Last night was the opening night of Ringwood School’s production of Miss Saigon: The School Edition. As the performance closed the cast received a standing ovation form the sell-out audience.
Set in the 1970s Vietnam, Miss Saigon tells the intense love story of a Vietnamese girl and American soldier during the final days of the war. This week audiences will fill the seats of the Ringwood school to see the production that around 150 students and staff have been working on the since September, with over thirty rehearsals a week since Christmas. By the end of the six performances over 1,500 people would have seen the 2014 Ringwood School production.
Ringwood School’s reputation for its productions is well established both in the area and further afield. Both the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama and the Guildhall School of Music and Theatre have attended past productions and invited students to audition. Many of the principal students from previous years have gone on to work professionally as singers, dancers and actors as well as pursuing careers in technical theatre. Some have worked in the West End and one former BTEC Production Arts student was the stage manager for the lighting of the Olympic Torch in London, 2012.
Director and Subject Leader for Drama, Elise de Lancy Green says: “As rehearsals have progressed, I have been amazed by the talent of the students who have approached their roles with maturity beyond their years. Ringwood School runs a BTEC National Diploma course in Production Arts which enables students with a passion for working backstage to use the skills they learn on the course to help make the technical aspects of the show as good as they can be”.
Producer and Musical Director, Ian Hawkins sums up the whole process: “To produce a show of this quality and scale is such an achievement; it really is a collaborative process, with all year groups and subjects rallying to get involved. It may take a lot of time and energy but it is always worth it, and it is such amazing fun”.
Tickets have been in high demand, and most of the performances have sold out. There are still tickets available for the 2.30pm matinee on Saturday 15 February. Ticket order forms can be collected from the school reception, or downloaded from: www.ringwood.hants.sch.uk
Performances will run until Saturday 15 February when cast will perform an afternoon matinee followed by an evening Gala performance. General tickets are £10, Gala tickets are £12.