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Our Fourth Form girls brought the dramatic year at St Mary's to a terrific end, with their full-strength, high energy productions of the junior musical versions of Aladdin (LIV - Year 7) and Beauty and the Beast (MIV - Year 8). Lasting just over an hour each, the scripts cut much of the dialogue from the 'official' versions, but still retained most of the narrative and all of the well-loved characters, so provided a real challenge that all the actors passed with flying colours (and carpets!).

Each play was divided into two with half-casts joining for a central favourite number (Friend Like Me for Aladdin and Be Our Guest for Beauty and the Beast), with Miss Dickinson (in sadly her last contribution to the school) and Mr Ellis handling half of the direction duties, and Miss Hughes creating some spellbinding choreography throughout. The music was superbly led by Mrs Fryar, Director of Vocal Studies, who conducted both the live band and the girls simultaneously with great vigour. The set - with characters emerging with their self designed costumes as excerpts from the large book that constituted most of the backdrop - worked a treat, and despite sweltering temperatures, packed houses on both nights emerged full of praise.

It would be unfair to single any performers out, as everybody from genie down to market seller, Beast to tavern customer performed their roles with conviction and confidence, and took us, indeed, to a 'whole new world'...

Mr Duncan Ellis, Acting Director of Drama