On Tuesday 1 August, some of the St Mary’s College students attended the acclaimed theatre company ‘Shake and Stir’ performance of Dracula at the Brolga Theatre.
The focus of the Year 12 English studies has been the representation of discrimination, the use and abuse of power and the strength of human spirit in the face of adversity. The students benefited from the visual and aural experience which enhanced their understanding of the creative process and how choices made by creators of the texts elicit responses from their audiences. This is particularly useful as part of their preparation for the QCS Test in late August.
The show kept everyone on the edge of their seats with some amazing technical wizardry such as a revolving stage of different levels and entryways, atmospheric soundtrack, moody lighting and of course lots of blood! It is clear why this show has won some awards for its stage design.
At the end of the show some students had the chance to stay and ask questions during a Q&A session with the cast. Some of the questions that the students asked were ‘How do you maintain motivation on a show tour?’. The cast replied that the momentum of the show was kept due to the great pacing and script adaptation. It was a very action packed and fun show to be in so the cast didn’t have difficulty keeping up motivation. Another question was ‘How does the fake blood system work?’ while the cast didn’t want to give away too many technical tricks they did say that they used a lot of theatrical tricks that originated in the era that Dracula was written by Bram Stoker. The cast revealed other secrets that helped them get into character such as trying to see through the eyes of the (demented) characters. Putting on makeup also helped. When asked if they have ever tripped on the revolving stage they replied that they have been trained to safely fall and make it look like it is part of the show if it ever happens. Aside from the traditional theatre conventions and tricks used they said that they were also influenced by contemporary TV shows that are set in that period such as Penny dreadful.
Student Chloe Lewis said that the show was ‘amazing and the fanciest show that she had seen in Maryborough. I loved it’ Some other quotes from students include:
The show has a wonderful blend of modern technology and traditional theatre tricks and illusion which proved that watching a live theatre show is still relevant and exciting today.