40 years of Drama Productions and Musicals at Macleans College

Posted on July 24, 2020

As Macleans College celebrates 40 years, we take a look back at our school history.

The annual drama productions and musicals are always a highlight on the Macleans College calendar.

The first official record of a drama production at Macleans College was Macbeth in June 1981.  The school used a minimum of props and no scenery except for a slide projector.  Costumes were made by students, with assistance from their parents and the costume and make-up crew.  The biggest expense was the tomato sauce which was used in plentiful quantities for the blood of Banquo and King Duncan!

The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole in 1989 was the first full-length drama production to be staged in the newly built auditorium.  For the first time the production were able to have a set, which was built under the guidance of Mr Lindgreen and the Form 6 design technology crew.  This allowed the action to take place on two levels and the space available was far superior to anything seen in Rutherford House commons.  Roger Bourne (Rutherford House 1988 - 1992) created a wonderful portrayal of Adrian Mole.  The highlight of the show was Marc Figgins (Kupe House 1987 - 1990) in the role of the bully Barry Kent, with his song “Sorry Gotta Do It”.

40 years of Drama Productions and Musicals

The first full-length Shakespearean production to be held in the auditorium was Romeo and Juliet in 1992.  A talented cast was led by Jeremy Harrison (Hillary House 1990 - 1994) playing Romeo opposite Rebecca Relf (Te Kanawa House 1992 - 1995) as Juliet.  The set design was taken up a notch and costuming was superb.  The tireless efforts of all involved produced a show that was, for the first time, sold out on all four nights.

In 1996 Macleans College staged its first full scale musical, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat.  Actors became singers and experienced dancers, beautiful costumes and makeup transformed students into wives of Hebrews, servants of a Pharaoh and even the King himself – Elvis!  The set movers, painters, musical band, light and sound crew were extraordinary, using their gifts to make this production the best yet.

The 2012 musical production of the Wizard of Oz broke the two cardinal rules of show business – never work with small children or animals!  In addition to the Macleans College cast of 45, the school also recruited 35 Year 4 and 5 students from Pigeon Mountain Primary School to be Munchkins, and two dogs, Paddy the Jack Russell and Oscar the Terrier, to take on the role of Dorothy’s faithful companion, Toto.

The bar continues to be set high with impressive performances of The Addams Family, Cats, Miss Saigon and The Drowsy Chaperone in more recent times.