It was hockey sticks to the fore at Bablake School this week as the stars of new musical comedy CRUSH went ‘back to school’ for an afternoon of traditional team-spirit, riotous routines and lashings of old-school charm.
The event, which took place at Bablake School in Coventry on Wednesday 1 July, featured special guest appearances from much-loved stage and TV personality Sara Crowe (best known for her roles in Carry On Columbus and Four Weddings and a Funeral), respected actress and vocalist Rosemary Ashe, who played Carlotta in the original production of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Phantom of the Opera and Solihull rising-star Kirsty Malpass who donned their hockey sticks and school colours to perform exclusive renditions of three musical numbers from the show.
Joining the cast on stage were 25 young representatives from Bablake School, who treated Coventry press, VIPs and members of the local business community to a stirring rendition of the show’s closing number, The School Song before being given the opportunity to meet the shows creators, Maureen Chadwick and Kath Gotts (a writing partnership best known for Bad Girls, Waterloo Road, Footballers’ Wives and Bad Girls: The Musical) who were on hand to answer questions and meet the future stars of the stage.
A former pupil of Arden Secondary School in Knowle and Solihull Sixth Form college, Kirsty Malpass will take on the role of glamorous games mistress Miss Givings in Maureen Chadwick’s new musical comedy CRUSH – a co-production between Big Broad and the Belgrade Theatre Coventry. Rosemary Ashe will play the part of tyrannical headmistress Miss Bleacher and Sara Crowe will star as daring Deputy Miss Austin.
The show will make its UK premiere in Coventry from 4 to 19 September before embarking on UK Tour.
Commenting on her own school days, Kirsty said:
"I was a good pupil – I missed out on being head girl by a whisker. From a young age, I was heavily involved in singing, drama, debating and most sports but my favourite sport was rounders! I was, what you might call, a joiner-in!"
It’s 1963 and Dame Dorothea Dosserdale School for Girls has a proud tradition of fostering free spirits from all walks of life - so it’s a crushing blow when the new Headmistress turns out to be a tyrant with strict Victorian values.
Giving a new twist to the world of Mallory Towers and The Girl’s Own Annual, with lashings of charm and toe-tapping tunes, CRUSH is a coming-of-age romp that celebrates schoolgirl friendships and fighting for what you believe in!
This brand new co-production between the Belgrade Theatre and Big Broad productions is presented by a creative team whose hit stage and screen work includes Waterloo Road, Footballers’ Wives, Bad Girls: The Musical, The Sound of Music and La Cage Aux Folles.
Founded in 1344 by Queen Isabella, Bablake School is regarded as one of Coventry and Warwickshire’s leading independent co-educational schools. No stranger to the media spotlight, Bablake School was twice selected as a location for the festive blockbusters Nativity in 2009, starring Martin Freeman, Ricky Tomlinson and Alan Carr and Nativity 2 starring David Tennant and Jason Watkins in 2010.
CRUSH runs at the Belgrade Theatre in Coventry from 4 to 19 September. For tickets, call the Box Office on 024 7684 6715 or visit www.belgrade.co.uk where tickets are cheaper.
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