December 2014: A touch of Broadway in Haslingden – Chicago

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THE longest running American musical switched Broadways when it was performed by students at Haslingden High School.

Chicago has played for 18 years in New York, and it played to full houses when the school staged its own production.

Head of drama Andy Anderson said: “Our students and staff were quite simply magnificent. They turned up for a two and a half hour rehearsal four times a week for 12 weeks, which was a big ask, and they responded with real professionalism, commitment and energy.

“We always try and make our productions more than simply school shows and the reason that Chicago looked as good as it did was down to the  professionalism and care of those students and the unbelievably hard work of the hugely talented staff we have here at Haslingden High

Morgan Harper Jones, from Year 13, said: “I’ve absolutely adored every minute of being in this show… Velma Kelly is my alter ego.

“The sense of family and working towards the final performances is such a buzz, and the excitement and energy of those rehearsals has been one of my favourite experiences of high school. I think I’ll be singing ‘ All that jazz’ into my sixties.”

Erin McNevin Duff, from Year 11, who also had a leading role playing Roxie Hart, described the show as ‘magical’.

She said: “What an amazing show, I couldn’t believe it when I got the part of Roxie. I’d been rehearsing for it all summer, singing the songs until I knew them backwards. and to actually get to play her was just fab.

“I have loved, loved, loved everything about the show – the hard slog of rehearsals, which I loved anyway, and the excitement of the production weekend when we tried to put all the lights and sounds and music together and then the performances.

“I will never forget being Roxie Hart.”