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A tale of two tours: International Drama and Country Music tours

Wesley students have recently been performing in new locales – in the UK and around country Victoria – sharing their talents and passion for the performing arts with new audiences.

While the Wesley calendar is full of on-campus performance opportunities for students involved in cocurricular Performing Arts and Music, the opportunity to travel with likeminded peers and perform to new audiences has a special appeal to students.

To complement the Year 8 Drama ‘Standing Up for Shakespeare’ unit, students in Year 9 have the opportunity to travel to the UK and immerse themselves in the home of Shakespeare on the UK Drama Tour. Middle School students travelled for two weeks on the international tour, performing Pinocchio and Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream for other students, touring the Globe Theatre and participating in acting workshops. One was even led by a Royal Shakespeare Company ghost – demonstrating some inspiring gestures and visual expressions for the young actors.

‘I have learnt so much about performing, history, culture and literature and gained so much knowledge over the tour but nothing exceeds the feeling I had performing to the students. I adored meeting all the students and teachers, making world-wide connections and embracing the culture,’ Olive, Year 9, said. 

Later in the term, Years 5 - 8 students embarked on the Country Music Tour, a biennial expedition, this year to Warrnambool, Hamilton and Geelong. Students performed with the Concert Band or the Dolce Canto choral ensemble, and even collaborated with peers at Iona College in Geelong, joining forces with their music students for a massed finale performance at Iona College on the final day of the tour.

While the students gained a tremendous lot from these experiences, so too it seems did the audience! John Johnson, Director of Drama and Theatre from the Leys School, Cambridge in the UK said, You have a wonderful company of staff and pupils; warm and generous, enthusiastic and eager, the complete antithesis of ‘entitlement’. They were polite and positive and a delight to work with. Their performance of 'A Midsummer Night's Dream' was unapologetic and full of energy and our pupils loved it.’