During the half term holiday, several Rastrick High school students took to the stage at the Halifax Playhouse, performing in the musical production of ‘Whistle down the Wind’ as part of youth theatre group, Halifax Amateur Theatre Youth (HATY).
Whistle down the Wind is a musical, composed by the world famous Andrew Lloyd Webber, composer of musicals such as Phantom of the Opera and Joseph and His Technicolour Dreamcoat, with lyrics were written by Jim Steinman. As well as Andrew Lloyd Webber, the script for this musical was co-written by Patricia Knop and Gale Edwards. Although set in 1950s Louisiana, the musical is based off the 1961 film of the same name that is set in Sheffield, written from the 1959 novel by Mary Hayley Bell.
The audition process for HATY’s production started in May and included three workshops which helped as an introduction to learn the key songs of the musical. Following the workshops, there were then group auditions for people who wanted to be part of the production followed by solo auditions for people competing for specific roles in the show.
Many students from Rastrick High School were successful in gaining key parts in the production. These included Year 10 student, Ophelia Ormerod, who expertly performed the main female character ‘Swallow’, whilst Year 11 student, Ben Malone, took on the role of her protective yet mournful father, Boone. There were also members of Rastrick High School taking on roles in the chorus of the show, with Grace Moore being one of the frustrated Townsfolk and Ruby Chadwick performing one of the young, adorable children.
We spent six months rehearsing on Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays. A lot of time was put into the rehearsal process, with a lot of hard dedication from two excellent musical directors, as well as a director and choreographer. The rehearsals took place near to the Halifax Playhouse in the Wellington Rooms, where many hours of many months were spent going through all the numbers and each act repeatedly to make sure that every member of the cast was word and note perfect.
All week, members received high amounts of praise from many members of the audience, both from relatives, and from people who had never come to see a HATY show before.