By A. Pipiou, Y4, S. Stylianou Y4, V. Evgeniou, Y5
We asked different members of the production to share their Smike experience. What follows are their responses.
M. Anastasiadou Year 5– Smike: “A golden page in my book of memories. I’m just grateful for having been a member of such a passionate cast. Smike undoubtedly had a huge impact on me as a person and it will remain unremarkable.”
A. Filippou Year 6 – Headmaster/ Mr. Squeers: “Smike was my first ‘actual’ experience in taking part in a musical performance and it motivated me to seek other acting opportunities by giving me more confidence and reassuring me of my abilities. Many would expect me to complain for the countless hours of rehearsals, but why would I complain for doing something I love?”
A. Pipiou Year 4 – Miss Grant /Fanny: “The musical was an unforgettable experience that will always remain in my heart. I had the chance to create friendships and also to feel like an actress for the first time. The bonds evolved out of this spectacular experience will remain unbreakable.”
E. Pekris Year 6 – Mrs. Squeers: “One of my favourite quotes has always been: ‘One good thing about music, when it hits you, you feel no pain.’ After working on Smike for 3 months, I can’t exactly say the experience was completely painless! But in the end, it truly was one of the most amazing experiences of self-learning, taking responsibility and making friends who will stay in my life for a very long time to come.”
C. Elia Year 6 – Mr. Nicholls /Nicholas Nickleby: “They say that acting is a talent and a responsibility. Being in a play is something very magical indeed and showing responsibility in your art is a huge part in that. Being in Smike challenged our sense of being responsible and made us go beyond what was expected and as a result surprise audiences. Truly a great experience.”
Smike was, indeed, a truly great experience. As confirmed by the incredible cast, Smike the Musical was one of the most remarkable shows our school has produced for years.
Smike is a pop musical based on Charles Dickens’ “Nicholas Nickleby.” The play begins in a modern school ruled by a strict Headmaster and a harsh Drama mistress. Smeeton, being an orphan, is victimized and marginalized by the staff and his classmates until Mr. Nicholls arrives and wins his trust. This teacher with progressive ideas wishes to put “Nicholas Nickleby” to music and, although outraging Miss Grant, the headmaster approves Nicholls’ proposal. Along with the children’s enthusiasm, the audience is transported back in time to the Dickensian period; to Dotheboy’s Hall. Smeeton, now portraying Smike, along with his fellow students, is seen suffering at the cruel hands of the devious Squeers family. The pupils find support from Mr. Nickleby who helps and cares for them, eliminating Mr. Squeer’s power over them. In the end, the audience goes back to the modern school where a benevolent and compassionate atmosphere prevails. Smeeton is accepted and loved as one of the group and the headmaster becomes understanding and considerate.
It was a Friday when it all started- the first rehearsal. Unknown faces seen for the first time, unknown experiences awaiting. It was stressful, tense, yet overwhelming in its own way. During those three endless months, there were tears, shouts, fights- it was chaos. It was a… beautiful chaos full of laughter, fun, bliss and euphoria.
The excitement of the rehearsals and the pulse of the music flourished in our hearts. The faces were not unknown anymore, but soon became part of our everyday lives. We became “one little family- partners in performance.” Professional relationships developed into friendships…
And after all… success! The performance was outstanding and the result of months of hard work was jaw- dropping. It wowed the audience from the very beginning with its astonishing scenery (thanks to the art department of our school), impressive costumes, talented orchestra and superb acting and singing executions. Being on stage with such amazing people was wonderful and the feeling was spectacular.
Of course, this would not have been possible without our charismatic teacher and director of the play Mrs. Antoniou-Pssalti, who guided us all the way through this thrilling journey. We would also like to give special thanks to Mr. Fairhead for his musical direction and his full commitment, as well as his delicious brownies. Additionally, we would like to express our gratitude to Mrs. Metaxa- Michael and Mrs. Eleftheriadou who showed dedication and helped all throughout. Thank you to Mrs. Wilbur for her marvellous choreography and Mr. Fairhead for the acoustics. Needless to say, we cannot exclude our back stage crew, led by Mr. Poulides. And, undoubtedly, we want to thank our dearest parents for being our personal drivers 24/7 during those 3 months.
“Smike the Musical” has made its mark in the history of the American Academy.