Last Thursday, 58 Avondale College students travelled into the Aotea Centre for ShowQuest 2021. As the first school timetabled to rehearse on the stage at 8.30am and the last school (out of 11 schools) to perform that night, it was a long day, but our students, ably led by leaders Izzy Hosie and Izzy Simmons, kept focused and positive all day.
Last minute creases were ironed out in the performance, sore legs were bandaged, costumes were fitted, rats’ tails were re-sewn, LOTS of makeup was applied and Avondale’s ShowQuest performance was all set to go!
The overall quality of the performances from other schools was very high – our old Stage Challenge rivals have upped their game with dramatic concept, live music and video walls, as well as increasingly sophisticated choreography.
Avondale’s performance this year was based on the fable of the Pied Piper. When the Mayor refuses to pay him for ridding the town of a terrible infestation of rats (wearing stunning masks made by Mr Jamie Smith and his wonderful props team), the Piper (Keon Hall channelling Jimi Hendrix) lures the children away with a social media message telling them to “follow” him. The townsfolk can only look on in horror and regret as their children, glued to their phones, are led away, leaving us with the sobering message of how easy it is for young people to be manipulated by their devices.
Although we didn’t place in the top three schools this year, we came away with the prize for the Best Costumes (this was a real acknowledgement of the hours of work that went into making them) and we had several teachers from other schools congratulating us on our slick and dramatic performance.
This is Mr Les Hughes’ 20th and final ShowQuest performance for Avondale College. He started with leading the Stage Challenge cast and crew in 1999 and when Stage Challenge became Show Quest in 2019, he oversaw that transition. His artistic vision, patience and humble leadership has seen Avondale produce incredible shows and this year was no exception.
Congratulations to the Izzies, the whole cast, the props, makeup, lighting, costume and video teams and to Mr Smith and Mr Jeremy Foster for his energetic warm ups and drama tips.
Final thanks must go to Les Hughes though – we have all been learning at the hands of a real master and he leaves very big boots to fill.
- Ms Carolyn Medland