Makayla Medina-Conway played Willy Wonka on opening night of St John’s Musical Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.
St. John’s Anglican College brought the Forest Lake community together in April with its colourful musical production of Roald Dahl’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.
A two and a half-hour long stage-play, the biannual St. John’s musical broke new records for the college, becoming the best-selling of all their previous performances throughout the college’s 30-year history.
Previous records all show the St. John’s auditorium filled to the brim throughout the three days and four performances it held, and were no small feat to break.
Caption: Image: The Oompa Loompas reveal themselves in candyland
During director of both the musical and performing arts Mr Russel Morgan’s time at the college, he has directed and produced performances of The Little Mermaid, Annie, High School Musical and now Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, however he feels his was the best production yet.
“It was the twenty-second show I’ve directed, and it’s pretty rare to get to that point, but we had a really kind, encouraging cast that worked really hard to make it all fall into place.”
Mr Morgan said ecstatic reviews came flying into his inbox after every show.
“I’ve had rave reviews from colleagues, parents, community … people who are connected to and not connected to the school; other drama and arts teachers from around the place that have come to see it…they were pretty blown away by our production and our production quality.
“It’s not just our community that’s coming now, it’s all sorts of people checking us out from different schools and things around the place because they know we do good shows.”
The truth in this statement becomes clear walking into the St John’s foyer at an event such as the musical – the room abuzz with chatter between old friends and colleagues, and decorated with vivid confectionery-themed baubles, photo booths and furniture.
Caption: Image: The Gloops confronted by Makayla Braithwaite’s Wonka
Captivating the audience through his performance, Noah Moss, who starred as Augustus Gloop, was excited to show off the costumes the team and art department worked so hard to create.
“Opening that [candyland] set to the audience was great … right after that the Oompa Loompas came out. I think it was great for the audience to see.”
Caption: Image: The cast find themselves in candyland
Matthew Moss, an old collegian and community member who has performed in previous musicals, now watches his brother from the audience and expressed his pride in his sibling.
“I was very proud of my little brother for stepping up and performing in the role, I’ve always wanted him in a musical and I was so happy to see him having the time of his life there,” he said.
Matthew, who saw the show twice along with many other audience members, said he loved the set pieces and costumes, which were designed and constructed by Ms Brooke McLaughlin and her art team.
“The sets were gorgeous, and the audience reaction to candyland and the Oompa Loompa reveal was phenomenal every time.”
Caption: Image: The full cast and backstage team line up for a group photo
The final showing on Sunday afternoon was met with raucous applause, and an audience leaving with smiles on their faces.