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by Kate Ferguson
Wednesday, March 28, 2012
The film Dodgeball is a tale of the underdog taking on a corporate giant.
So it is perhaps not surprising that when a group of Hampstead pupils decided to stage their version of the blockbuster staring Ben Stiller and Vince Vaughn, they did not shy away from the formidable challenge of getting Hollywood permission.
In what is believed to be a world first, LA producer Stuart Cornfeld has given them the green light to stage their own production of the 2004 hit – Dodgeball the musical.
Pupil Matt Rosen, 18, is co-director of the play at University College School (UCS) in Frognal, and made the fateful call.
He said: “We knew we wanted to put the musical on so we tracked down a number for Stuart through a production company.
“It was very nerve racking making the call.
“There was one person in the office who really liked the idea – and it turned out to be Stuart Cornfeld.”
The producer, who has also worked on the Oscar winning The Fly, later called Matt and gave him the okay to bring the Hollywood hit to Hampstead.
“We had gone to the pub to decide the cast and as we were drinking my phone rang,” said the 18 year-old. “I picked it up and it was Stuart from Hollywood.
“He was incredibly friendly, he said he really liked the idea and as long as we don’t try to make any money out of it, he would let us stage the production.
“He appeared quite flattered and pleased to encourage us. It was probably quite a shock to him that students all the way in Hampstead had written a musical about a film he made eight years ago.”
The talented pupils have penned their own songs and written their own script.
Six months after their first conversation with the film’s producer they have brought the musical to their school stage.
“The fact that we managed to speak to a pretty major Hollywood producer, and have now got to put on Dodgeball the musical at our north London school is just brilliant,” said Matt.
The pupils have recorded the production and are sending a copy of the DVD to the Hollywood producer.
Georgia Bruce, 18, another co-director said: “I’ve always wanted to put on a production, but it was always difficult to find the right way of doing it.
“This show is our goodbye to our school as we leave for university, it had to be really, really good.”