‘NEVER work with children or animals’ was the mantra of American comedian and actor, W.C. Fields.
But Mossley Hollins head of drama Steven Wane has no qualms with either for the high school’s forthcoming production of the Wizard of Oz on March 6-8.
In fact, he is relishing the opportunity of putting together the school’s annual musical after last year’s success of Joseph and his Technicolour Dreamcoat.
Rehearsals have been underway since last October with hundreds of youngsters involved as individual cast members, as part of an all singing and dancing ensemble or set designing by art and technology students.
Alexandra Beswick takes her first lead role as Dorothy, fellow Year 11 pupil, Elena Burrows, is responsible for choreographing the entire show while the part of Toto the dog is given to the pet of a member of staff.
“It should be interesting,” laughed Mr Wane. “The dog is white and fluffy and should ensure we will get the ‘aww’ factor.
“But we have a contingency plan, just in case.
“Seriously, students have worked so hard.
“There is hardly a day without anything Wizard of Oz related. The kids have really embraced it.
“When we went to audition there were more than 50 students who turned up which is a large percentage of our overall cohort.
“Our main cast students are from all year groups not just the older ones which can sometimes happen in high schools.
“The key members are in Year 7 and 8 which is really good to see talent coming through at a young age.
“Elena, who was Joseph last year, has done a brilliant job because all the dancers are amazing.
“She has brought her own interpretations to the songs and there has been no input from the staff.
“It’s been great the art and technology departments have got involved his year.
“Around 300 pupils have created parts of the set for us. So, when we go over the rainbow and into munchkinland we have about 200 exaggerated, vibrant flowers the students have made that will be on stage for that moment.”
Tickets cost £5 and are available from student reception. Doors open at 6.45pm.