THE grade 4 -7 pupils of Port Alfred High School presented Hans Christian Andersen – a Musical Showcase in the school hall last Friday night.
The stage décor was very well done with a cobbler’s bench set up on a projection of the stage to the left, where Hans Christian Andersen (Benjamin Baker) sat with his apprentice, the orphaned Peter (Reinhardt le Roux) and told stories to the children.
To complete the scene, the name of the city appeared above the stage and the houses of Copenhagen from the period of circa 1830 were sewn onto the backdrop.
Congratulations to Nicole Muller, Monica Strydom, Johanna van der Merwe and Melinda Frankenveld for the lovely stage set.
In the first part of the play, the good citizens of Copenhagen showed that they did not approve of Andersen.
“Either Hans Christian Andersen leaves town or I do,” said the school mistress (played by Jami Weeber).
The mayor (Jessica Harty) declared she would give Andersen one more chance.
They all agreed if he did not stop telling his stories, he would be driven out of town.
Meanwhile, the children performed dances and sang songs based on Andersen’s popular fairy tales, such as the Tin Soldier who falls in love with a beautiful ballerina with only one arm, and the Ugly Duckling.
Congratulations to Sasha May Badenhorst for the choreography, and the costumes which were designed and manufactured by Jolene Campbell.
In the second part of the play, Thumbelina (Zoey Peters) and a little dog came onto the stage and sat on Andersen’s lap. The dog even barked on cue.
The dog belonged to the Baker family who had six children performing in the play, including Benjamin Baker as Andersen.
In the end, all is forgiven and Andersen is allowed to continue telling fairy tales to the children in Copenhagen.
Director Ann Green said she had offered to put on the show with the middle school children because they had not done as many shows as the junior and high schools.
“I kept telling them how a real actor does things, and they were marvellous to work with,” she said.
“I didn’t want scenes of curtains opening and closing, I wanted the scenes to flow into each other,” said Green, who achieved her aim admirably.