This has been a production season like no other and when recognising the hard work of this amazing cast, the students who so willingly understudied throughout the rehearsal process should be congratulated and acknowledged. Without the assurance of playing those roles in performances, students enthusiastically volunteered to cover unavoidable absences to ensure we have a production to share with you today – my sincerest thanks to a cast that kept this show going. The ‘Bugsy Malone’ rehearsal season had been about a spirit of inclusiveness and a strong team culture towards a common goal. The cast members were generous, kind, thoughtful and hard-working during a season that fluctuated with uncertainty and an ever-changing rehearsal environment.

There are many parents, colleagues and theatre professionals who assisted in putting this show together – thank you to all who supported our 2022 Aquinas College Production. I am extremely appreciative to have worked with an incredibly talented staff and student Creative Team, who’s vision and ideas were the driving strength behind every scene, moment, song, and choreographed movement within the show. Their combined student-centred approach and attention to detail is what has made this experience dynamic and worthwhile. I’d like to especially thank our Musical Director, Mr Chris McMillan, who’s expertise and outstanding musicianship have raised the calibre of this production to a standard worthy of the Heath Ledger Theatre.

‘Bugsy Malone’ is a musical that has everything – fun songs, memorable characters, and a quirky script. It is a musical that somehow connects so well with young actors. We hope you enjoyed it!

Sonja Vaswani

This production marked the beginning of another chapter in the College’s long-standing history of musical theatre productions, and we welcomed Mrs Sonja Vaswani to the Arts team at Aquinas in the role of Director.

Beginning the year in the grips of a pandemic made the rehearsal process for this show a challenge. Our students rehearsed outdoors in small groups in the early stages. They covered each other’s roles when some were in isolation and learnt their parts online where necessary, displaying admirable versatility and persistence. Whilst many schools made the decision to cancel their show for this year, we are proud to have persevered and to have finally arrive at the point of production at the incredible State Theatre.

Our admiration and thanks to all students in the cast and their families for being prepared to work with us in these unusual times. My thanks also to the incredibly talented staff who so willingly gave their time and expertise.

Musically, the preparation for our show was interesting. When Alan Parker decided to direct Bugsy Malone for film in 1976 using child actors, many of the young stars cast then were younger than most of our cast members are. Consequently, many of the resulting recordings of the show feature children’s voices. Our challenge was to produce a more mature sound than the original recordings – another task which was willingly accepted by our students! We hope you enjoyed their efforts in bringing ‘Bugsy Malone’ to life.

Chris McMillan
Music Director