by Connie Short, Communications Intern
With a tradition stretching back over two decades, Emmanuel’s Theatre Restaurant — written, directed, produced and performed by students — is a highlight of the College’s cultural calendar. This year’s production, The Book of Morgan, stole the hearts and won the applause of all.
Including a smorgasbord of Disney musical classics and contemporary songs from highly successful musicals such as Wicked, The Book of Morgan followed the journey of two rangers, Harald and Siegfried, and their merry company as they take on the woods in pursuit of Little Red Riding Hood and a very misunderstood Big Bad Wolf.
Produced by 2017 Cultural Convenor and now alumnus Gianni Balatti-Hill, The Book of Morgan celebrated the edgy humour resounding in musicals such as The Book of Mormon, Avenue Q and The Producers in a plot featuring established fairy tale and nursery rhyme characters reminiscent of Into the Woods and Shrek.
Gianni’s passion for producing his own script inspired him to write the 2018 Theatre Restaurant production for Emmanuel. “I wanted to create a Disney and Shrek-like fairy tale of my own. I’m a huge fan of the Disney classics and realised from my time at College that I hadn’t seen much inspiration drawn from them in previous productions. So it was a no brainer to include themes and songs from The Lion King, Beauty and the Beast and Aladdin in my own work.”
From there, over several months of planning, Gianni scripted the production, before handing his masterpiece over to this year’s Cultural Convenors, Tammy Mellish and Islwyn Wilson, to cast and direct. “Admittedly, I was nervous handing my ‘baby’ over to someone else to direct and work with, but that’s all part of the process. You just have to have faith that they’ll pull it off and they definitely did. It’s amazing to see how the College has grown so much in cultural talent,” Gianni said.
As the only college to host its own Theatre Restaurant, Emmanuel is proud to give our young playwrights, actors, musicians, choreographers, costumers, and prop and set designers this unique opportunity to showcase their talents. Parents, alumni, staff, friends of the College and, of course, fellow students are privileged to enjoy this spectacular every year.