Students at Portslade Aldridge Community Academy (PACA) will be unveiling the Secret Code, a musical set in England during the Second World War, with a spectacular production at the Academy this July.
The story follows a group of London evacuees to the English countryside as they try to crack a secret German code and save the country from invasion. The show has everything fromEast End mums to inconspicuous spies. The original songs, written by Michael Gatton, are infectious and Jonathan Rice’s script keeps the code-breakers in the audience guessing as the story unfolds.
Elena Markham, PACA’s Head of Performing Arts, who is producing and directing the showsaid: “We chose this production because it gives our students the opportunity to understand something of the Second World War and the way it affected ordinary people. The songs are nostalgic and highly catchy and the story really captures the imagination. “
“Students have been researching wartime clothing for men, women and children, as well as makeup and hairstyles of the times. They have had to understand how people behaved back then and how they spoke to each other, in particular how children spoke to adults. We are performing a matinee for the senior members of our local community on 3rd July and this will be followed by a tea and discussion between cast and audience. This will give the students an opportunity to find out more from people who may even have their own memories of the war.”
The 60 strong cast and 20 backstage crew members are all year 7, 8 and 9 students at the Academy. They are being supported by PACA’s GCSE Performing Arts and Art BTEC students who are helping out with costumes, makeup and hair, props and scenery, and selling tickets and running the “front of house”. Talented year 11 student Sophie Reed is choreographing some numbers and even the refreshments are being provided by a team of students.
Principal James Fox said: “The production really highlights the Academy’s entrepreneurial spirit. It’s all about team work, creativity, determination, risk taking, problem solving and passion and these qualities really shine through a great show.”
Year 9 student Ben Buckwell said: ‘It’s been a long journey, that has required a lot of hard work but we are delighted with what we have produced and it has been a great experience. We’ve all grown and developed in our acting skills, communication, team work and confidence. This is a good platform for us to build on in the future.”
The musical is being staged on the 3rd and 4th of July at the Academy’s Chalky Road Campus, with doors opening at 6.30pm on both evenings. Tickets are available from the PACA reception by calling 01273 416300 from 10th June.