PUPILS at a South Derbyshire school have taken part in the world premiere of a musical-stage adaption of one of Britain’s best-loved author’s books.
Seventy children from Church Broughton Primary School have performed the first-ever musical version of Sir Terry Pratchett’s award-winning children’s novel The Amazing Maurice and His Educated Rodents.
The script, music and stage production was written by Church Broughton musician Matthew Holmes, who is also father of one of the children at the school.
The production could end up in thousands of primary schools across the country with an August release date pencilled in.
Father-of-two Mr Holmes said: “I was approached last year to produce a musical adapting one of the works of Terry Pratchett. There were lengthy negotiations with his agents, but I’ve been really overjoyed to work on it.
“He has seen the script and the music, but he hasn’t seen the final stage production.
I’m absolutely petrified, but I’ve done everything I can now.
“It’s taken every spare moment that I have but it’s been great to work on something you feel so passionate about.”
Mr Holmes said that an after-school drama club was set up while he wrote all the scripts, music and production notes.
Representatives from publisher A&C Black are to watch the second showing of the play at the school today, and if it strikes a chord, the scripts, sheet music and backing CD would then be sold to primary schools across the country.
The Amazing Maurice And His Educated Rodents is loosely based on the story of the Pied Piper fairytale, and it won the coveted Carnegie Medal when it was published in 2001.
Mr Holmes, who also works as a music specialist at the Fountains Primary School in Stretton, added: “The whole project has really captured the imaginations of the children. Everyone has worked so hard.”
Mrs Margot Davison, head teacher at the school, said: “The children have enjoyed the rehearsals enormously.
“It has been great fun for everyone, and we are really looked forward to the performances — and staging a world premiere.”