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Beeston Hall School, West Runton, pupils all set for dramatic weekend

16:47 25 November 2012

Katie Watson (left) as Mrs Kay in Willy Russell

Katie Watson (left) as Mrs Kay in Willy Russell's Our Day Out, with her "progress class", from left: Arabella Green, Cici Harbord-Hamond, Celeste Young, Priya Moondi, Georgia Everett and Cosima Kimber. Picture: KAREN BETHELL.

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Willy Russell’s classic 1970s musical, Our Day Out, is given a new twist by pupils at Beeston Hall School, in a production being staged in the school sports hall on Friday and Saturday.

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The funny, heart-warming play tells the tale a group of children from a deprived area of Liverpool, who set off on a school trip to Wales with their teacher, Mrs Kay, class bullies Digga and Reilly, and deputy head teacher Mr Briggs.

Set free from the restraints of their difficult, inner-city lives, the children run amok and, to the dismay of their teachers, they go on the rampage, shoplifting and, on a trip to the zoo, attempting to smuggle animals onto the coach.

But, when “Progress Class” pupil Carol goes missing at the end of the trip, disciplinarian Mr Briggs shows his softer side as he attempts to convince her to return home.

As an added extra, Beeston Hall pupils have included their own, self-penned scene, drawing on the imagined home lives of some of the youngsters.

Directed by Beeston Hall head of drama David Lloyd, who teaches at Norwich Theatre Royal, Our Day Out features a 34-strong cast of 11-13-year-olds.

“This is not a typical play for Beeston Hall, but the children have really come on board with it,” Mr Lloyd said. “They have been very enthusiastic and I think they have learnt a lot about what life was like for underprivileged children in the 1970s.”

Our Day Out is at Beeston Hall School, West Runton, at 7pm on Friday and Saturday, November 30 and December 1. Free tickets are available by phoning the school on 01263 837324.

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