What a fabulous night, when the West End came to East Barnet School. Students performed songs from well known musicals and had the audience singing along. What better way to demonstrate how great the evening was, than with a few reviews!
Arriving at the school’s auditorium, the transformation from assembly space to West End Cabaret venue was incredible. Tirelessly dressed by Miss Buczman and Mrs Smith, the dark drapes cocooned the room and the ambient lighting, flickering candles on circular tables, bounced a twinkling glow around the plumed centrepieces. This was less East Barnet and more Ronnie Scott’s, or dare I show my age, the Talk of the Town. Cosy, warm and intimate, I found my reserved seat where some delicious platters of warm finger food arrived, lovingly prepared by Mrs Christodoulou and her canteen staff. Refreshments were available by a well-stocked bar, set up and run by the ever-faithful PTFA, and to finish the savouries off, a tray full of sweet delights shortly arrived.
Then, like a bolt of lightning, Scarlett, Izzy, Eleanor, Eloise, Amy and Beril, burst into their incredible interpretation of ‘Ex-Wives’ from the musical Six, giving the audience and exciting taste of what was to come. But even when it came, this audience could not have been prepared for the calibre of exceptional talent that was about to explode on the stage.
Forget about the voices you hear on X-Factor, etc., the confidence, the professionalism, the sheer talent was breath-taking. We were also blessed to see our younger students performing a charming dance routine to Aladdin and a little posse of teachers, who Fosse’d to All that Jazz.
I will say that Isabel, Scarlett, Eleanor, Eloise, Amy, Beril, Euan, Anna, Evie, Hannah, Olivia, Grace, Raffi, Lottie, Katie, Isabelle, Lana-May – you all get a standing ovation from me and not because you’re young, not because you’re students, but because you are superstars. You moved and amazed me and left me incredibly proud to have been in that audience.
My last rave – and please indulge me – was for Mr Messios. Apart from his self-deprecating humour and the wonderful relationship with his students, he blasted the roof off the auditorium with his astonishing voice that challenges the most famous stars in the West End, Broadway and Vegas.
Thank you for all your hard work and for making me proud, once again, to be part of EBS.
PS: I’ve been told that a DVD of the evening is in production – make sure you get your copy – you won’t regret it.
Mrs R Virides
The titles of every song performed are included in this ingenious review!
There are worse things I can do on a Friday night, I thought – then …. What a night! What a show! Cabaret at East Barnet School. The opening six performers set the scene: something wicked was going to happen, a show defying gravity. A show that we were going to be hopelessly devoted to. There was no chance of the tonight’s tempo falling slowly. This was no bụi đời (“dust of life”, if you’re not familiar with the celebrated musical Miss Saigon), quiet kinda show. Tonight was not a night of school kids singing their heart out, tonight was a city of stars. Once that opening number was sung – and Mr Messios, our compere and producer of tonight’s company – had invited the audience to sit down at the most gorgeously presented EBS theatre – the rest of the cast were rockin’ the boat. Even the spectacular EBS performance of The Little Shop of Horrors was reprised by a special guest singing ‘Somewhere That’s Green’. Perhaps the beauty of this magical event was that it wasn’t a winner takes it all kind of show. Each successive act kept that tempo burning. There was no “Don’t rain on my parade” attitudes. Not one act tonight and no-one was an ordinary fool and the support of the rest of performers pushed each act to fairy-tale, performances. It was like each new singer had rubbed the Genie’s lamp from that famous tale, Aladdin. While the performers sang, mostly individually but sometimes like a chorus line (notably in the spectacular ensemble finale ‘Seasons of Love’ from the musical Rent), members of the Drama and Music[al] faculties were our waiter and waitress. If there were, in a manner of speaking, ‘ladies who lunch’ in the audience, they must have rated tonight’s exquisite canapes with the best of any West End venue. The second half of tonight’s extravaganza began with a dazzling dance piece, with Key Stage 3 students dancing like there was no tomorrow. Tickets for Hamilton might be like gold dust, but we’ll be looking through a window longingly, praying and hoping that this wasn’t a once-in-a-lifetime show. Mamma mia, you guys and dolls, this wasn’t ‘all that jazz’, this was Cabaret at East Barnet School. But, and this is the good news, folks, this was not the last midnight, the last walk into the woods. “Please, sir, I want some more,” implored Oliver! Well fear not – 2020 brings the spectacular Bugsy Malone to EBS – don’t let this be ‘a life I never lived’ moment – see you there!
Mr C Parsons, English Teacher
The student, new to the school
Being a part of the Cabaret night was one of the most amazing and surreal experiences of my life. Before performing and whilst rehearsing, I was so nervous but as soon as I went on the stage to open the night with a song from Six, the musical, the adrenaline kicked in and I lost my nerves. After I finished my first solo, On my Own from Les Misérables, the applause and cheers I got afterwards and the feedback and number of compliments I received during the interval was so overwhelming and heart-warming. This gave me confidence for my second solo of She Used to be Mine from Waitress. I am very grateful for the amount of opportunities that I have already received in just half a term of being in East Barnet School’s Sixth Form, with my singing and acting, and I am also thankful for how much the school also appreciates their students who are more artistic and theatrical than just academic. Lastly, the atmosphere of the cabaret night was incredible as the auditorium looked so fancy and was put up very well and the food was very impressive and delicious (especially the brownies).
Isabel Sabourin, Year 12
Last Friday saw the first EBS Cabaret Night, and what a night it was. The dining area was transformed with a sparkling backdrop, tables tastefully decorated and laid with food, and a bar run by the PTFA. The students dressed to match the occasion. The scene was set for a great evening and it certainly did not disappoint.
The bar was open throughout and I wondered beforehand if the movement to and from the bar would prove a distraction to the performers; I need not have worried as the quality of the acts was such that the audience stayed in their seats totally absorbed in each and every performance. The students truly rose to the occasion, stunning the audience with their confidence and incredible talent. If they were nervous, they did not show it. They did not just sing, they performed each act and we were stunned by the breadth of talent in the students present. It was wonderful to see such a number of them performing, and the collaboration across year groups was great to see. And it was not just the talent of the students that was on show; we were treated to amazing numbers from Hamilton and Miss Saigon by Mr Messios who came “out of retirement” for the evening. An incredible event, thank you to all who put so much into making it happen.
Mrs F Perera (proud mum)
On Friday the 15th of November, East Barnet School decided to put on a ‘ West End Cabaret’. I was lucky enough to perform along with other students and staff. The result was one of the best nights in my school life so far. As a student I was told about the event near the beginning of the school year and I was excited about the opportunity to perform with fellow students and my teachers. Even though at first I couldn’t find a song, I found one that suited me. Through practice, support from my peers and advice from Mr Messios, I performed two songs: Waving Through a Window from Dear Evan Hansen, and a duet with Amy Perera called Falling Slowly from Once. As the event drew closer, I noticed the effort everyone was putting in. The students, staff , caterers and caretakers were working extremely hard to make this a night to remember. The standard of the performances was extraordinary. Ranging from big staff dances to soft Broadway numbers. Afterwards all the people who witnessed it, were raving about the quality and standard found at East Barnet School. Not just from us students but amazed by the food, the staging and the staff performances as well. Personally I loved watching my peers and Drama Teacher perform and I was genuinely blown away. I can’t wait until next year!
Euan Williams, Year 10
Looking back at being part of EBS’s West End Cabaret, I have realised what an incredible experience it was. This production has let me express an interest of mine that is not possible within lessons. Additionally, allowing me to get to know people from different years, knowing we’ve been part of something unforgettable.
The night was one to remember. Starting it off was a song from the brilliant musical Six, performed by an amazingly talented group of girls. It really got my nerves going as the standard was suddenly set so high! The quality of the performances continued and all of a sudden it was a song away from my turn. I had a tough slot, as the performer before me had the audience in tears because she sang so beautifully. And then it was me. The music started. I drew a breath and became Matilda…
It was terrifying but we had rehearsed so hard that in the end, everybody got it right.
When I stepped off the stage, I was relieved to have done it (but secretly wanted to do it all over again!). I was so happy and really enjoyed watching everyone else. Overall, this experience was remarkable, filled with talent, friendship and joy. I’m looking forward to next year!
Lottie Rachel, Year 9