Half-term High School Mania fun at Felixstowe Spa
Entertainment writer WAYNE SAVAGE wishes his school days resembled High School Mania, all singing and dancing instead of double maths and PE in his pants. He talks to some of the team behind the new children’s show.
THE closest I got to anything resembling the antics of Glee was playing triangle... badly. If you’re the same or have kids who love to perform then get ready to be swept up in High School Mania.
Produced by the highly successful team behind the world famous end-of-the-pier show Seaside Special at Cromer Pier, expect high energy song and dance routines when the brand new production hits Felixstowe’s Spa Pavilion.
For lead female singer Victoria Scott, Sunday’s show is a bit of a homecoming.
She was brought up in Sudbury and lived in Ipswich for four years until three months ago; moving to Wales with her Air Force husband when he was reposted.
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All her family still live locally; she’s got about 30 of them coming to see the show.
“It’s lovely when you perform nearer home because all your family turn up,” laughs the 26-year-old, who trained at the London School of Musical Theatre and has appeared on stages around the country in shows ranging from High School Rocks and the Seaside Special at the Pavilion Theatre in Cromer to The Importance of Being Earnest, pantomimes and on cruise ships.
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Being a gleek she loves the Glee section, but says there’s something for everybody.
“It’s full of energy and the kids just react so well to it. High School Musical is still so big, the kids love it. It’s lovely when you’re singing the songs that they all kind of sing them back to you. It’s amazing when you’re doing dance routines they stand and watch and by the end of the song they’re doing the routines with you.”
As well as Glee and High School Musical, the cast of eight professional singers and dancers - who have all graduated from top London Theatre schools including Laine Theatre Arts, Italia Conti and The Brit School - will perform hits from Camp Rock and Hannah Montana.
This show is devised, directed and choreographed by Di Cooke who has worked in the West End as well as other major touring venues.
“I love seeing the children’s reaction when they see this show. It really is sizzling hot and just what we all need to celebrate the half term holidays. This great cast are ready to party,” says producer Sheena Hulme.
“High School Musical is what Grease was to me when I was growing up and what West Side Story was to my mum when she was; I know all the children will associate with our characters.
“We’ve got some rocky tracks too, with the Jonas Brothers, a Bon Jovi number sang the Glee way, a Tina Turner track; so it caters for girls and boys. What Glee has done is brought old numbers, like Don’t Stop Believin’, up to date. So actually children do know quite a lot of older songs without realising.”
Sheena says the show, which is more like a concert, is the perfect way to banish boredom during the half-term holidays.
“It’s a really high quality cast, full of energy and fun. I think it’s ideal for half-term because it’s reasonably priced and a really exciting show to come to watch. The children stand up in the aisles and do some dancing, some singing and there’s the opportunity for those who are really up for it to go on stage and do a cheer-leading routine.”