Pupils stage slapstick spectacular to a full house

Pupils stage slapstick spectacular to a full house

29th January 2015


DRAMA students brought a true giant of a pantomime to the stage with their classic comedy spectacular Jack and the Beanstalk.

A cast of 24 students, from Haughton Academy, Darlington, finally delivered two evenings of slapstick and storytelling to overflowing audiences with magic beans, a journey to an enchanted kingdom in the clouds, an evil giant and a 20 foot high beanstalk.
The panto-season caper, complete with hisses, boos and cheers, was directed by lead teacher of drama at Haughton Academy Claire Taylor.
“It was slightly manic pulling this year’s pantomime together,” said Ms Taylor.
“We had to postpone just before Christmas due to a number of students being off school ill and then we had to replace a few of the actors – so some of them only had one week to learn their lines.
“I’m totally amazed at how well they have all done. They have been great and really pulled out all the stops on the night.”
Jack and the Beanstalk follows on from the academy’s first successful Christmas pantomime Aladdin in 2013, both of which were choreographed by Year 11 prefect Chloe Robson, 16.
“We had four numbers to learn for this show but some of our dancers were new so it took quite a few rehearsals to get it just right,” said Chloe, who has been dancing since the age of eight.
“I’ve choreographed all of the school productions since I was in Year 7. It’s always quite stressful but great when it all comes together on stage.”
Backdrops and scenery, including a 20ft high beanstalk with a lift, were created by the school’s art department and stage lighting and sound came courtesy of a student technical crew.
Props and costumes for characters, including Jack and Jill, Fleshcreep, Dame Trott, the giant, a fairy, Push and Shove the policemen and Daisy the cow, were provided by the academy’s drama department.
Star of the show Jack Trott, was played by student Danielle Wharton-Griffiths, 15, of Darlington.
“I knew when I auditioned for the part of Jack that it would be a challenge as I had the most lines to learn,” said Danielle, who is studying GCSE performing arts.
“I really enjoy performing and would love to pursue it as a career in the future. The pantomime has been amazing and Ms Taylor has been an incredible director helping us all get into character and making it so much fun.”

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