IT was the show that almost never was as students at Priestley College performed the hit musical Rock of Ages!
In the end, however, Musical Theatre students at Priestley College were able to bring down the curtain on their time together with a live performance in front of their families.
For both students and their tutors, it was an emotional moment as they took to the stage for one last time to perform Rock Of Ages.
“We even worked on it on our own during lockdown and at times it seemed impossible that we would ever be performing it together,” said former Rudheath High pupil Hannah Mullineux.
The cohort’s live show was held outside on the college campus with students able to invite two members of their family or bubble.
They found out just 48 hours before that the show, could indeed, go on.
It was the culmination of 15 months of rehearsals that started during lockdown in their bedrooms, kitchens and living rooms before moving into Priestley’s Costello Theatre, where the show was also able to be filmed ready for sharing to a wider, virtual audience.
“It was just so exciting, you forget the adrenalin rush of being on stage and hearing the audience reactions,” said Caitlin Hindley, a former pupil at Irlam and Cadishead Academy.
Rock Of Ages is a story about the fortunes of a Sunset Strip club and the characters embroiled in it including rock god Stacee Jaxx, Dennis Dupree and aspiring actress Sherrie Christian.
Oliver White, a former pupil at Abbeygate College who played Jaxx, said: “We just couldn’t wait to be back on stage and finish off our time at college with a performance.”
The show went without a hitch despite the unusual circumstances surrounding early rehearsals.
Initially dance lifts couldn’t be practised, harmonies were rehearsed as solos; some of the cast even forgot they were injecting humour into their performance until they heard the first laughs of an audience.
“After working with these guys for two years we wanted them to have an amazing experience because they had put their heart and soul into it,” said tutor Abbie Rippon.
“It’s been exciting, sometimes heart-breaking and frustrating, but that has meant we have all been more emotionally attached to this show than any other.”