Last year in December, the week after all of the students finished up at school, a little bit of magic happened in the Mercedes Hogan Theatre. After an incredibly short rehearsal season, the wonderful students from Year 7, 8 and 9 from OLMC and Marcellin brought to life the production of Mary Poppins.
In July last year, Melbourne once again plunged back into lockdown. We did not know if we would get back on to the stage in 2021. But we forged ahead with the production hoping that we would be able to get some sort of performance opportunity up for the students, although at that stage we were not 100% what it would look like.
With a glimmer of hope in their eyes, students eagerly sent in their Mary Poppins audition videos, unsure of whether or not they would actually get to fly a kite.
This was certainly a Junior Production like no other. We looked at each other many times and thought ‘Will it happen?’... (whilst we crossed all of our fingers and toes). What a year to put on a show! But in the end it happened! A real, on stage performance with an audience. And we could not have been more proud of “A Sprinkle of Sugar”, an abridged version of our original Mary Poppins plan.
The resilience, positivity and the ability to pivot at a moment's notice that the cast and crew showed throughout the entire process was remarkable.
It all started with online auditions and then a series of online rehearsals. Our Tuesday afternoons were filled with eager students, logging on after a day of online learning and participating, chatting and enjoying themselves. It was honestly such a beautiful little community.
At the start of November, we returned to the theatre to resume our rehearsal season in real life. Although it was incredibly brief and filled with starts, stops and challenges, it was also full of amazing moments where we got to see students shining and finding their place with the M2 family. This cast is truly remarkable, and they have reminded us about why this little theatre company is so special.
We were also supported by so many amazing people to help bring to life this production. Last year’s Year 10 Live Production class and our theatre technician Gavin Hocking have worked tirelessly on all of the different aspects required to put on a live performance.
Thanks must go to Mrs Deb Butterworth and Ms Stephanie Boemo for their ability to create and change choreography at a moment’s notice! Our Community Development Coordinator Marie Jenkins went above and beyond, helping to organise everything from fairy lights to umbrellas, and our incredible maintenance team have worked with us every step of the way to help us build a set in record time. Many other staff and students also helped along the way, and we are so grateful.
We would also like to thank Judith Weir and Marco DiCesare for all of their support of the M2 Productions.
Thank you to the wonderful cast and crew for everything they did to put on, what ended up being a very impressive show.
As Ms Poppins herself says, “Anything can happen if you let it!”.
We are now looking forward to our next adventure for the M2 Production Company which will be Matilda! Auditions are open now for students in Year 10 – 12.