Queen guitar hero Brian May has given signed photos to students who staged the legendary rock band’s West End musical at their school.
Hedingham School’s production of We Will Rock You played to audiences of hundreds, who were wowed by the combination of music, song, drama and dance, laced with spectacular lighting effects and eye-catching costumes.
The cast worked on the production for more than six months under the direction of performing arts leader Anne Beaumont and musical director Richard Cull.
Mr Cull wrote to Mr May explaining that the school was tackling the production and he was amazed to receive signed photos in return, wishing the cast and backstage crew all the best and telling them to “have a blast”.
The cast of 30, aged from 11 to 18, was joined by another 20 helpers, who worked backstage on the set, costumes, make-up and lighting, including GCSE and A-level music students who made up the live band accompanying the show.
The lead parts of Gallileo and Scaramouche were taken by sixth formers George Bacon, who lives in Sudbury, and Clarice Parrott, from Sturmer, who are both 17.
George plans to study drama at university next year and Clarice aims to study musical theatre.
Imogen Legrove played the evil Killer Queen and Jake Parrett was Pop, complete with Yorkshire accent and hippie-style Woodstock wig.
“Being in the performance is such hard work but it is all worth it when you step out on stage and hear the audience – it gives you such a buzz,” said Clarice.
Younger students also took on challenging roles, with Aaron Tosh as Bohemian Britney, Joseph Bolton, 11, as Sir Paul McCartney and Jake Smith, 12, impressing the audience as Khashoggi.
Mrs Beaumont said: “The most exciting thing for me has been to see every single member of the company – cast, band, technical and stage crew – grow in their skills and develop whole new attributes as they have risen to the challenge of this production.”
Nicola Jardine, leader of dance, choreographed numerous routines for the show, while music teacher Julie Rout worked as voice coach.
School leaders also paid tribute to parents who ferried children back and forth during rehearsals.