Song Contest: The Almost Eurovision Experience

Song Contest: The Almost Eurovision Experience is a kaleidoscope of musical diversity, elaborate choreography, and flamboyant costumes, echoing the essence of the Eurovision Song Contest over its 68-year history.

“Trust your inner vision, don’t let others change your mind 
Get a run for your money and take a chance and it’ll turn out right.”  

 Making Your Mind Up, Bucks Fizz  
Winning entry of the 1981 Eurovision Song Contest  


As the final curtain has fallen on Song Contest: The Almost Eurovision Experience, I extend my heartfelt congratulations to the exceptional cast, crew, band, and production team.  

The journey to this performance has been one of dedication and passion. Our diligent cast worked tirelessly over 12 weeks of rehearsals, held on Friday afternoons and Sundays to hone their skills in character development, scene blocking, and the intricate elements of lyrics, harmonies, and choreography. Embracing the challenges of this unique musical, they delved into a variety of music and dance styles, cultural nuances, and accents, enriching their artistic repertoire. 

Song Contest: The Almost Eurovision Experience is a kaleidoscope of musical diversity, elaborate choreography, and flamboyant costumes, echoing the essence of the Eurovision Song Contest over its 68-year history. The Musical is an Australian work, penned by Glynn Nichols and Bev Killick, which premiered in Melbourne in 2016. Its infectious energy, eccentric characters and flashy songs serve as a loving parody of the real thing. It is one of the loudest musicals we have ever staged, as audiences across all four of our performances embraced the immersive and interactive format, clapping and cheering at every opportunity. 

Our rendition of Song Contest was a celebration of music, culture, and the universal language of song, but also offered a platform to explore the geopolitical history, conflicts, and innovations that have shaped contemporary Europe. It serves as a poignant reminder of music’s extraordinary power to bridge divides and foster unity. 

This production would not have been possible without the remarkable efforts of our production team. Choreographer, Miss Talia Di Mitrio, created dynamic and engaging dances to suit each of the song styles. Mr Frank Blakiston and Mrs Kate Denmead worked admirably with the cast in rehearsals for their songs, and assembled and led a fantastic band, which also featured Grace McLaughlin (Year 11), one of our talented percussionists. Our first sing through with the band (the Sitzprobe*), a week and a half before we opened – gave the cast a huge lift – the energy in the room was electric. Mrs Lisa Gionfriddo was able to ensure that every costume piece was a comfortable fit, Mr Lachlan Campbell did a power of work to make sure the band and cast were well mixed and balanced (with the added challenge of clappers), and Ms Kathryn Lucas worked alongside performers to assist with direction, character, and focus.  

As soon as the process reaches production week, almost every aspect of the Show is handed over to students to manage. This is a source of great pride in our Senior School shows. Stage Manager, Ashleigh Jakobovits (Year 11) led a team of six in the backstage crew, who worked incredibly hard to ensure everything in the performance was undertaken safely and effectively. The sound, lighting, and AV operation for this production were particularly challenging, given the ambitious nature of their design, but the expert team of four students rose to the challenge. The VCE Theatre Studies class took on the challenge of designing a wide range of the costume, makeup, lighting states and properties that appeared in the Show, along with their own acting and direction skills. For her Unit 3 study, Lilla Barrington (Year 12) produced and taught the choreography and directed the scenes for both Italy and Sweden, along with the development of her five different characters across the Show. We even had 32 ushers assist with the front of house. It may take a village to raise a child, but it takes a city to raise a musical. 

Finally, the cast of 24 were simply fantastic. Their progress and growth from the very first rehearsal to the final night was a joy to behold. Led by the energy and enthusiasm of many of our superlative performers, including starlet Scarlet Russell (Year 12), the group continued to gel as a cohesive cast and fostered a greater understanding of the style of the Show across rehearsal process.  

For many – including a number of our Year 12 contingent – this was their first production on stage at St Catherine’s. The production provided opportunities to showcase the brilliance and talents of our senior performers. The confidence and collaborative skills this process has given them will be invaluable for their future endeavours. Well done to the UK, Sweden, and Norway (x2!) for topping the table across the four Shows. 

I am immensely grateful and proud of all the students and staff involved in every aspect of this production. Their hard work and creativity have been instrumental in bringing this show to life. Their integrity, kindness, and passion for theatre has created a nurturing and inspiring environment, allowing everyone to excel and shine their brightest. 



Mr James Brown

Head of Performing Arts

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