YOU know the old stage saying “break a leg” – well these young performers did exactly that just days before starring in a major production at their school.
But dedicated Barnard Grove Primary School pupils Katie Mulrooney and Anthony McDonough – who both broke bones within weeks of being due to star as Danny and Sandy in their school’s production of Grease – made sure the show went on.
The 11-year-olds both managed to recover in the nick of time, ready for the performance at the Hartlepool-based school.
But after the youngsters and three other cast members were blighted by broken bones or fractures around the time of the show, their teachers admit: “This could be the curse of Grease.”
During rehearsals Katie fractured her ankle after stumbling on a trampoline outside of school, about a month before the big night.
Her ankle was put in a plaster cast and she managed to hobble through rehearsals.
But the little trooper managed to ditch her crutches on the night of the actual show and put in a star performance.
Also three weeks before the show, Anthony broke his toe while playing football, when he accidentally kicked a wall instead of the ball.
He healed quite quickly, but was on crutches up until a week before they took to the stage in front of a packed audience.
School deputy headteacher Janine Thompson said: “The kids were really good, they just got on with it, they didn’t let it get in their way.
“During rehearsals Katie was acting right through with her crutches, and she did such a good job, we didn’t notice them in the end.
“On the night, she had her crutches to get up and down from the stage, but she managed without them, but it was still quite painful on the night.
“I don’t think anything was going to stop Anthony from performing – he is such a natural.”
And it wasn’t just the leading lady and her beau who had suffered mishaps involving crutches and plaster casts in the time around the show.
Around six weeks before the show, Hannah Leighton, 11, who played Cha-Cha, broke her leg not long after being cast in the part, which includes a lot of dancing.
But thankfully, her leg healed in time, just a week before last week’s performances.
And the breaks did not stop after the show.
Last week 11-year-old Charlie Packham, who was a member of stage crew, broke his leg after falling awkwardly while away from school, and he is now on crutches.
And just on Wednesday, Ellie Robbins, who played Jan, was having free time at school when she fractured her arm while doing the “crab” and was having a plaster cast fitted yesterday.