Students rock the stage

May 20, 2024

Year 12 student Ted Turnbull-Gent (centre) and his School of Rock castmates entertained audiences with their talent, energy and humour.

St Patrick’s College has rocked its first major production in the new Performing Arts Centre, wowing audiences with an outstanding display of talent, energy and joy.

After months of rehearsals, more than 50 students from Years 7-12 presented four performances of School of Rock The Musical from 15-18 May, leaving audiences buzzing with excitement.

Based on the film of the same name, School of Rock follows the story of Dewey Finn, a failed, wannabe rock star who decides to earn a few extra bucks by posing as a substitute teacher at a prestigious prep school.

Year 12 student Ted Turnbull-Gent was exceptional as Finn, entertaining audiences with his energy and humour, and was superbly supported by Year 12 student Josh Retallick, who played Finn’s easily-manipulated longtime friend and roommate, Ned Schneebly.

Year 12 students Josh Retallick (Ned Schneebly) and Ted Turnbull Gent (Dewey Finn) with their School of Rock castmates.

The pair provided many memorable moments on stage and were wonderful leads for younger students George Rogers (Zach Mooneyham), Jordan Thompson (Freddy Hamilton), Riley Hayes (Mason Ward), Henry Gilbert (Kyle), Noah Young (Lawrence), Benny Eckel (Theo) and Will Vanderkley (Billy Sanford), who delivered excellent performances in their own right.

School of Rock director and Head of Drama Monique Allen said it was an honour to work with such a talented group of performers, which also included Loreto College and Ballarat and Clarendon College students Riley Shaw (Rosalie Mullins), Josephine Brodie (Patty Di Marco), Ella Howlett (Tomika Spencer-Williams) Addison Muller (Summer Hathaway), Gemma Harbour (Marcy) Ella Morris (Mrs Hathaway) and Isabelle Roberts (Maddison).

The School of Rock cast included students from Loreto College and Ballarat Clarendon College.

“Working on a show as funny as this one has required strong comedic performances and even after seeing it countless times, they still crack me up!” Ms Allen said.

“This palpable sense of joy permeated all our rehearsals and has motivated me since auditions late last year.”

Ms Allen said the impact of having a dedicated space to perform could not be underestimated.

“It is inspiring to step into a space as magnificent as our new Performing Arts Centre and the incredible sense of belonging that our cast and crew have fostered is an important outcome of having their own space within the College that is dedicated to their craft,” she said.

“I feel so lucky to be able to teach and direct shows in this facility and I see firsthand the very real connection it draws between our students and their place in the traditions of St Patrick’s College.”

Students rocking the stage during the matinee performance.

Principal Steven O’Connor praised the cast and crew, which also included a live band made up of Simon Peake, Roger Knight, Chrissy Schule, Tom Forsyth and John Sullivan, for delivering such a professional and enjoyable performance.

“Major school productions take an enormous amount of time and energy to rehearse and prepare to the point where it is ready to present. I congratulate all involved, but in particular, I wish to thank Ms Monique Allen (Director), Ms Samantha Bashford-Leger (Assistant Director and Choreographer), Mr Oscar Wilson (Vocal Director), Mr Matthew Pankhurst (Musical Director) and Ms Karina Dunne (Backstage Manager),” he said. 

“A hearty congratulations to all SPC students in the cast and crew – you have done a wonderful job, and it was terrific to see you having so much fun and bringing so much joy to your audiences!”