Newfound love, grizzly beasts and… talking furniture? This year’s Lower School production invited audiences to “be out guest” and enjoy the one-of-a-kind musical Beauty and the Beast during Trinity term. Stage manager Grace (Lower Sixth) and Belle herself, played by Cristy (8K), share their experiences of putting on such an outstanding show.
‘I had the pleasure of being Belle in the Beauty and the Beast production this year, and it was an unforgettable experience that created many memories and excitement for me. Throughout rehearsals and performances, I learned valuable skills such as teamwork and time management, which will undoubtedly be useful in the future.
One of the biggest things I gained from this experience was teamwork. It is my first year at St Helen and St Katharine, and I had the opportunity to work with a different cast, which helped me to build my confidence and work with new people.
We rehearsed mainly on Wednesdays and Thursdays after school, but the dress rehearsal was the most enjoyable for me. The combination of tech, costumes and props made it feel like we were performing the actual show.
The energy of the audience was a driving force for me, and I was happy to receive many cheers and applause for my performance. Also, the rush of adrenaline before going onstage added to the experience, making it even more thrilling.
Overall, being a part of the Beauty and the Beast production was an incredible experience, and I’m excited to do more plays in the coming years!’
‘Stage managing Beauty and the Beast was a truly invaluable experience, right from the first rehearsals all the way through the tech and dress to the wonderful performances, the girls did so well and I had the most fun. I definitely felt myself getting better and more proficient at stage management as the nights went on and I will always be grateful for that. I enjoyed the experience so much and wish I could do it all over again!’
‘A tale as old as time – Beauty and the Beast takes me back to my childhood and is one of my favourite fairytales. It was incredible to be able to perform it with such an amazing cast.
I absolutely love performing in the drama productions at St Helen’s, it is definitely one of my favourite parts of the year! I loved every second of each rehearsal. We are all like one big family and I love the atmosphere of us all working together and looking out for each other to create such an amazing production.
Our amazing teachers worked round the clock to make sure we were all having a great time, and everything went smoothly, as well as giving us guidance and support on how to make it the best it can be. They spent so much time on making sure the costumes, the set, the backstage helpers, lighting, hair and make-up were to a really high standard. We are so grateful to the wonderful band for supporting us and playing such beautiful music. Trying on the costumes for the first time was great fun!
When the lights went up on our first performance, we felt such an excited buzz to make everyone proud and entertain the audience. It meant so much to us when we saw the little children’s faces light up with joy in the matinee performance, and to see our families bursting with pride. We knew how much it meant to them – making all our hard work worthwhile.
Although Beauty and the Beast is a favourite for many people, I think it is important to remember the messages within the story; never judge a book by its cover, show kindness to everyone you meet, and it is ok to be who you are – always be true and believe in yourself.
As the lights dimmed for the final time and the thunderous applause died down, a wave of emotions came over me; pride in what we had achieved together, sadness that it was over for another year, but most of all complete happiness at the everlasting memories the performance had created.
Thank you for this wonderful opportunity!’
Chloe H (7K)