We Will Rock You at Rangiora High


Cassia Hendriks, 17, left, Heidi Moriarty, 14, and Sophia Morton-Jones, 13, are among the cast...
Cassia Hendriks, 17, left, Heidi Moriarty, 14, and Sophia Morton-Jones, 13, are among the cast members for the upcoming jukebox musical production of We Will Rock You. PHOTO: SHELLEY TOPP
A hit theatrical production based on the music of British rock band Queen will get under way soon at Rangiora High School.

We Will Rock You is being co-produced by the school’s director of performing arts and teacher of commerce and dance, Bex McLean, and business manager, David Lowe.

It will open in the school hall on Wednesday, June 19, at 7pm. The show will run until Saturday, June 22.

It will be the school’s first production since 2017 when High School Musical, based on the popular television film of the same name, was produced.

We Will Rock You will showcase the large number of talented performing arts students at the school.

The long delay in getting back on stage to do another theatrical production was largely due to the complications caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.

However, producing a big theatrical event like this is huge for those involved, so getting the timing right was crucial.

The time was deemed right when McLean was appointed director of performing arts at Rangiora High School last year.

It was a new role for the school, and McLean was keen to provide ‘‘our talented performing arts students with a chance to shine both on stage and back stage’’.

She received great support for her idea to produce We Will Rock You from the school board and principal Bruce Kearney.

‘‘Rangiora High School is strong in a number of sports, but we also have a huge number of actors, singers, dancers, musicians, technical (sound and lighting) and visual arts students who deserve to have their talents represented too,’’ McLean says.

‘‘This show promotes the arts and gives it an equal standing to our sports teams. The teamwork, friendships formed and opportunity it provides for our school’s performing arts students to feel part of something special, and part of a team, is important to me.’’

McLean hopes the school and wider community will support everyone involved with the show by attending.

There are 70 students and 20 staff working on the musical, plus a number helping behind the scenes.

This includes the school’s sound and lighting team, with students also assisting in front of house, backstage, hair and make-up, costuming and co-producing.

Former Rangiora High School student Jacob Coxhill also has a role in the show, playing Galileo, while teacher Nigel Mills, who is a talented actor and singer, will play the role of Buddy.

‘‘It takes an absolute team effort to produce this beast as there are so many moving parts,’’ McLean says.

We Will Rock You tells the futuristic story of a group of ‘‘Bohemians’’ who are fighting to restore freedom of thought in an Orwellian society where ‘‘Planet Earth’’ has been renamed ‘‘Planet Mall’’ and all non-computer-generated music has been banned.

The show is being directed by Bryony Jamison, a widely experienced thespian, who is a singing tutor/advanced senior drama at Rangiora’s Hartley School of Performing Arts and also works as an apprentice with the The Court Jesters at the Court Theatre in Christchurch.

By Shelley Topp