Yesterday marked the great opening night of The Weald School’s production of ‘Annie: The Musical’, a theatrical attraction which will draw in over 300 excited guests over the course of 3 nights.


The driving force behind the magnificent production was Kirsty Elmer, the head of drama, who has been at the school for over 19 years and has run or led a production every one of those years (except 2020 due to COVID-19). She has extensive theatrical experience, detailing how she “also direct[s] plays in Brighton at The New Venture Theatre when I can fit this to my busy teaching life!”.

The process itself is lengthy and time-consuming, starting in “June and we auditioned in July. [Kirsty Elmer] then spent some of the summer holidays constructing the rehearsal schedule, involving music, dance and acting rehearsals and [she] published this at the start of the Autumn Term. Flash forward to [Wednesday] 29th November - lots of hard work has been done!”.


Indeed, it all paid off as Mr Hulstaert, who watched the opening night, stated that it was “a very impressive performance which made it as enjoyable as other years”. He went on to say that “The live band was very cool” and that it gave it an “impressive” feel.


Similarly, Stuart Moseley, who played in the band, felt the experience “improved [his drumming skills]” allowing him to confidently “play along with a band”.


The whole experience was spectacular, a powerful token of the hard work and dedication of the whole cast, crew, technicians and musicians. Mr Hulstaert enjoyed the play so much that he “might even do it tomorrow night!”.


Mrs Elmer went on to talk about her ‘tips and tricks’ for success in a school play as “Get started very early. Know the play, the scenes, characters and the design needs of the play.” On that note, she described how she “usually alternate[s] a full scale musical production with a non-musical play for larger casts.” to accommodate to the skills of the school and provide variety within the productions.


It is safe to say that, like all the previous productions, ‘Annie: The Musical’ was a great success, immensely enjoyed by those who attended and truly a highlight of the school year.