Brendan Murray

Daylesford College students restored and enlivened a proud tradition with their first post-COVID production, The Pirates of the Curry Bean. Yep, puns galore. Too many to keep track of, but the laughs, the chuckles and the occasional thigh slapper kept up throughout the performance, the season finale.

It was a sparkling evening with costume, stage craft and timing all coming together for a genuine crowd pleaser, ably driven by student and staff musicians in the pit.

But as ever, the real delight was in seeing the young performers, their dedication and investment in their goal, to make this performance great. Students from every spectrum of the school were giving their best.

From the principal actors, who project with an ease and confidence that seems beyond their years, to the supporting cast who sing, dance, change costume, hold their stances, grin at each other and all the rest of it. It is joyful and it is teamwork.

And then there are the cameos. The extra bright sparks. The naturals. It’s not quite their time yet, but their time will come.

It has often been observed that many of the students performing can be fairly low profile in class, but on stage they are giving it their all. The College is to be commended for re-making that opportunity.

Teacher of Drama, Mr Wayne Pickering, has shepherded through 39 years of productions at Daylesford College. Being closing night, members of the cast took the moment to express a very heartfelt gratitude to Mr Pickering, saying that he created a safe place, and a great place, to explore and invent. In customary deflection, he handed the credit to the students, their commitment, their imagination and their willingness to try.

It was a marvellous evening.  You know when your face hurts from smiling and laughing – it was like that. It was a real symbol of emerging from a pandemic and re harnessing the wellspring of creativity.

All of the audience members will be looking forward to the 2024 production.

Brendan Murray is a local resident and a former teacher at Daylesford College.