When a global pandemic thwarted their production of the Broadway musical Wicked last year, students at Newcastle Grammar School were not deterred.
Instead they focused on delivering a ‘popular’ show.
When the curtains were raised on the long-awaited production on Wednesday night, assistant director Laura Dawson said the atmosphere was electric.
“We had an amazing night,” she said.
“I am so proud of what our students have produced.”
The school’s version of the hit Broadway musical was scheduled to hit the stage in June 2020.
“The students have been eagerly waiting to bring the show to life since it was postponed last year because of the COVID-19 pandemic,” Ms Dawson said.
“That made it all the more emotional on opening night.
“There were lots of tears of pride and joy, and probably relief.”
The three-hour performance has been well-received, Ms Dawson said.
“We’ve received rave reviews from the audience who’ve said they absolutely loved the show – we’re thrilled with that,” she said.
“It’s a difficult show to produce.”
The cast of 45, ranging from Year 6 to Year 12, were joined by two school alumni, including one of the stars, 18 year-old Ned Fagan.
Wicked tells the story of Elphaba and Glinda, two young witches in the Land of Oz, who meet at sorcery school.
Despite their differences, green-skinned misunderstood outcast Elphaba and pretty and popular Glinda form an unlikely friendship.
As their powers grow, encounters with the Wonderful Wizard of Oz and a host of magical creatures threaten their bond and set the ambitious witches on the road to fulfilling their destinies.
The production includes musical numbers such as “Popular”, “Defying Gravity” and “For Good” as well as an array of colourful characters who journey through sets and costumes.
Wicked will be on stage at the Civic Theatre Newcastle from 10th to 13th March.
This is the first time the school has performed at the Civic Theatre.
Based on Gregory Maguire’s 1995 novel Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West, the award-winning musical is a retelling of the beloved characters and events of L. Frank Baum’s The Wizard of Oz.
The musical premiered on Broadway in 2003, London in 2006 and in Australia in 2008.
Wicked will run at Newcastle Civic Theatre from Wednesday 10 to Saturday 13, March.
Tickets are available at the door, seating is limited.