Published on: Thursday, November 24, 2022

As the set is dismantled and the costumes tidied away, the catchy tune of Shiny! and You’re Welcome continues to be sung by all who watched the senior prep school production. 

As the set is dismantled and the costumes tidied away, the catchy tune of Shiny! and You’re Welcome continues to be sung by all who watched the senior prep school production.

The younger children pretend to be Maui and Moana sailing their boats across the Rose Garden and others remember with a smile the wonderful show they had the pleasure to see.

At King’s Hall we continually choose productions that encourage children to take on challenges and really show the best that they can be. Moana Jr brought together Year 8 and several keen Year 7s, to achieve an amazing musical which had the ‘wow’ factor.

From the moment they auditioned in June to the night of the final performance in November, every child grew and developed in so many ways. For the Year 8s, this was the first time they had properly been on stage since Year 4, having missed out on a Year 6 play due to Covid.

The standard of their acting, singing and dancing grew in leaps and bounds along with their creativity and imagination. As the weeks progressed it was evident that the key learning from this production, and in fact from participating in any form of drama, has been the development of skills that the children most need in the future, namely the transferable life skills such as bravery, teamwork, collaboration, commitment, resilience, focus, discipline, courage, determination and confidence.

Moana Jr transported us into the rich world of Oceania. Motunui is a fictional island, but it is inspired by the cultures and peoples of the Pacific Islands. The audience followed the story of strong-willed Moana as she found the courage and strength to sail across the Pacific to save her village and discover the truth about her heritage.

With respect for the culture of the Pacific Islanders, the costumes were created by a dedicated team of parents using traditional fabrics and designs, and the cast looked amazing. The beautiful backdrop of tropical leaves and flowers painted by Mrs Aladin and several artistic pupils, along with the Polynesian boat made by our expert carpenter Mr Short, really set the scene for the cast to tell the beautiful story of Moana.

Having three Moanas who appeared in sequence throughout the play was a success, as each Moana was very talented and played to their singing and acting strengths. No one can forget the song How Far I’ll Go sung so beautifully by Annie and accompanied by the wonderful Ocean Ensemble who created visual ocean waves with material fans and material strips.

Ffion, the second Moana, delighted the audience with her humour and natural ability on stage with the fantastic crab Tamatoa played with confidence and flair by Frankie and her claws by Thomas and Chris.

Lizzy as the final Moana impressed the audience with her strong acting and determination to fight Te Ka, who was portrayed by Isobel along with Roger operating a huge mask to represent the evil creature.

Maui, who was confidently played by James, was instantly liked by all due to his charisma, mannerisms, clear expressive voice and ability to draw the audience into the story and believe in the adventure.  

All the main characters from the loveable caring Gramma played by Kate, to the fun pig and chicken friends of Moana, Pua (Natasha) and Hei Hei (Tilly), Chief and Sina (Henry and Tabitha) and the singing, narrating ancestors (Delilah, Grace and Barnie) told the story with vibrancy.

The ensembles were key to the show, dancing and singing. Several songs were in Oceanic languages Samoan and Tokelauan.

Choreography was complex and eye catching. Lighting and special effects made the Gate Monsters look fabulous and Tamotoa’s lair glowed with fluorescent paint and shininess. One of the most memorable scenes was Shiny! with glow sticks illuminating the stage and the actors having a ball!

Backstage a team of Year 8 worked tirelessly behind the scenes on props, set, lights and sound. The skills learnt by this hidden team were invaluable and they all loved being part of the overall team, without the pressures of appearing on stage.

The Cast, under the skilled direction of Mrs Keirle, musical direction of the very talented Mr Dayus-Jones and the modern technical direction of Mr Eyers certainly achieved a musical production which will go down on the long list of memorable shows at King’s Hall.

Share this story: