Gallery: Pupils aim to pull in crowds with Bugsy

PUPILS at two Ipswich schools are doing battle today as they perform their versions of the same musical… based on the same film… at the same time.

Tom Potter

PUPILS at two Ipswich schools are doing battle today as they perform their versions of the same musical… based on the same film… at the same time.

Holywells and Stoke High will both be vying for the audience's attention with their eerily similar stage productions of the classic movie Bugsy Malone.

Both casts made it through a rigorous audition process and rehearsed tirelessly ahead of their week long stint of performances.

Tonight is closing night for both sets of pupils, who have had their splurge guns aimed figuratively at their rivals all week.

Catherine Cracknell, who attended Stoke High six years ago before studying drama at university, has been helping to produce the school show. She said: “This is a massive tradition that has run through the school for the last 21 years.

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“This year's production is the biggest and best ever and is much more technical than anything done before. I don't know how they will top it in the future.”

The 70 strong cast of year eight to 11 pupils had all their costumes and props specially made, complete with splurge guns that took hours to make.

Ms Cracknell said: “It has gone brilliantly so far. We put on a matinee performance for the primary schools in the area and they loved it. There were a few first night nerves but everyone stepped up.”

Holywells High has been without an annual school show for a number of years but the hiatus has been barely evident according to Helen Wright, head of drama at the school.

She said: “Everyone has been really committed. We've been pushing them and they have shone. Our Tallulah has never had any drama experience but she, like everyone else, has been brilliant.

“Some members of staff are helping out for the first time - our choreography is more used to playing rugby and teaching PE, our piano player is usually a health and social care teacher, and we have an ICT teacher operating the stage lights!”

- Did you see both performances? Who gets your vote for best Bugsy? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

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