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19 September, 2019

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Review: Phantom of the Opera at The Grange Theatre

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Review by Pippa Watson-Peck

There has been no shortage of remarkable dramatic performances in The Grange Theatre over the 40 year history of the school, and the school’s excellent production of The Phantom of the Opera recently was no exception.

“Just seen Phantom of the Opera at Grange Theatre Hartford,” commented one theatre-goer.

“What a talented group of young people!!! Absolutely amazing vocals and acting supported by fabulous musicians. Can’t believe this was all performed by under 18s. Have seen Phantom four times in the west end and we were so impressed with the performances tonight.”

From the opening crack of the auctioneer’s hammer, and the assured way that upper sixth form student Alex Baldry delivered the introductory lines, it was clear that the audience was in for a treat.

There were fantastic performances everywhere one looked and the standard of theatrical singing was astonishingly high.

The main roles were taken by: year 10 student Sophie Akka displaying her remarkable vocal range in the role of Carlotta Guidicelli; lower sixth form student Maisie Tipping delivering the pure notes required in the role of Christine; Will Prior who gave an excellent performance of acting and singing in the role of the brooding Phantom.

The school’s musicians were not to be outdone as they worked their way through a huge range of challenging musical styles and a score filled with memorable songs such as ‘The Music of the Night’, ‘Masquerade’ and ‘All I Ask of You’.

The production was directed by drama teachers Mrs Bloor and Mrs Sunners who worked tirelessly to ensure the production reached the heights that it did, whilst theatre manager Mr Edwards and his backstage crew worked wonders to ensure the technical aspects of the production seamlessly underpinned the on-stage magic.

With a cast, orchestra and crew of over seventy pupils, a host of staff lending their expertise, a magnificent set and sumptuous costumes, it was a production of truly epic proportions, and one far exceeding the standards expected of a school production.

The Grange School is a UK leading co-educational independent school from 4-18 years.

With 1,165 pupils across its Junior School, Senior School and Sixth Form, The Grange produces outstanding academic results at GCSE and A Level, positioning it as a top ranking school within the North West.

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