Pupils from Berwickshire High School will take to the stage to perform their own version of Oliver! next week.
The show, running from Wednesday June 24 to Friday June 26 will be the first full musical staged by the school in thirty years.
Now in his fortieth year as a teacher at the school, Ronald Drummond is relishing a return to the stage as he contemplates retirement at the end of term.
The show is full of fantastic characters – the Artful Dodger (Ewan Steady), Nancy and her side-kick Bet (Xenia Garden and Susannah McEwen), Mr Brownlow (Rowan Stanforth) and his chum Dr Grimwig (Gregor Murray), and of course the dastardly Bill Sykes (Rory Hamilton).
Boisterous chorus numbers (“Consider Yourself”, “Oom-pa-pa”, “Be Back Soon”) are balanced by heartfelt solo songs like “Where Is Love” and Nancy’s “As Long As He Needs Me” – delivered with extraordinary maturity and passion by S4 pupil Xenia Garden. There are moments of great drama and a dose of humour, notably when Mr and Mrs Sowerberry (Ross Ferguson and Daisy Hicks) get their hands on Oliver.
In the director’s chair for the production is Berwickshire High School’s principal teacher of expressive arts, Cameron Mabon, who has enjoyed the challenge of bringing the musical to the stage with a young and enthusiastic cast. “In recent years,” he said, “pupils from the BHS have developed a reputation for producing excellent concerts. Pupils perform regularly in school and many have been involved in theatre productions in Duns or at The Maltings.
“Being our first musical for thirty years, we don’t have a stock of lights, costumes or scenery, and I’m very grateful to many local groups and individuals who have allowed us to borrow equipment.”
Tickets (£6/5) are available from the school and Nairns newsagents or on the night.