Pupils bring car chase drama to the streets of Wymondham

Emma KnightsRival American gangs took to the streets of Wymondham yesterday in a dramatic car chase through the town.Emma Knights

Rival American gangs took to the streets of Wymondham yesterday in a dramatic car chase through the town.

It looked like a scene from a movie and it was just that - as students from Wymondham High School filmed a sequence to be screened in their forthcoming theatre production of Bugsy Malone which is loosely based on events in Chicago, Illinois during the Prohibition era and the exploits of gangsters like Al Capone.

Using a 1920s-style pedal car made by the school's technology department, the young actors chased each other into Wymondham's town centre, ending up at the Market Cross. And the school's head of drama, Gail Haythorpe, was even a victim of the gangs as she played the role of a woman who is robbed by the gangsters.

Mrs Haythorpe said: 'We were filming the scene of the car chase between Fat Sam's gang and Dandy Dan's gang. It is really difficult to do a car chase on stage so we decided to incorporate film into the show.'

She said they had to be especially creative yesterday because they only had one car available for the filming.

'Fat Sam's gang went into the town in the car and then it was Dandy Dan's gang's turn. We will use clever editing to make it look like there were two cars,' she said.

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The classic 1976 film, in which the whole cast are children, centres around Fat Sam's Speakeasy which is full of dancing girls, gangsters and their molls. It tells the story of smooth city slicker Bugsy Malone and the battle for power between Fat Sam and Dandy Dan - but pies and splurge guns are the gangsters' weapons of choice instead of real bullets.

More than 70 young people are involved in the Wymondham High version, and the students have been working hard to recreate this all-singing and all-dancing show since September.

Year 12 student Warren Tutt, 16 and who plays Dandy Dan, was involved in yesterday's car chase which he described as an exciting experience and a lot of fun too.

Sixteen-year-old Duncan MacDonald, who is in year 11 and who plays Fat Sam, said he had been really looking forward to filming the car chase, and he thought filming in the town was a good way of getting people interested in the production.

Mrs Haythorpe said she was really proud of how hard the students had worked on the show.

'It is a multi-media production using the skills of lots of different members of the school. Hopefully the audience will think it is very dynamic and creative. It is all about transporting people to 1920s Chicago, making people smile, and having a lot of fun,' she said.

t Bugsy Malone will be performed at Wymondham High School from Wednesday, February 24 until Friday, February 26.

The shows start at 7.30pm. Tickets cost �5 for adults, �3 for children, and �12 for a family ticket. To book call Kay Southgate on 01953 602078 ext 208.

t See www.edp24.co.uk for footage of the Wymondham High students filming in the town.