On 20th May 2021, against all the odds, over 40 students and a team of 5 Performing & Production Arts tutors at Stratford-upon-Avon College banded together to demonstrate a beautiful fusion of their skills in the form of Musicals LOCK!down.
The sensational production was seamlessly ‘live streamed’ to a virtual audience of over 600 people and showcased the emphatic vocals of Musical Theatre students, the grace of Dance students, and the expertise of the Backstage Production Arts (Technical Theatre) students.
Ordinarily performed to a live ‘in-person’ audience at Stratford PlayHouse, the production has been known for the past decade in one incarnation or another as ‘Musicals ROCK!’. This year however, the team renamed the show ‘Musicals LOCK!down’ as a nod to the current circumstances.
Cranking up the tension as they slowly led viewers through 1940s New York, the show began with the incredible “Just Arrived” from Copacabana and the audience were dazzled by the colours and magnificent costumes. Several showstopping numbers later, the backdrop brought the audience back to present day with Sister Act: The Musical where a medley of comedy, dance, and rich harmonies ensued.
All the while, comments were flooding in from Zoom in awe of the students’ professionalism and talent. After each number, the performers were able to bask in the resounding applause and energy arising from their virtual viewers who were projected on a large screen before them and pumped into the theatre’s speaker system – it was a fully live and fully interactive audience experience!
Returning after a short interval, Musical Theatre Foundation students (the 3rd year Musical Theatre cohort) performed a wonderful rendition of songs from Legally Blonde: The Musical. Having clearly honed their craft, the performers brought the story to life through not only their impeccable dance and vocals but their acting skills too.
The spectacular performance featured show stopping numbers from We Will Rock You, Sister Act, Copacabana and Legally Blonde!
The final section of the show; ‘We Will Rock You’ brought an emotional closure to the event. Amongst a catalogue of hits from the show, the performers delivered a heartfelt tribute to one of SUAC’s own, Musical Theatre graduate Conor Dowers who sadly passed away last year, as they sang ‘Only The Good Die Young’.
The evening drew to a close with a special guest appearance from former Musical Theatre student Sandy Grigelis (@sandygrigelis) who zoomed in from the West End. Sandy was a member of the 2012 company of ‘Movies ROCK!’ and now works as a professional singer and Musical Theatre performer with his next ‘gig’ being a new UK tour of a hit ROCK! musical. He lit up the stage with his resounding performance of ‘Don’t Stop Believin’ as the students joined in and gave the show a fitting and dramatic send off.
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