In early May, Second Year students at Barton Peveril Sixth Form College gave it their all in their rendition of the classic broadway musical ‘Chicago’.
The production amassed a total audience of over 650, over the four performances, which took place on the third and fourth of May. 35 Second-Year students on the Performing Arts: Musical Theatre course turned the College’s own Rose Theatre into the 1920s, marking the end of their two-year course at Barton Peveril.
Barton Peveril’s Chicago was a production of the High School version of the Broadway classic, which first opened in 1975. The story follows two rival murderers, Velma Kelly and Roxie Hart, as they are locked up in the corrupted County Cook Jail. The four performances were performed by two casts, Peach and Pineapple, with Peach’s Velma Kelly and Roxie Hart being played by Phoebe Venturi and Aimee Nowacki respectively. Pineapple’s Velma and Roxie were performed by Izzy O’Reilly and Jess Fudge respectively.
Lisa Fernandez-Adams, Subject Leader for Performing Arts: Musical Theatre, directed Barton Peveril’s Chicago, alongside Performing Arts teachers Victoria Radido and Kate Gildea-Smith. Lisa spoke about the production:
We are delighted that we have been able to present one of the most iconic musical theatre works created by Bob Fosse, ‘Chicago’ here at Barton Peveril Sixth Form College. This was a hugely demanding show and our students did an incredible job in presenting four shows over just two days! After months of hard work, both our Peach and Pineapple casts performed with amazing commitment to portray the iconic story of the two protagonists, Roxie Hart and Velma Kelly. There were show-stopping moments from our lead characters, and a hugely talented ensemble who delivered the technically challenging aspects of Chicago with real style and sass! We are incredibly proud of all that our Class of 2023 have achieved in presenting Chicago and wish them all the success as they move onto their next steps in their training having secured an impressive number of offers at the country’s most competitive higher education establishments including: Trinity Laban, Urdang, Bird College, Wilkes Academy, Performers College, Italia Conti, Bristol School of Acting and many more.”
Danny Lee West played Billy Flynn in the Peach cast:
Being in Chicago was a dream show I never thought I wanted! This show reignited the love I have for theatre, the cast and crew made this unforgettable. Starting this show I was so worried about playing a character so well known and loved, but this cast supported me so much. I will never forget the feeling I had at the end of ‘Both Reached for the Gun’ on our closing night! The audience radiating support was a feeling I will never forget!”
Aimee Nowacki described her time as Roxie Hart in the Peach Cast:
Working on Chicago was a phenomenal experience, learning the Fosse dance technique and sultry jazz vocal genre was a worthwhile challenge. It was an honour to play Roxie Hart and understand the responsibilities it takes to play a leading part who has such duplicity to her and understand characters’ motivation and intentions hopefully shown through my performance.”
In the Pineapple cast, the savvy Mama Morton was played by Molly Wilton:
The atmosphere in the theatre when performing such a classic show and portraying an incredible character like Mama Morton felt amazing and was the best way to finish my two years at Barton Peveril!”
Having finished their Musical Theatre course, the actors now have their sights set on the most prestigious performing arts schools in the UK, where they will look to launch their career in the performing arts industry.