THEY have been rehearsing for months.
And finally, the students of Portsmouth Grammar School took to the stage at the Kings Theatre in Southsea as they put on their performance of Cole Porter’s musical comedy classic Kiss Me Kate.
The story tells of the backstage dramas and relationships amongst a company putting on a musical version of The Taming of the Shrew.
It is a fast-paced comedy which collides with romance and includes songs such as Wunderbar, So in Love, Too Darn Hot and Brush up your Shakespeare.
All the cast and backstage crew in the production were students.
Sally Filho, director of drama at the school, said: ‘It was tremendous – absolutely fantastic.
‘It was a wonderful experience for them to be up on stage in such a beautiful theatre.
‘It’s something that they aspire to do.’
The students performed three shows.
A total of 55 students were involved on stage and another 15 backstage, with students aged from 12 up to 18.
The female lead was played by Year 13 student Emma Read, who celebrated her 18th birthday the day after the production. The male lead was played by Lewis MacKenzie, also in Year 13. Both students have aspirations of going on to study at drama school.
Ms Filho added: ‘They loved it. People often imagine it to be quite chaotic backstage but they are extremely professional.
‘Everything about the way we run the production is no different to any visiting company. We have the same period of time to rehearse. It’s by no means a school production.
‘It’s been absolutely fantastic. We are so pleased with every aspect of the production from the technical side, lighting, costumes and ensemble.
‘We have had an overwhelming response. People were saying it was the best ever. They approached it with such professionalism and enthusiasm.’
Around 120 students auditioned for just 50 parts.
Kiss Me Kate was first produced in New York on Broadway back in 1948. Since it started, it has won several awards around the world, including four Tony awards.