Pupils, staff, families and friends of Ballard School were dazzled at our latest senior musical production of Singin’ in the Rain over four sold-out performances at our Performing Arts Centre.
This outstanding production, which featured a cast and crew of over 80, has been the culmination of months of hard work, with rehearsals commencing in September 2019. This hard work certainly paid off as spell-bound audiences rose to standing ovations for all performances.
Singin’ in the Rain is a 1952 American musical-romantic comedy film directed and choreographed by Gene Kelly and Stanley Donen, starring Kelly, Donald O’Connor, and Debbie Reynolds. It offers a light-hearted depiction of Hollywood in the late 1920s, with the three stars portraying performers caught up in the transition from silent films to ‘talkies’.
Gene Kelly, the charismatic star of Singin’ in the Rain, is arguably one of the greatest examples of that rare and special performer who is equally talented and skilled in the disciplines of singing, acting and dancing. Taking on this iconic gem of the genre of film musicals for Ballard’s latest senior musical production was no mean feat and Head of Music and Performing Arts at Ballard, Victoria Gray, comments,
“How lucky are we at Ballard to have the talent within our small school to take on the challenging roles these giants of the industry created and immortalised? Our principals have tackled these roles with a maturity beyond their years and have demonstrated incredible commitment and determination throughout the rehearsal process, brilliantly supported by the rest of our enthusiastic cast and crew.”
The memorable production ran from the 11th – 13th February and not only highlighted the talent of the performers but what can be achieved through collaboration. Non-performing pupils formed part of the production team; working tirelessly behind-the-scenes to create and engineer 19 scene changes! In addition, pupils and talented alumni worked on the sound and lighting and hair and make-up. This incredible musical was brought to life with a ten-strong band made up of pupils, staff, parents and alumni.
The production proved to be technically challenging as the school had to recreate various silent movies as part of the plot, however with a dual-cast for the leading roles, each movie had to be shot and edited twice. Ballard was grateful to welcome back talented alumni, who are currently studying film production at university, to assist with these technical challenges. The end results were indeed impressive, with audiences believing they were indeed transported back to the crackling silent movies of the 1920s. The school was delighted to be able to use their new state-of-the-art projection system to full effect for this production.
The principle roles were assigned to Year 11 pupils, for whom it will be their last opportunity to star in a production at the school. Supporting cast, dancers and ensemble were made up from pupils in Years 9 through 11. The lead role of Don Lockwood was played brilliantly by Tom Stalley, whose portrayal of Gene Kelly was uncanny; delivering challenging yet flawless singing and dancing routines. Coincidentally, Tom was awarded a Performing Arts Scholarship when he joined Ballard in Year 7 following his audition piece from Singin’ in the Rain, where he performed the headline number; singing and dancing, complete with umbrella!
Learn more about Ballard’s outstanding arts’ offering here.