Berkhamsted Group, Prep | 11.05.2022

Seussical the Musical: A Prep Production

Seussical the Musical: A Prep Production

Before an incredibly successful two nights of Seussical the Musical took place, we dropped in mid rehearsal to hear directly from Kate Turnley, about the progress.

For those who don’t know, the plot of Seussical is below.

A musical perfect for the whole family, Seussical takes us intot he world of Dr. Seuss, where we revisit beloved characters including The Cat in the Hat, Horton the Elephant, Gertrude McFuzz, Lazy Mayzie, and JoJo. The Cat in the Hat guides us into The Jungle of Nool where we see Horton, the kind-hearted elephant who discovers a speck of dust containing Whoville. He meets JoJo, a Who child sent to military school for thinking too many “thinks.”

Horton decides he must protect the speck of dust on a nearby clover, while at the same time protecting an abandoned egg left to his care by the lazy Mayzie la Bird. Horton tries to convince the other animals in The Jungle of the existence of the Whos, but he is ridiculed and put on trial for insanity.

Only his loyal neighbour, Gertrude McFuzz, never loses faith in him. Seussical weaves a story of friendship, loyalty and love. Despite all odds, Horton and Gertrude band  together to save the Whos, free Horton, and restore peace and unity to the Jungle of Nool. Seussical teaches us the power of being unique, and the importance of fighting for your beliefs.

Kate, Seussical the Musical is quite unusual choice for a production – what was the thinking?

We wanted perform a bright, cheerful, loud and colourful show to lift everyone as we haven’t had a Year 6 production for quite a while now.

I’ve directed lots of performances; Peter Pan, Little Mermaid, Liok King, Return to the Forbidden Planet, Mary Poppins, The Wind in the Willows – always musicals but we wanted to break away from the norm. Seussical the Musical is a wonderful mixture of music, drama and dance.

You also have a member of staff who has overseen Seussical the Musical before, don’t you?

The Prep’s choice of musical would have been impacted by that Jennifer Carr, Head of Music, had previously performed Seussical.

What does Drama and performing in particular, do for children at the Year 6 age?

Drama is like sport, it brings children out of their shells. Particularly those who haven’t prioritised drama or had similar experiences before, it provides an important experience, invaluable really.

With Drama, you can always go bigger, be better – there is always some way to push. Even in the West-end it is important to not settle, our ultimate goal is for the students to be proud of themselves.

“Drama helps develop the skills of patience, discipline and to be tolerant. Some of the children belong to local theatre groups which is fantastic, but for many this is the first true experience of a play.”

The Centenary Theate is an amazing space for the Prep school to utilise and is used by all of our schools. The Year 6 production is a huge milestone in the Berkhamsted Journey.

For those not familiar with the typical Year 6 schedule at the Prep, the large production is a key highlight of the school calendar followed by a significant trip weeks later. This year they are off to Devon.

Want to discover more about Berkhamsted Pre-Prep? Click here.

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