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Hello Dolly - The Musical Collage
Photo by Brendan Biggs

Drama - Hello Dolly - The Musical

Brendan Biggs —

Hello Dolly 2015

It began on a hot summer afternoon just before school returned in 2015. Young men and women from St Thomas of Canterbury College and Villa Maria College gathered in the Villa auditorium to begin a three month intense training programme that would rival a Mr Newton cross fit session. 

This motley crew of actors, singers, dancers and people who possessed none of these talents were about to undertake practices for the epic musical they call ‘Hello Dolly’. This musical is the story of Dolly, a widowed matchmaker played by Kate Hanning, in her attempts to finally match herself with the old but rich grump of a man Horace Vandergelder (played by our very own Lachlan Gaudin). Meanwhile Horace’s bumbling assistants of Cornelius played by Paddy Hansen (who knew they had afros in the 1890’s) and Barnaby played by Joe Ryan provided the comedy. While Horace is in New York looking for a wife under the instruction of Dolly, Cornelius and Barnaby follow him in the hope of finding love themselves. If this wasn’t enough love for you the artist Ambrose, played by Chris Oorschot (who knew they had sideburns in the 1890’s) had also enlisted the help of Dolly in his quest for love with Horace’s niece.

If this sounds a little too complicated on paper then don’t worry because the chorus members who were filled with year 11’s to year 13’s from St Thomas’ were always there to help with the singing and the dancing to better communicate what was going on. Big songs included ‘When the parade passes by’, ‘It only takes a moment’ and of course ‘Hello Dolly’. The mains put in a lot of effort over the three months of practices to learn an enormous amount of lines, dancing routines and singing but the director, Ms Gordon, and choreographer, Coach Kerri, decided to spend two months creating the ‘Waiters Gallop’. Every practice the waiters (played by most of the St Thomas’ chorus members) would end up puffing and sweating, not to mention often carrying injuries to the knees and feet. In the weekend before the show the cast and crew spent a total of 20 hours practicing over two days including a 12 hour day on the Saturday.

On Monday the 27th April it was show time with a four night season that would make all of the blood (plate tossing and the human nose should not mix), sweat and tears worth it. The season opened with a hiss and a roar and did not let up all week thanks to the warm ups administered by James Rattray and Alex Hansby and the experience of the year 13’s. Despite a combination of boisterous singing, woollen suits, extensive dancing routines and burning stage lights the team put on a firecracker of a show which was at least 95% filled every night and sold-out the last two evenings. It was a very fitting end to a long career for the year 13’s, most of whom began their career in year 7. The St Thomas’ lads would like to thank Ms Gordon, Kerri, Mr McCabe, James the conductor, Ben, Cameron and Connor for helping us to put on an amazing show. Credit should also be given to the crew including Charlie Devine, Matthew Sullivan, Tobi Sunter, Sam Ruffles and the Villa ladies. Overall ‘Hello Dolly’ was a massive success thanks to the work put in by everyone and that is thankfully the end of wearing make up for another year.