Drama

Last Year's Production was the musical Loserville

Click here for pictures from the show

'The Wedding Singer'. Here is what Mr Marshall thought of it....

The Wedding Singer - Review

'At the end of a grotty week - and last week was a VERY grotty week - the school's production of the "Wedding Singer" was exactly the sort of feel-good therapy I was looking for. From the moment the band struck the first chords of the energetic opening number, and the curtain rose and the full cast threw themselves into Wedding Day, the cares of the week vanished into the optimism, cheese and trivia of this ridiculous but addictive musical.

Friday night was Eighties Night, and a few positive sorts had gone to the trouble of kitting themselves out in what must have been the moth-balled contents of their wardrobe. Most of us, rather conservatively, didn't, but to be honest we didn't need to. There was enough sunglass-inducing garishness on stage without encouraging its creep into the audience as well. All we had to do was sit back, let the nostalgic vibes of positivity flow over us and simply enjoy a superb, energetic and, yes, utterly cheesy production.

Messrs. Price and Brook have an unerring sense of what will work. The worthy musicals that are so much the ouevre of other, lesser schools don't really get much of a look in at SGS and Sutton High, and we're all the better for it. God help us if they'd decided to run with 'Les Miserables' this year, for instance. Somehow, the ludicrous eighties certainties of the Wedding Singer just fitted the bill. And they had once again assembled a superlative cast, supported by a top-notch band and the extraordinary choreographic skills of Cathy Russell. The legendary Mrs. Russell has a rare skill of transforming lumpen, maladroit teenagers into fluid, fast flowing dancers of mesmerising quality, and putting them all together in show-stopping routines that make other productions pale into black and white insignificance - just have a quick scroll through the interminable youtube videos of different school and college productions if you don't believe me.

 


It isn't worth running through the thin veneer that masqueraded as the Wedding Singer's story. Suffice it to say it induced the right amount of pathos and triumph at roughly the right times. More worthy of note were the performances that turned this eighties-indulgent piece of cheese into such an enjoyable evening. Jack Burkill held the stage more or less continuously as a thoroughly sympathetic wedding singer in a tremendous and sustained performance. He was well supported by his two cronies - Adam Renvoize as Sammy and Joel Robinson as a revelatory George - to say nothing of the excellent Charlotte Trefusis as his wonderful romantic counterfoil. Then there was Jamie Woods, in fine form as slimy city slicker Glen, dominating the stage during All About the Green, a great number that admirably summed up one of the eighties' more notorious features. But these singular performances needed a full-on ensemble cast behind them, and they certainly had that. We enjoy musicals, or any productions, all the more if the cast actually look as if they are having fun too, and no-one could doubt that dropping themselves into the eighties, via the odd nostalgia of the script and the pastiche-style songs was a LOT of fun. And, of course, they were backed up by a band on top form, keeping the musical energy coursing right through to the last triumphant note.

I'm not sure whether it wasn't really rather self-indulgent of Messrs. Price and Brook to have brought us a musical designed to remind us of their past, but I'm immensely glad they did it. For those careless enough to have missed it, here's a video montage of some of the moments (to, alas, the Broadway rendition of the main song) - photos are courtesy of Chris Schofield.'

Mr Marshall
Head of Sixth Form

Recent Productions

March 2008’s joint musical collaboration between Sutton Grammar and Sutton High Schools was Sweet Charity. Have you ever known a girl who wanted something so badly, that she tried too hard to get it? Meet Charity Hope Valentine, the girl who just wants to be loved. The problem is, working as a hostess at the down-at-heel Fandango Ballroom, she is unlikely to meet the man she so desperately wants. Her world is New York, 1966 and the men who pass through it range from fading B movie heroes to nerdy and nervous accountants. Despite advice from her cynical, hard-core trio of girlfriends at the dance hall, Charity stumbles her way from one romantic misadventure to the next until she meets the man who has the answers to all her problems. Charity is the Bridget Jones of the 60’s and this musical, written by Cy Coleman and Dorothy Fields echoes the era perfectly. Containing all-time musical classics like Big Spender, The Rhythm of Life and If They Could See Me Now, Sweet Charity resounds with classic tunes, great laughs and crazy characters as we follow the fortunes and misfortunes of our eponymous heroine.

At Sutton Grammar we have an excellent reputation for our Drama productions.  They feature boys of all ages and we try to a wide variety of plays and musicals.  We are helped in this by our good friends at Sutton High with whom we collaborate every two years to put on a joint musical.  Our current project is  Oklahoma! by Rodgers and Hammerstein which was performed in March 2006 at Sutton High School. 

All boys were encouraged to take part in all aspects of production from lighting to sound, to stage design.  Our productions from 2003, "Murder in the Red Barn" even had its music composed by a sixth form boy as did "100. 

March 2005 - 100 - Diene Petterle, Neil Monaghan & Christopher HeimannImagine you must choose one single memory from your whole life and capture it with a magical camera - everything else will be erased from your mind foreverImagine that choosing this memory is your only way of passing through to eternityYou have just one hour to decide...This is the dilemma faced by Alex, Nia, Ketu and Sophie as they ponder their future in The Void, a space between death and eternity.  Helped by the omnipotent Guide they relive their memories in the hope of choosing one. This year our production was a departure from previous productions as we took on this new piece of physical theatre which won a Fringe First award at the 2002 Edinburgh Festival.  Imaginatively staged using only bamboo sticks to create a range of settings, 100 was well received and left the audience heading home and pondering their own memories. For reviews of 100 click hereand for more production photos clickhere.

March 2004 - West Side Story -  Leonard Bernstein and Stephen SondheimA Joint Production With Sutton HighIn probably our most challenging show yet, we took on the timeless classic of forbidden love made famous by the 1962 film.Gang rivalries are fierce on the Upper West side of Manhattan in the early 1950's.  It is in this intense atmosphere that Tony, a  former member of the Jets, falls in love with Maria, the sister of the leader of the Puerto Rican Sharks.  Despite their best endeavours, their surroundings and the behaviour of others makes their love impossible and the inevitable tragic finale comes around as Tony dies.  It is only this that it seems will bring an end to the feuding.  With four sell-out nights and fantastic ovations, this was one of our most successful productions ever. Timeless classics such as "Maria", "America" and "Tonight" combined with slick and energetic choreography and strong acting ensured that our collaborations with Sutton High continued their excellent reputation.   For a reviews click here.  For more photos click here

March 2003  Murder in The Red Barn - Anon  

Murder in the Red Barn tells the true story of Maria Marten, the daughter of a  labourer who is seduced by a rich landlord, William Corder. He has done this before and is the subject of a vengeant oath from Ishmael Lee, a gypsy whose daughter he has wronged. Falling pregnant and not living up to Corder's expectations he involves Maria in a plan to kill their child.  with this done, Corder goes on to kill Maria. Maria's mother has a dream about her death and her father and Tim bobbin search the Red Barn to find her body and evidence linking the murder to Corder. Ishmael's son, Pharos now a police officer tracks Corder down and has his vengeance.  Corder is hung for his crimes

A classic Victorian Melodrama, in which the audience played a full role was a new and exciting departure, being performed in the round in the School Hall, under the shadow of The Old Red Barn.