RIPON Grammar School students are returning to the stage to perform together in a spectacular musical following two years of Covid restrictions.

Around 100 students, aged 11 to 18, have come together to put on a production of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast over four nights from tomorrow (March 22).

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Director of music Michael Barker said students were thrilled to be involved in such a large-scale event after a two-year gap.

He said: “Students are bringing a lot of energy to the stage, as well as a renewed sense of community after the impact of the pandemic.”

The Northern Echo: Ripon Grammar School students perform Beauty and the BeastRipon Grammar School students perform Beauty and the Beast

A much-loved favourite, Beauty and the Beast may well be a tale as old as time but, in the hands of RGS students, it’s infused with their unique 21st century energy.

Mr Barker said: “The costumes and set are amazing.

"We have a really talented cast and there are lots of big numbers with so many students taking part – everyone is so enthusiastic."

In addition to the cast of actors, singers and dancers, 24 students will be performing in the live orchestra and 17 are responsible for lighting, props, stage management, make-up and costumes.

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Neive Zenner, who shares the role of Belle with Tehya Sutton, is particularly enjoying working with a live 24-piece orchestra.

She said: "It is definitely the highlight of our school year, especially since this is my last."

The 18-year-old, from outside Ripon, added: "Everyone is really excited, especially the younger students who haven't had the chance to do something like this before."

The Northern Echo: Ripon Grammar School students perform Beauty and the BeastRipon Grammar School students perform Beauty and the Beast

Tehya, 17, from Ripon, agreed: "It's fantastic to finally be performing after nearly two years of being unable to," she said.

"I'm happy to be leaving on a high note of getting the lead role in my last year."

Tristan Paris, who plays Gaston, an arrogant egotist who has his sights set on marrying Belle, said being a part of such a major production was a tremendous experience.

The 18-year-old, from Ripon, said: “With all the misery of Covid and its consequences, while there's certainly a pressure to be the best now more than ever, it will just be nice to finally have the smaller pieces of normal life at RGS back in place.”

Beauty and the Beast will be performed at Ripon Grammar School's main hall, from March 22 to March 25, 7.30pm, contact 01765-602647 to reserve tickets.


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