Dalkeith High drama pupils to perform Bring It On show in teacher tribute

IT tells the story of high school conflict among a competitive group of cheerleaders.

Tuesday, 16th April 2019, 10:27 am
Updated Tuesday, 16th April 2019, 10:34 am
The pupils rehearsing for the show.

But now, a musical telling the story of a clash between rival dance crews has brought one group of school pupils together as they prepare to stage a spectacular summer performance in tribute to their teacher.

Drama students at Dalkeith High School held initial rehearsals for their production of the Lin-Manuel Miranda musical Bring It On in October, but were devastated to learn the end-of-year performance had been cancelled after the teacher leading the performance suffered a head injury forcing her to take time away from work.

However, a group of sixth-year pupils have since re-launched the project in her absence, taking on full production and directorial duties ahead of the stage performance in June.

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More rehearsals.

Director Katie Slater will lead a cast of more than 60 in choreographing the performance alongside a team of four other students, while former pupil Alastair Barron has returned to lead the musical numbers.

And the ambitious project has made enough noise to catch the attention of school inspectors, who have praised the “strong leadership” on show during the production – even asking pupils to write up a case study of their experience as an example of students seizing the initiative.

The show – co-written by Hamilton creator Miranda alongside Tom Kitt and Amanda Green – tells the story of dance teams from both ends of the social spectrum competing to win a national title.

Katie, 17, who will also star as the villainous Eva, said they were expecting the production to be put on hold following the absence of the teacher, but was determined to see the performance go ahead.

She told the Evening News: “There was a meeting with the headteacher and we kind of saw them cancelling the show coming, but we were already talking about doing it ourselves weeks before that.”

“The headteacher told us to go away, put together a plan, so we did and they told us to go ahead, which was just an amazing feeling to be trusted with that responsibility.”

“There are five of us leading it, we asked Alastair to come back and lead the musical side of it and he agreed, so it is a really exciting time to be involved.”

She added: “I just can’t wait to see it all come together.”

Plans for the performance piqued the interest of Education Scotland assessors on a visit to the school last month, who lavished praise on the pupils for their organisational and leadership skills, using the pupils as an example for others in the region to follow.

A spokesman for Midlothian Council praised the “very positive feedback” the students received from inspectors, adding: “We are really looking forward to seeing the end result which we are sure will be a credit to everyone involved and the school.”