Swindon Academy pupils tackle hit musical Hairspray

From left, Swindon Academy pupils Connor Newdick, Tori Hendon, Marlee Ferguson, Chelsea Cameron and Jessica Farrow

From left, Swindon Academy pupils Connor Newdick, Tori Hendon, Marlee Ferguson, Chelsea Cameron and Jessica Farrow Buy this photo

First published in News
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Swindon Advertiser: Photograph of the Author by , @EmmaDunnn

A GROUP of young performers have transformed themselves into ‘the nicest kids in town’ for their rendition of an award-winning musical.

About 30 pupils from Swindon Academy are taking part in a school production of Hairspray, which started with a matinee performance yesterday and will finish tonight.

The lead role of Tracy Turnblad is being played by 13-year-old Tori Hendon, who is in Year 8, and she said it was great to be taking part.

“I like acting and dancing with everybody. It is amazing to be playing Tracy, but really nerve-wracking,” she said. “I’m nervous about performing in front of everybody, but excited too.”

Hairspray tells the tale of Baltimore’s Tracy Turn-blad, who has a passion for dancing.

She wins a spot on a TV dance programme and is transformed into a teen celebrity.

The school production, which they started rehearsing in September, includes a live band, and a technical team of pupils who operate the lights and sound.

They will be taking part in three performances in total.

Year 8 pupil Connor New-dick, 13, who is starring as Link Larkin, said: “It’s really fun. Singing is what I like to do.

“Without Love is my favourite song in the whole thing – I dance in that as well.”

The part of Tracy’s mother is being played by Lauren Stokes, and the part of Amber von Tussle is being played by Natasha Giles, who is starring in her third production.

Aaron Chumber is playing Wilbur Turnblad, Jessica Farrow is Penny Pingleton, Sarah Halls is Velma von Tussle, Marlee Ferguson is Seaweed and Chelsea Cameron is Mamma Maybelle.

Valerie Bolton, head of drama at the school, said: “The students have been incredibly dedicated to their parts, spending a lot of time getting into character and practising their lines.

“Both staff and students gave up most of their weekend to practise which has been fantastic.

“They have really been looking forward to showcasing their talents and entertaining their families.

“I feel so proud of how hard they have worked and what they have achieved with this show.”

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