STUDENTS from West Somerset College made a long-awaited return to the Regal Theatre stage with their performance of The Queen and Ben Elton musical, We Will Rock You. WSC champions return to the stage afte a gap of over a decade.

The planning for this show started back in 2021 but was derailed by the Covid pandemic, forcing the team to assemble a virtually new cast as all but eight of the original members had since left college.

However, under the guidance of director Sophie Bohun, choreographer Anna Ross, musical director Clement Vickery and producer Lorraine Ahern, the team of young performers came together to bring the house down with two spectacular performances that Freddie Mercury himself would have no doubt approved.

The cast were led by two Year 9 students, Albert Vickery (Galileo Figaro) and Neve Salisbury (Scaramouche). The story is set some 300 years in the future when Earth is now known as the iPlanet where Ga Ga kids conform to the mainstream and rock music is long forgotten.

Galileo and Scaramouche do not wish to conform and escape to the streets where they are found by Oz, (Lily Pattison) and Brit (Noah James), members of a rebellion group known as the Bohemians.

They eventually find the captives in a stupefied state except for Buddy, (Jed Noble), who is resistant to Khashoggi’s punishment, protected as he is by ‘The Vibe’. 

For some of the actors it was the first time they had mixed with their peers to put together a project, let alone stand on a live stage and express themselves.

It wouldn’t have been possible without the help of staff, Sophie Bohun, Anna Ross, Clement Vickery, and Lorraine Ahern, who gave up time in the school holidays to coach, mentor and support the cast, so that they could perform at their best.

The technical team at the Regal, who built the set, projected images onto the purpose-built screens, cued lighting, moved the scenery and were responsible for the sound and microphones are volunteers.

They all donated a considerable amount of their free time to ensure that the show was every bit as professionally executed as the paying audience has a right to expect.

A special mention must go to Barry West for his hours of work and dedication, designing the set and the amazing projections, adding a professional look to the overall production.

It also gave the young performers an insight into the amount of work that goes into a community project and how their contribution was supported by a whole team of people beavering away in the background.

A spokesperson said :"It allowed our theatre to enhance the education of these young people and provide an opportunity for growth."

"The legacy is already being felt in that some of the principal cast members are already moving onto their next musical theatre project and will be appearing in Legally Blonde in April."

This too will be supported by the same theatre production team and crew. The headteacher Nikki Doughty was full of praise for the young stars and said : “What these kids have achieved in a short space of time is quite astounding. I’m so proud of every single one of them and they truly are the champions. For many this was their first time on stage but you would not have known if you were lucky enough to see it."

"They have all worked incredibly hard, giving up their evenings and even their half term holiday to create what I hope everyone agrees was a fantastic show. I should also thank the staff and volunteers, without whom this would not have been possible."