Picture gallery: “The last word shall be the play” for performing arts students at Banovallum

As part of their BTEC Performing Arts Component 2, Y11 students at Banovallum School staged their own interpretation of Timberlake Wertenbaker’s ‘Our Country’s Good’.

The play charts the First Fleet and colonisation of Australia in the late 18th Century.

Banovallum play

Banovallum play

It is an adaptation of Thomas Kennelly’s The Playmaker, based on the historical events which occurred in 1788.

The students were tasked with developing and performing a piece of repertory theatre in the style of Bertolt Brecht’s Epic Theatre.

They watched the theatre company,‘Ramps on the Moon’s adaptation earlier on in the year.

Ramps on the Moon integrate disabled and non-disabled performers and practitioners in recognition of the under representation and employment of disabled people throughout the theatrical industry.

The epic play tells of the astonishingly true story of a group of convicts and a fledgling officer who rehearse and perform a play – Australia’s first theatrical production.

With hostility from higher ranking officers and a leading lady who may be hanged, the odds are stacked against them.

The play within a play enables the convicts and officers alike to question the morality of punishment and the redemptive power of theatre.

The play within a play is George Farquhar’s Comedy of Manners hit The Recruiting Officer.

Year 9 Performing Arts students have been working towards their introductory assessment; an original devised performance inspired by Farquhar’s play.

The play dates from 1706 and tells of the underhand methods used to recruit men to the army and women to marriage!

A chaotic plot of disputed paternity, duplicitous identities, arguments and family disownment lends itself perfectly to their mod ern day setting of The George Farquhar Show, a take on the dysfunctional Jeremy Kyle show.

The show was a whole school affair, with members of staff lending props, purpose built set pieces and costumes created.

Additional lighting and tech support was provided by Lincoln Lighting, which provided the coup-de-theatre to complement the acting skills on stage.

The school has said a special than you to Theresa Swinson, who donated and sourced many raffle prizes.

The profits from the show and raffle will all be ploughed into future productions.