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The Children's Theatre Company Stages British Musical "smike"

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By Author: Vera Chernysh
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In Kyiv on the 5th of April the Children's Theatre Company, the only English language theatre in Kyiv, staged the musical "Smike", based on Charles Dicken's novel "Nicholas Nickelby".

The musical "Smike" is the second theatrical performance of the Children's Theatre Company, which is part of the British International School Kyiv. Last year the Kyiv audience was presented with the famous musical "Oliver!", based on the Charles Dicken's novel "Oliver Twist".

The performance was organised by the British International School with the assistance of What's On magazine as general media partner. The musical was directed by Artistic Director Adam Ferguson from Canada, who is famous for directing numerous international plays. All the performers in the musical were students from the British International School.

The story is about contemporary school students who travel though time to find themselves in Victorian England in a school for poor children who are kept in terrible conditions and are abused by those that should care for them. The school's director, Mr. Squeers, is a mean and two-faced person whose sole ...
... purpose in life is to earn money. One orphan called Smike suffers the worst treatment out of all the children in the school. He starves while the director and his family use him as a servant; since the death of his parents there is nobody to pay for his schooling. The school then employs Nicholas Nickelby, a young gentleman, who cannot help but feel responsible for Smike and the other boys.

The songs were written in 1973 by British composers Simon May and Roger Holman and in honour of the original version The Children’s Theatre Company production was performed entirely in English.

"My name is Andy. I am nine. I am playing the leading role of Smike! When I first heard that I would play Smike I shouted "Hurray!" said year 4 student Andrew Spencer.

Ivan Shestunov, the year 11 senior student who played Nicholas Nickleby shares his enthusiasm: "I am really looking forward to the opening night. It was wonderful to be a part of the musical "Oliver" last year. My part in Smike has been very interesting. It is almost like acting in mime and reacting to what is happening around. It was not easy but I did my best. I dream of becoming an actor and Smike has been a great opportunity to gain some experience."

"We combine the best elements of two education systems - the British and the Ukrainian. British schools always try to develop the artistic potential of their students which often reveals impressive talents. All the students at our school receive art, music and drama lessons. Smike has been a great challenge for all those involved and has produced something very special of which both the children and the faculty have the right to be very proud," said Olga Zastavna, General Director of the British International School.

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