Rats was furr-ly good

Cayman
Prep High School staged an energetic production of the musical Rats in the
school’s auditorium on 18-20 March.

The
75-minute play was based on the classic story of the Pied Piper of Hamelin but
had a couple of twists in its tale. Not only were the rats punks in the lively
rock musical, but the Pied Piper also got a modern makeover and was played
by Melanie Ebanks with all the pizzazz of a charismatic pop star.

Based
on Robert Browning’s classic story, the new version of the Pied Piper tale was
reworked with catchy lyrics by Jeremy Browne and a catchy feel good
musical score by Nigel Hess.

The
musical was directed by the high school’s Head of Creative and
Performing Arts, Kathryn Griffiths, who was assisted in staging the colourful
production by Marva Buchanan and the musical directing team of Nicky White and
Cheryl Ward.

The
cast of 52 high school students confidently delivered their lines and the show’s
15 songs.

Audience
favourites included the catchy and menacingly sung The Rat Race Rules, A
Capital Fellow and the poignant rendition of When I was Young. The Rat Race
Rules was performed by the rat pack, headed up by the Rat Leader (Head Boy
Ashvin Murugesu), with all the swagger and menacing nonchalance of those pesky, plague-ridden
rodents. The rodent’s numbers, costumes and loutish bravado contrasted well
with the lonely innocence of the Crippled Child played with depth by Alyssa
McLaughlin. Miss McLaughlin appeared  comfortable on stage  yet
exuded the tender and trusting vulnerability of the child left behind to
remember her peers whose disappearance was a morality tale of lost innocence
and retribution. Miss McLaughlin not only acted convincingly, her angelic and
breathy soprano held the audience spellbound who minutes earlier had been
enjoying the performance’s wittier lyrics.

The
comedic role of Mayor Alderman Greedy was acted with all the gusto the part
called for by Neith Rheingold. The mayor’s burlesque posturing turned into a
cruel caricature of false pride when his avarice, in not paying the Pied Piper
in full, ended up robbing Hamelin of a future.

According
to Ms O’Leary, the cast and crew had spent weeks learning their lines and the
intricacies of stage craft: props, sound and lighting before opening night.
Their dedication did them credit and the performance itself was given further
polish by the musical score performed by The Band. The 10-member ensemble
played the flute, trumpet, saxophone, tenor saxophone, guitar, bass guitar and
drums.

Special mention
must be given to the superb costumes made by Colette Byrne, Valerie Anderson
and Isabelle Payne and the props assembled and made by Shevaun Davies and Anita
Wheaton.

The cast
and backstage crew enjoyed well deserved applause on each of the show’s
three nights.  

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Head rat Ashvin Murugesu leads his rat pack.
Photo: Submitted
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