St Andrews’ musical production ends Monday
St Andrews High School in Blantyre on Thursday premiered its adapted musical production titled Hadestown, The Myth, The Musical and two other shows on Friday and Saturday, with the last act of a free community performance set for Monday afternoon.
It is a powerful, rich and mature production that exposes amazing talent from students as they tell the story of writer Anaïs Mitchell, who was inspired by Les Misérables to stitch a musical that is about the power of both romance and politics.
Being a musical, the production was thrilling, with the audience enjoying the story, the acting and the singing with a big cast from students of different ages and grades, who earned their chance through an audition.
The cast started rehearsing in September last year before the performances this year.
The school’s drama teacher Kevin Troughton said the students put up exciting performances throughout the three shows.
“We knew the students would not let us down and they upped their game in each performance. We did not know how the audience would react but we have got positive feedback over the three performances and we are looking forward to another exciting moment on Monday (today) which is a free show for the community,” Troughton said.
With the country grappling with effects of Cyclone Freddy, which has claimed lots of lives and damaged property, part of the proceeds raised during the three shows will be channelled towards survivors of the cyclone.
Chisomo Lipenga, who played Persephone, said she relished starring in the production, which she indicated has so many lessons.
“It was a challenge working on this production. I have done musicals but this is the first time I have played a lead role,” Lipenga said.
Some of members of the cast, who play lead roles in the production, include Deborah Salambula, who plays Orpheus, Temwa Munthali, who stars as Hermes, and Ayla Jacobsberg who plays Eurydice.
This is a play that tells a version of the ancient Greek myth of Orpheus and Eurydice. Eurydice, a young girl looking for something to eat, goes to work in a hellish industrial version of the Greek underworld to escape poverty and the cold, and her poor singer-songwriter lover Orpheus comes to attempt to rescue her.
The story begins with the Greek god Hermes introducing the characters and this is followed by Eurydice and the Fates describing the harsh weather and famine of the setting.
Orpheus, Hermes’ ward, introduces himself to Eurydice and asks her to marry him. Eurydice is doubtful as they both live in poverty.
The climax of the play is a sad one as Orpheus fails to keep Hades (Eugene Namboya) s condition as a secret and overcome by doubt turns around, condemning Eurydice to return to Hadestown.
This is not the first time that St Andrews High School has held such productions as it in the past years also adapted other musical productions.