The anticipation grows quickly in the audience as the Fairy Godmother comes out onto the stage at GrandWest Casino.
“Where is everyone?” asks the Fairy Godmother.
A shady character who stands elevated among the audience says authoritatively: “Look up!”
The Fairy Godmother hesitates for a moment.
“No! I am the Ghost of GrandWest Past! I am here to take you on a journey back to the year 2013 and to a war between two schools!”
In a heartbeat the stage fills up with 150 Milnerton High School performers and 45 minutes later they are crowned champions of the GrandWest High School Jam competition.
“This competition is open to all schools in the Western Cape,” explains the school’s drama teacher and the architect of the musical, Laura Bosman.
“The school will put a proposal together for a musical extravaganza with singing, dancing and a little bit of acting. The top 10 schools are selected for the preliminary round and then the top three are chosen for the finals. We won, but we are so grateful for the other school’s variety to keep this competition fresh.”
If one listens to the concept behind the winning school’s musical then it is no surprise that they were victorious.
Bosman elaborates on the musical: “There are two schools that are vying for the trophy. One girl from the one school falls in love with a boy from their opposition, goes to their rehearsal, sees what they are doing, tells her school, the two break up and there is a big, fat fight and it all ends when they love each other again.”
I got the impression that Bosman must have told this story a million times before, because she never took a breath during this particular synopsis.
The seed of inspiration for their next performance was first planted when the school won the same competition two years ago.
Bosman mulled over the content for months and then in April this year the rehearsals started.
The show uses songs such as “The Final Countdown” and “Somebody to Love” and then they change the words to suit the musical itself.
The headmaster, Paul Besener, heard them rehearse every now and again, but saw the show for the first time during the preliminary round.
It took his breath away, and he described it as “world class”.
It is still a long time before the next competition, but Bosman reckons it could be a good idea to work together with a few disadvantaged schools next time and share their now extensive experience.