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Bigtime: Middle School's larger than life musical

It’s one thing to put on a musical, but another entirely to devise, write, produce and perform one before a sold-out theatre filled with family members and peers.

The biennial Middle School musical Bigtime was conceived by a student crew and cast who were directed by the always passionate and lovingly proclaimed ‘a bit nerdy’ Head of Middle School Mr Todd Harm.

Bigtime ended up exactly as intended; a light-hearted jukebox musical exploring the weird and wonderful world of video gaming, cinema, and music pop culture. 

“The lights were on, the stage was set, people were filling the seats of the beautiful Nairn Theatre. It was time, the Middle School production Bigtime was on and running. Cast Bowser was on first, encouraged by their fellow Cast Mario. The show was incredible, so much thought and effort went into every second of rehearsals and it all paid off on stage.”
— Lyla Edwards, Year 7

There were so many participants this year that the cast of Bigtime was split in two. 

This gave more students the opportunity to undertake different leading and supporting roles.

Cast Bowser’s Crystal Chen, who played the role of Shiloh, says it was a welcome challenge to perform an original musical.

“Because it’s a musical you haven’t seen before, it’s a little bit scary, but it also gives you a sense of freedom because you can interpret the characters however you want to,” she says.

Cast Mario’s Alyssa Fitzgibbon (Shiloh) and Hugh Arthur (Bruce) say that the difficulty and fun factors were increased by the show’s incredible level of technicality.

“Oh my goodness, the tech runs we did were endless, there were just so many cues it was non-stop – at least 20 in every scene,” says Hugh.

“It’s because obviously the musical was meant to be a video game, so we had to really have things like game sounds and other entries, it was a wild ride,” adds Alyssa.

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One of the best things about Bigtime was the camaraderie shared between different year levels and new friends, according to Cast Bowser’s Jack Flanagan (Bruce).

“There are so many people I know at the school now who I didn’t know before,” says Jack. “The cast and I have become much closer as friends, – Bigtime made it so much easier for us to have that connection.”

The entire cast passes on their thanks to Mr Harm for making Bigtime possible.

“Even if it was last thing on a Friday afternoon, when nobody really wanted to do much after sport, Mr Harm always brought a positive vibe and he could just make everyone get on their feet and dance, even after a massive week,” says Hugh. 

“We couldn’t have done this without Mr Harm – everyone looked up to him and it was amazing how much fun he was and how much we related to him,” adds Alyssa.

Planning for the next Middle School musical will likely begin in 2023 for curtains in 2024.