There was a palpable buzz of excitement as the audience waited for our first home grown production, ‘Name in Lights’, and we were well-rewarded.
Highgrove School of Performing Arts proved to be the setting for this high octane and energetic production. Following the lives of a diverse group of students seeking their moment to shine, the play echoed generations of musicals about teenage angst. This was a school where everybody had different talents and competition for leading roles was tough.
An authoritative Madam Smith registered her students and introduced us to the new girl: Ella, an unassuming student battling stage fright. The role was so ably performed by Josie who captured the student’s vulnerability and ultimately her bravery.
And Ella’s character stood in stark contrast to Suzi Shaw, the show’s unapologetic diva, played with the right mix of swagger and arrogance by Gracie.
Set up as foils, Suzi and Ella seemed unlikely friends. In fact the opposite was the case: one shy and retiring, the other overpowering and confident. However, with the help of Lili (the empathetic peacemaker) Ella conquers her fear, auditions for one of the main roles in the Performing Arts Showcase and befriends Susi to boot.
The cast brought this vibrant school to life performing rousing songs such as ‘Popular’ from Wicked, and ‘From Now On’, the showstopper from the Greatest Showman. All delivered with such gusto.
The eclectic costumes dazzled us too, from neon acrobats to flamboyant drama teachers, even cool mechanics!
Name In Lights was the last Middle School performance that Mr Forster will see while being Headmaster and we’re sure it will be one he will remember, not just for the incredible choreography and singing onstage, but for the dedication and teamwork of all the girls and teachers involved in this breathtaking performance.
The next show to take place in the school with be performed in the new Holroyd Theatre and we can’t wait to see it.
- Georgina, Ariana, Grace, Eloise