The latest EBS production was a massive success! We are so proud of everyone that took part. Rather than write an article about the show, we have had so many great reviews, we thought we would share them with you!
A message from an audience member:
The phrase “school production” can fill anyone’s heart with dread; sitting through several hours of under rehearsed pupils mumbling their lines as they slouch their way to the finale, can be quite an endurance. But for those of us who were privileged to attend “The Little Shop of Horrors” last week, we know the bar has been raised and that we witnessed something truly magical.
This production was such a fantastic collaboration – the entire cast and crew worked as a team and you knew from the moment the lights came up that this was going to be a play where something very special was about to unfold. The fine staff team, led by Mr Messios and Ms Eustace created a work ethic amongst the whole cast by making this something fun, unique and important. The young people were clearly loving every minute of what they were doing and that meant that the audience did as well. There wasn’t a single actor or musician who wasn’t totally committed to giving their best performance and I was envious not to be part of this very special gang. The actors playing the lead roles were enormously talented – excellently cast by Mr Messios and his team.
Any parent or politician questioning the value of performing arts in the education of our children need only have watched what was happening on stage and listened to the conversations in the audience afterwards; teachers commented on how students who are usually quiet/shy/naughty revealed a new side to them as they participated in this wonderful group effort. Theatre and music give children an opportunity to reveal strengths they’re not easily able to share or develop in an ordinary lesson. Not forgetting the cross curricular nature of any production involving IT, art, DT, literature and even a bit of American cultural history! All those additional qualities we hope for in our children – self-confidence, self-worth, the ability to communicate, to trust and to treat one another with respect; here in this school production are where all those were to be found and nurtured.
We are very much looking forward to the next production – bring it on!
The Cast Member
From a man eating plant to a love story that captures all hearts “Little Shop of Horrors” is one of the most memorable experiences of my school life so far.
When I audition to be part of the production, I was successful and cast for the role of Shania, who was part of a group of girls who regularly assembled on the stoop on Skid Row. When I first heard the school was putting on the show, I didn’t know what to expect. Nevertheless, as things started falling into place during rehearsals, I realised that it was filled with characters that brought laughter, suspense, and drama to life.
The rehearsal process was long and tough, as it took up lots of my time in and out of school. However, I made a commitment to myself and cast members. It would not of been a show without the support and encouragement of the teachers.
As a whole, I believe the play was a great success thanks to all the hard work and dedication of all its members. As Mr Messios would put it, it wasn’t just a great school show, but it was a “great show”.
Isabella Constanti – 10H
Little Shop of Horrors was an ambitious but great production choice.
The dedication and enthusiasm of all those involved really paid off in a finely polished performance.
The talented performers engaged with the audience and were able to convey the humour, horror and pathos, which on the night that I went, the audience very much enjoyed. I was particularly impressed by Aliyah Mabruck as Mrs Mushnik, the energy of Peter Trankarov as Seymour and professional portrayal of Audrey by Lana-May Karabulut. I did also hear that the puppeteers had a very challenging role in operating the plant even though we never saw them.
But this was a show where everyone concerned played an important role.
The music was, as usual, performed to a very high standard, The Skid Row Girls were a joy to watch even when on the side of the stage. The set, the sound, the props all contributed to a very enjoyable and amusing evening, I could have happily seen it all over again the next night.
A truly wonderful combination of talents.
Viv Irish (mum of Scarlett Irish – 9E)
East Barnet’s production of Little Shop of Horrors blew me away! Firstly the set was out of this world, I didn’t think I was in the EBS auditorium, the props made everything feel so professional. The dancing was sensational, the acting was as good as a West End show, and the singing transported me to Mushnik’s Flower Shop! The opening scene had me on the edge of my seat, and this is how I remained for the duration of the show. I’ve been raving about it to anyone that would listen – what an incredible achievement for all involved, staff and students!
Firstly I thought the show was very good with everyone involved. As the plant I had a big job to do. I got cast as the plant in early December which was nerve-wracking as it was only 2 months to the show. The first time I got in the plant was in January and it was very hard so I knew I had my work cut out to make the plant as good as possible. The hardest thing about the plant was moving it. Especially the big one, it required a lot of upper body strength. It was a good work out and I was stronger by the end of all the rehearsals.
On show day I had to get wheeled on, which at the start of the rehearsals was tricky and I kept almost falling off. The most fun thing about the plant was the song ‘Feed Me’ in the first act because I could have a little dance and have fun with it. The big plant was a lot of fun too as I got to eat 3 people, this was fun but a lot of stress on the muscles as I had to hold it for quite a while. It was a pleasure to work with Jasmine ‘The voice of Audrey 2’ as she helped me with ideas to improve how the plant could move. Overall I really liked my part and I hope that everyone enjoyed the show.
Christopher Rutt – 10A
Playing Orin Scrivello (D.D.S) in the school production of Little Shop of Horrors was an extremely enjoyable experience. The all-singing, all-dancing, sadistic dentist is a secondary antagonist in the comedy horror musical. Orin’s first song is about how his mother told him to become a dentist as he has a “talent for causing things pain”.
On results day, I saw Mr Messios putting up posters advertising auditions for the school musical. He said I should get involved, and so on the first day back I went to auditions. To my surprise I was called back to a second audition for Orin, where I had to sing, and to my amazement I got the part! I feel extremely accomplished in that I went from being nervous about singing in front of 3 people, in my audition, to singing in front of the full auditorium, with confidence.
A highlight of the show for me was rehearsing with the fantastic school orchestra. Rehearsals for the show were intense when combined with the pressure of being an A-level student. However, I can honestly say the hours after school and extra Sunday rehearsals were worth it because of the fantastic show we were able to produce. The show was so fantastic in no small part because of all the hard work put in by the staff who worked so hard on the music, set and production.
The show didn’t go without mishaps though. On the last night when I was about the ‘drill into my patient’s teeth’ the drill prop began to fall apart, but we had to carry on the scene regardless of the fact my instrument of torture was much less threatening. One night I also stood up on stage when I was supposed to be dead. By far the most bizarre experience was being recognised in a restaurant after the show, “You’re the dentist!”, a woman from another table said to me, “But you’re normal!”
Christopher Leach – Year 12
The Parent of The Plant
Wow! A standing ovation for a truly incredible show. Everyone gave 100% and I believe no one would have looked out of place on a West End Stage. To name the outstanding performances would mean I would have to list the whole cast, as everyone was superb so I will just say “bravo” to everyone. From the moment we entered the auditorium the cast were already on stage and in character and we were immediately drawn in. This set the scene for the whole show.
My daughter Jasmine (who was the voice of Audrey 2 –The plant) was behind the scenes for most of the show, and let’s be honest, as parents we usually go to see our own “little darlings”, not students we don’t know. However, I wished I’d bought tickets for all three nights and was gutted to only get to see the show once.
The singing was off the charts, the choreography slick and professional and the orchestra fantastic. Those helping behind the scenes were obviously doing their jobs brilliantly, as the show ran without a hitch. I have seen many, many performances and shows at East Barnet over the years but this was on a whole new level. I believed everyone on stage. I was totally drawn in. I laughed out loud throughout for all the right reasons and really didn’t want it to end.
The ultimate credit has to go to Mr Messios and his team who motivated the students to perform like never before. I can’t wait to see what he brings to the stage next. Congratulations East Barnet Drama Department and all those involved.
Debi Weisberg (Jasmine Joseph’s mum)
As a member of the orchestra Little Shop of Horrors was a hugely enjoyable experience. The prospect of performing almost constantly for an entire show seemed rather daunting when rehearsals began in December. However, by opening night every musician was ready to go; the fusion of jazz and rock styles in Alan Menken’s brilliantly composed score presenting a tricky but enormously entertaining challenge.
The production also introduced a different aspect of performance to the orchestra: playing with singers and, at some points, vamping underneath dialogue. This was an entirely new experience for most of the band and meant that players had focus not only on their music but on the actors as well, in order to take vocal cues from them.
Despite some pre-show nerves, the combination of a full audience, great lighting and a superb set (that rather unfortunately blocked the orchestra’s view of the stage) meant that all the players had an amazing time and sounded brilliant. Everyone is very excited to see what the next show brings!
Lily Rachel (Flute and Tenor Sax)