by St Paul's Collegiate School

Grease lightnin' strikes sell-out crowds

With the end of Term 2 comes the end of another successful St Paul’s production. Grease, the ever-popular and loved musical, played to sell-out crowds over five nights. St Paul's Head of Drama, Mr Bruce Rawson, writes for Informer.

I continue to be blown away by the talent that our students have and the passion that they bring to the production each year. Hundreds of hours of hard work; learning lines, songs, choreography and blocking all came together once again. This year, the students were more energetic and focused than ever before, which resulted in a show that wowed several audiences.

Technically not as challenging as some productions of the past few years, Grease gave us the opportunity to play around with some special effects and I want to thank Mr Duncan Smith for the use of his lights, which added another dimension to the amazing set and lighting.

A team effort, I owe a huge debt of thanks to the other staff involved for their support and hard work. From Mrs Kelly Saunders and Miss Jarna Old, we received a striking and beautiful painted set. Mrs Karen Johnson put in hours sourcing and obtaining props. Ms Jane Spenceley, again, made the students look wonderful with her dedication to costumes and makeup. Ms Andrea Dela Rue made sure that we had everything that we needed and that all ran as smoothly as possible. And Mr Smith came in, as usual, to oversee the technical aspects of the show and see that the stage crew were organised and efficient. All of which was done behind the scenes and with very little in the way of public acknowledgement. Productions like this could not be the successes that they are without these incredibly important people.

And then, of course, was the more visible input. Leona Lenore Robinson came in once again to help us with the choreography, getting the usual amazing results. And of course, such a vitally important part of the show was the music; brilliantly and tirelessly led by Mr Tim Carpenter. Not only did he teach the songs to all of the cast, but he led the band and even played the keyboard. One thing that really surprised me was the lack of music supplied for the band and many will not know it but Mr Carpenter actually wrote a large amount of the music that the band played.

And what an amazing band they were! I always want to have as many students involved as possible, and this band was no exception. It was great to see the extremely talented students doing what they love on stage and getting the recognition from the audience that they don’t necessarily get from down in the orchestra pit.

Finally, I want to thank everyone involved, whether it be on stage or backstage, for all of their hard work and energy. School productions are all about the students and the pleasure and experiences that they get from them. While it is a lot of hard work for the staff, it is all worth it when we see students grow and change and show the potential that we uncover every year.

The only negative for me is wondering how we can top this one next year…