Seaford College audiences were treated to an outstanding evening of musical entertainment by senior students last weekend. The Broadway Buffet offered a selection of highlights from some of the most popular musicals of all time, including Cabaret, Oliver!, The Phantom of the Opera and The Blues Brothers, as well as medleys of works by Gilbert & Sullivan and Rodgers & Hammerstein.
Following a string of highly successful musical productions over the past few years, this evening was intended as an opportunity for students to showcase their talents across a range of musical genres. The singing ensemble, largely comprised of members of the Chapel Choir, was led by Director of Voice Sara Reynolds, and the accompanying band by Head of Music Jeremy Weaver. A supper was served by our excellent catering department, with courses corresponding to each musical section.
First on the menu were three songs from the hit Broadway show Cabaret. Adam Newman set the tone for an evening of fun and entertainment with his flamboyant performance as the MC, backed by the all-singing, all-dancing cabaret girls Alexandria White, Araminta Johannes, Andrea Aranda, Abbey Caveney and Anastasia Emile. Alexandria gave a powerful and compelling rendition of Maybe This Time, which was followed by the show’s iconic song Cabaret, with an upbeat and sassy performance by the girls. Next came songs from Lionel Bart’s Oliver!, with ensemble performances of Food Glorious Food and Who Will Buy? and Alfie Whitchurch’s lovely solo rendition of Where is Love?.
After this we were transported to the Paris Opéra Populaire of 1905 for five songs from The Phantom of the Opera. Beci Eden as Christine Daaé stunned the audience with her accomplished soprano voice, singing Think of Me and The Phantom of the Opera, with Robbie Steward as the Phantom. Next there was a change of cast, with Zach McArthur playing the Phantom for The Music of the Night, and Robbie returning as Raoul accompanied by Ellie Baker as Christine for the wonderfully romantic All I Ask of You and hauntingly beautiful Wishing You Were Somehow Here Again.
A feast of Gilbert & Sullivan came next, as girls from the Chapel Choir performed highlights from The Mikado, with beautifully evocative solos from Jaime Pardey, Nell Chadwick, Daisy Hanbury and Eva Glynne-Jones. Then suddenly the Assembly Hall doors burst open and we were beset by cutlass-wielding pirates led by Tom Holder as the Pirate King, and treated to a spirited presentation of highlights from The Pirates of Penzance. In a complete change of style and location, the evening then moved to Illinois for Seaford’s version of The Blues Brothers Band. Led by Mark Reynolds, the student band (Munroe Graham, Annabel Jeffries, George Limpus, Sebastian Limpus, Jonathan North, Danny Westcott) supported great solo vocal performances from Yolanda Gumpo, Robbie Steward, Tom Holder and Ross Donaldson.
The climax of the show brought us an energetic medley of Rodgers & Hammerstein hits, with Hannah Wardrop leading the ensemble onto the stage in a pastiche of the famous opening sequence from The Sound of Music and Yolanda Gumpo singing the closing number, a soulful version of You’ll Never Walk Alone. By popular demand, the ensemble provided us with a magnificent encore, Do You Hear the People Sing? from Schönberg & Boublil’s Les Miserables, which was met by a standing ovation from the audience on both evenings.
Dr Jane Askew, co-director of the show, said: “We are incredibly proud of all the students involved in the show. There were some very accomplished performances and the audience received a taste of the tremendous talent we have at Seaford College, as well as enjoying a great night out!”