City school pupil on song in medieval musical role

A teenager from Norwich's Hewett School will be taking centrestage in what promises to be a musical with a difference.

Rowan Perrow, 14, of Norwich, is playing the main role in an original show written and choreographed by Elizabeth Dark, a performing arts teacher at North Walsham High School.

Angelis, set in Northern Ireland in 1275, features amateur and semi-professional musical theatre performers from Norfolk.

It will be performed for one night only on Sunday, January 22 at Dragon Hall, Norwich. All 120 tickets have now been sold.

Angelis features a cast of 15 aged 11 to 60, 15 songs and will be filmed at Dragon Hall to be shown to London producers.

Rowan, who plays the younger version of the main part, Osana, said: 'I've been interested in musicals all my life. Angelis is brilliant. I'm really looking forward to the performance and what happens afterwards.'

BBC presenter David Whiteley is the narrator and Ms Dark plays the older version of Osana.

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Ms Dark, from Melbourne, Australia, moved to Wells in North Norfolk in 2008, after meeting her partner Robert Smith, Wells' harbour master, in 2006.

She spent a year researching the history for Angelis and started writing the musical in July 2010 and rehearsals started in October last year.

Ms Dark said: 'The cast is brilliant. They are really talented with gorgeous voices. I'm quite confident this could go to London. Everyone who has heard it is quite impressed.

'It is very different to anything else. There is no medieval musical out there that knocks your socks off.'

She added the production, which includes adult themes, was strong, hopeful, powerful and contained an eclectic mix of music including Celtic, folk, rock and Latin.

'It is about being human. It is very deep but there are also comic moments.'

It is part of her final project for the year-long course in song-writing she undertook at London Song Company in Clapham.

At the start Osana is 12 years old and it follows her life, during which she runs away from an arranged marriage and lives in a Cistercian monastery where she becomes pregnant. The show ends with her suicide in her early 30s.

Ms Dark set it in Northern Ireland after visiting old churches on a trip to Galway in 2006. She set the musical in 1275 because it allowed the audience to have an objective view on what is happening in the world today.

For more information about the show visit