A HIGH school is the first in Flintshire to put on a musical extravaganza that reflects issues around celebrating individuality and acceptance.

With less than a week to go, students and staff at Flint High School are pulling out all the stops to ensure a polished performance ahead of the opening night of Everybody's Talking About Jamie.

This poignant musical is a modern day story about a 16-year-old boy who wants to go to the school prom in a dress. It is a story about celebrating who you are and your individuality, regardless of what others may think or say. This beautiful and heartwarming tale of family, friends old and new, and being there for everyone regardless of their past is emotional but uplifting.

The Flint High School cast of Everybodys Talking About Jamie in rehearsals.

The Flint High School cast of Everybody's Talking About Jamie in rehearsals.

The school's show is set to wow audiences and comes on the back of the award-winning West End production of the musical which received critical acclaim following its three-year West End residency.

Tickets are on sale now and selling fast ahead of opening night on Monday, with a total of four consecutive evening performances.

The show comprises a talented cast of 25 students from Years 7 to 13, as well as a band of 15 student musicians led by band director, David Murray, and supported by staff members Calum Macdonald and Louise Wilson.

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Lewis Lowry, Year 10, has the starring role as Jamie New; Evie Parker, Year 11, plays Jamie's mum, Margaret New; and Jessica Roberts, Year 13, takes on the role of Ray, Margaret's best friend.

Tayler Jones, Year 13, plays Jamie's dad; Nathan Burrows, Year 10, takes on the role of Hugo and his drag act, Loco Chanelle. Amelia Bowden, Year 10, plays Jamie's best friend, Pritti Pasha; Alice Elliott, Year 10, plays Miss Hedge, Jamie's teacher; and Macey Bowden, Year 9, steps into the character of drag queen, Tray Sophisticay. The school bully, Dean Paxton, is played by Rhys Hughes, Year 9, and 10 students from Years 8 to 12 form the ensemble cast.

The Flint High School cast of Everybodys Talking About Jamie in rehearsals.

The Flint High School cast of Everybody's Talking About Jamie in rehearsals.

This musical spectacular features an incredible 21 songs as well as dance routines that will have audiences up on their feet and singing along. All the dance routines have been choreographed by Jennifer Greenwood, lead choreographer, and Leah Jones, assistant choreographer.

A behind the scenes team looking after costume, hair and make up, sound, and lighting, and a backstage crew of 10 people, including Callum Williams, Isabella Lally, Leah Jones, Libby-May Hughes, Leah Foulkes, Erin Brown, Joseph Burrows and Riley Hughes, are working hard to ensure the show runs without a hitch.

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To support members of the cast playing the characters of drag queens, Theatr Clwyd ran acting workshops to help build their confidence, including a drag workshop with one of their drag queens, Melteezer.

Sian Holmes, acting head of expressive arts and show director, cannot praise enough everyone's commitment to the show.

The Flint High School cast of Everybodys Talking About Jamie in rehearsals.

The Flint High School cast of Everybody's Talking About Jamie in rehearsals.

She said: "Our students and everyone who has supported, from staff to volunteers, have all worked extremely hard to prepare for our show next week. The cast and band have been rehearsing daily since September to bring a show that matches the high standards of our two most recent musicals, We Will Rock You and Matilda JR.

"As the performance is based in Sheffield the students have been learning to act and sing in a new northern accent, which has led to some interesting rehearsals, but they have pulled it off brilliantly!

"We feel extremely fortunate that the school can put on this production of a new musical that gives the message of 'love yourself and be individual' which has been portrayed so perfectly in the script and lyrics. Everybody's Talking About Jamie is an emotional piece that brings the highs and lows of Jamie's journey, to finding himself and his style of individuality.

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"Our incredibly talented students have fully embraced their roles, working tirelessly with rehearsals at the weekend, late after school, and in both breaktimes during the school day to ensure that the performances are polished to perfection. Their energy and enthusiasm to every rehearsal has been phenomenal and, as a director, I cannot thank them all enough for their time, effort, and resilience; they are amazing young people.

"We are all so excited to bring this true life story to audiences this February."

• Everybody's Talking About Jamie runs from February 5-8, 2024. Doors open at 6.30pm with the show starting at 7pm. Tickets can be bought for £10 each by calling the school on 01352 732268. For all the latest news and to see more on final rehearsals, follow the cast on Twitter @FHSEXPRESSIVE .