliver and Megan Rochford, who plays Nancy. Charlie Wilson is Artful Dodger, Annie Angus plays Fagin and year-seven pupil Charlie Botten plays Mr Bumble.

An “improvised” dog Bullseye will also take to the stage during the performances. Among the staff involved in Oliver! are drama directors Jenny Heath and Lawrie Groom, head of the arts and physical education faculty Terri Freeman, head of music Ben Scarce and music, media, drama and art technician Nathan Stimpson.

Former pupil Rosie Rampling – who played Rizzo in Grease last year – has also returned to the school in her spare time to help with the choreography, along with teachers Kelly Reed and Chloe Smithson.

That was the vow from a drama director at one Lowestoft high school as a classic musical takes to the stage.

Last year, students at Pakefield High School were rocking to the sounds of a hit film that brought back memories of the late 1950s.

And this week, they are taking to the stage once again as the curtain comes down on their latest production, Oliver!

The 30 youngsters will perform the musical, which is based upon the novel Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens, two further times – tonight (Friday) and tomorrow.

This classic tale of a lonely orphan boy born in the workhouse – who runs away from the orphanage and meets a group of boys trained to be pickpockets – features creative sets, period costumes and a host of songs made famous by the popular musical, including You’ve Got to Pick a Pocket or Two, Consider Yourself and I’d Do Anything.

Drama director Jenny Heath said: “We have quite a young cast this year but they have all really stepped up. We are hoping to have a good attendance again just to celebrate what the children have achieved.

“This year, they have had a real input in the production – taking ownership of the choreography and leading the rehearsals.

“We started at the end of September and the children and staff have been coming in on Friday nights for a couple of hours and also at half-term.”

New this year is a live orchestra led by musician Francesca Warren – of the Lowestoft Players – with a couple of students and her colleagues coming together to perform all the live music.

The school praised the support of Scenic Projects, for providing some of the stage equipment, and the Seagull Theatre for providing props and costumes.

Miss Heath said: “We have a real family atmosphere here for this production, which is wonderful.

“We are really, really pleased and proud of the youngsters.

“So come along – we will leave you wanting more.”

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