Cobham Hall Student Scripts School Production
You would quite rightly expect students to be at the centre of a school production. However, it’s not every day that the play, a musical no less, is written by a student.
Cobham Hall’s recent production, ‘Starwalker’, was entirely penned by Year 12 student April, from the dialogue to the music and lyrics. Speaking prior to the show of the decision to ask April to write this year’s play, Head of Drama Ms Martin explained, “I was so impressed when I saw one of her previous productions that I asked her if she was interested in writing us a show. I knew from previous conversations that she wants to be a playwright for her career so I thought it would be a wonderful opportunity to offer her first commission and help her on her way.”
When asked to summarise the musical, April uses just four words – and that’s more than enough to pique your curiosity: “An Intergalatic Murder Mystery!” With such an imaginative idea, you would be forgiven for thinking that the script and music would have taken a few months to write, given that April was working on it herself. Yet for this budding playwright, it took just six weeks.
The play, a ‘who-dunnit’-style murder mystery, focuses on aspiring actress Lila Melarde, who seeks fame and fortune in the Starwalker theatre. All too soon it becomes evident that not all is what it seems at the Starwalker, with mysterious paranormal murders plaguing the theatre. Many believe the murders are the handiwork of a ghost known as the Starwalker, and its henchmen ‘The Owned’.
But when Lila rejects the company of the narcissitic and bourgeois performers and befriends Eva Tempore and her bizarre production crew, she learns what it really means to be ‘owned’.
The story challenged society’s tendency to stereotype, and demonstrated that often in life, we are surprised when it is the people who are ostracised for being different who are the most caring – for example, of all the Starwalker characters, it is ‘Death’ and ‘Devil’ who are the most loving towards their companions. April also wanted to challenge the inequal status of women, especially young women, in society, making her strongest and most dangerous characters all female.
Afterwards, Headmaster Mr Mitchell commended the production, saying it was inventive and entertaining. Congratulations on an excellent show to all who took part, from being on stage, to working behind the scenes. We look forward to next year’s show!