Hucknall’s National Academy students reflect on performances in Little Mermaid production

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This year’s drama production at The National Academy maintained the high standard set in previous years. Here, some pupils who were in the show tell us what it felt like to be in the spotlight.

The National Academy has given me many opportunities, writes Peter Cable. Being in the production has been an incredible experience; it has been filled with smiles, energy and many challenges along the way.

From auditions to final night, the entire production has been unbelievable. It has been a chance to act and sing on stage, but the audience do not see everything.

Being able to interact with the many cogs of this production has taught me a lot about theatre, an area I will study in college. The band has been fantastic, all depending on Miss Wray, who dedicated a lot of her time to developing the band and the many different singers.

The choreography was lovingly crafted to fit well with the complexity of an “in the round” stage. With the amount of time we all dedicated, it was still a sudden surprise when we only had two weeks before the start of the show.

With so many finishing touches and minor technical difficulties to conquer, we all had a lot of extra work to put in. But in the end we were all happy with the final shows.

The first show was tense; however the buzz at the end of the show was all I needed to know that it had been a success. The other shows were equally as emotional and by the end of it we were all trapped between the happiness of completing the show and upset that it was over.

The many weeks of rehearsals for four shows has taught me the importance of doing a job right. The staging was an incredibly brave change, being in the round made me much more aware of the audience as they were surrounding us each night.

My part was very fitting for me, being able to play King Triton and sing “If Only” was great and I loved every moment.

The cast and crew really did become like a family, supportive and caring and the memories of this show will stick with me forever.

Abigail Newsome gives her assessment of The Little Mermaid.

This year’s production was the Little Mermaid and it was the best performance I have ever been in.

We started the rehearsals in October after the week of casting and practised until the day before the performance. It was hard work but the end performance was all worth it.

The teachers worked non-stop and with our best band ever the show really stepped up this year. The whole cast worked as one unit and welcomed newcomers into this little community.

This is the third production I have done with school and I believe that this year had the best cast that I have experienced. The end performances showcased all our hard work and the gifted students were able to work to the best of their ability.

This production built new relationships and allowed others to come and see what we do at our school. It has been a great way to introduce the National Academy to local primary schools, especially to pupils that will be moving up next year.

It has also been good to get in touch with the local community.

I am planning to take part in next year’s production and I am optimistic about making new friends. Hopefully, next year’s production will be as good as The Little Mermaid.

The annual school productions are great fun but are hard work and require commitment in a fun kind of way, with everyone either learning new skills or developing current ones, added Duncan Stagg.

The cast learn to work together and on their own; hopefully producing a harmonious and entertaining whole. The commitment and hard work from teachers and staff is an inspiration and example to all who take part.

It suddenly becomes apparent that there are many more contributors than just those in front of the audience; musicians, technicians, stage hands and front of house team, without these fantastic teams of people the show could not possibly be as organised; run as smoothly or look and sound as amazing as it does year after year.

Certainly one of the most exciting times during the productions is in the final week when the stage is erected and all the various parts start to come together and take shape for the performances.

Each night the performances got better and better as the new cast found their feet. They all rose to the challenge of performing in the round. The week was a huge success and the hard work put in by everyone definitely paid off.

Eve Dobson