DESPITE the challenges of the recent lockdown, students at Bedale High School are about to perform their Whole School Production of Willy Russell’s stunning and hard-hitting drama, Blood Brothers.

Rehearsals began in earnest last October after a rigorous casting process but were unfortunately put on hold with the introduction of the third national lockdown and subsequent school closures.

The production involves more than 70 students across years seven to 11, many working as performers within the large ensemble cast, who are on stage for the entire duration of the performance. Many other students are involved in operating stage lighting and sound, designing and creating the set and costumes for the production and also working as essential members of the stage crew.

Louise Woodward, director and production manager of Blood Brothers, said: "The entire ensemble have been tremendous in their proactive and enthusiastic approach to the rehearsal process. Every week, showing up, leaving the baggage of the day at the door and thoroughly getting stuck into rehearsals.

"Each cast member was selected because of their ability and confidence to experiment with and explore a role. It has been an exciting process to witness – watching the development of each character and seeing how the actors grew and sometimes struggled with the process of understanding the play, their own character’s emotions and actions and also working as part of a large ensemble cast.

"The whole team has shown an incredible sense of dedication, motivation and excitement towards this production – despite the enforced break as a result of the lockdown. The process of bringing the production to the stage has been a long and intensely collaborative one and in many rehearsals, students have been given the freedom to explore their ideas independently leading to a vibrant mix of styles. As such, our interpretation of Blood Brothers promises to be veritable feast of creativity and an artistic assault on the senses."

The production will be performed at Bedale High School from Monday, April 26, to Friday, April 30. Students across all year groups will get the opportunity to watch the show during the school day and a filmed montage of scenes and photographs will be shared with families afterwards who unfortunately will not be able to attend the live performances as a result of the current Covid-19 restrictions.