After more than seven months of intensive preparation and polishing, the Harrow Beijing Upper School annual musical finally came to a live audience, with the production of 'Guys and Dolls' being a resounding success! Both students and teaching staff delivered an outstanding audio-visual feast to the audience of more than 700 people with performances almost comparable to professional actors!
Broadway Musical at Harrow Beijing
'Guys and Dolls' is a classic 1950 Broadway musical, revolving around a gambler's legendary experience and develops an up-and-down storyline, incorporating love, friendship and other plot lines. Guys and Dolls spawned hits like 'If I Were a Bell,' 'Luck Be a Lady,' and 'You're Rockin’ the Boat.' With catchy songs, memorable characters, and a humorous plot, it has become a true classic of American musical theater.
As a lot of the action takes place in the ‘Hot Box’ piano Jazz Club in the musical, the Harrow Beijing Theatre was transformed to a jazz cabaret venue, making the audience feel truly immersed in the experience.
Collaborate to Create a High Level of all English Stage Production
(Enjoy the video produced by Harrow TV to go behind the scenes of ‘Guys and Dolls’.)
'Guys and Dolls' has been in preparation since September of 2022. Over 110 Harrow Beijing students took on a variety of roles such as actors, orchestra, dancers, set design, lighting & sound designers, stage crew, lighting & sound technicians, bar tenders, Maître D’s and marketing. Students were involved out front and behind the scenes, no matter whether the roles were big or small, working together towards the final outcome. The student marketing team designed beautiful merchandise such as branded hoodies, tote bags, pins and t-shirts. The Harrow values of 'courage, honor, humility and fellowship' have been fully and perfectly demonstrated by our students as part of this immense production.
Teachers from the Performing Arts, Music and Drama departments of Harrow Beijing also worked together to guide students from different professional perspectives.
'They are in great shape, but there is always more. You can't ever relax until it's over. I hope our students can be their best and enjoy every moment of participation,' Mrs Danielle Byrne, Director of Performing Arts and China LAMDA Representative said.
On the day of the performance, Harrow Beijing students impressed the audience with their fluent English dialogues, the reappearance of the characters and the magnificent stage performance, and finally presented a high-level English musical that lived up to our expectations.
Become the Excellence of Role Models
‘This year, the play looked for elder cast members from Year 11 to Year 13. It demonstrates a sense of responsibility and maturity to younger students and it fosters a culture of positivity,' Mrs Bryne said.
During the preparation of the performance, the Year 13 students gave full play to their leadership and talents. Apple W was the assistant director, Leah W, the student lead for set design and Noor B the dance captain. The Year 13 Graduation team and ‘Bread of Life’ bakery organised and prepared show-themed snacks such as ‘Mindy’s Cheesecakes’.
Noor B added ‘One of the great things about the show is that it provides chances for us to work with others and learn from different people. Some younger students are really interested in working as a team with students from the senior phase and we learned a lot from prep phase as well.’
Harrow Beijing Drama Education
Drama education, which integrates language and literature, performing arts, music and other comprehensive literacy learning, is one of the highlights of a Harrow Beijing education. Harrow Beijing offers drama courses and a variety of extra-curricular activities, providing students with a wide range of opportunities to experience the charm of drama, gain knowledge & expression skills, and build confidence. We are proud to have been a Centre of LAMDA Excellence since 2014, entering over 3,570 Harrow students for examinations during that time. We are offering a full suite of courses for students in every year group in the LSA program and in Year 12 and 13 Electives. The courses available are in Acting, Speaking in Public, Prose and Poetry, Musical Theatre, The Shakespeare Qualification and The LAMDA Pcert Diploma.
Mrs Danielle Bryne-Director of Performing Arts and China LAMDA Representative:
'I would like to extend my thanks to the staff and student teams for their commitment. The incredible cast and crew worked tirelessly through weekends and into evenings to bring this production to the Harrow Beijing community. My sincere thanks to the parents of all involved who have supported the show. The organisation and creative planning of this year's production has truly been a team effort.'