Every two years, the extremely talented students and staff of BSB come together to present a musical production which thrills and entertains the rapturous audiences that join us here on campus. This year we have been proud to present BARNUM, the story of the great entertainer and producer who gave his name to a brand of flamboyant showmanship unequalled in the world at that time.
The show details PT Barnum’s career from 1835, when he started his professional career as a brash promoter, to 1881, when, older and wiser, but no less confident in his unique promotional skills, he teamed up with James A. Bailey to form a grander-than-life attraction – The Greatest Show on Earth.
Working closely with his wife Charity to create unbelievable attractions in a variety of ways, Barnum’s story is full of exotic locations and extraordinary characters, such as the Swedish Nightingale Jenny Lind, Joice Heth, the oldest woman alive, and the smallest man in the world Tom Thumb. And of course, this version of PT’s journey is told through a collection of wonderful songs and set pieces which truly bring his incredible story to life.
The wait for this year’s musical was worth every minute and BARNUM will no doubt be long remembered alongside the many enjoyable, entertaining, and exceptional shows that have gone before it here at BSB.
“Sometimes the spectacle is such that we forget all about the hard work that has gone on for months before to bring this incredible performance to the stage,” said BSB Principal Melanie Warnes. “As impressive as the finished product itself can be, the dedication, the commitment, the courage and resilience that our performers and backstage team have shown to create the final show has been equally astounding.”
“The whole process can be a life-changing experience for those involved and many of our students embraced this opportunity to grow and flourish, as was evident every time the curtain went up,” she added.
“The challenge and joy of directing this show has been the bringing together of so many varied elements, whilst keeping the narrative of the story at the fore,” said director Jane Whitehouse, Department Leader Drama. “I am blessed to work with a group of wonderfully inspiring colleagues in music, technical theatre, design, and choreography, who have been crucial to the show’s success. I would also like to praise the unerring positivity of our cast and crew, who have faced countless hours of rehearsal with enthusiasm, good humour, and resilience.”
‘There was an absolute wealth of talent in the young cast,’ said musical director, Christi-Ann Nancarrow, Faculty Leader of the Arts, ‘with several of our principles, including our fabulous ‘Barnum’, coming from year 10, as well as some ‘old timers’ from year 13! They all showed real maturity during rehearsals and the sense of teamwork within the cast was tremendous. The music in the show is categorised as ‘difficult’ but I knew out students and staff would embrace the challenge, rise to the occasion and deliver a great show. Throughout ‘Barnum’ the students on stage and in the pit exceeded my expectations: the thrill of each performance was simply unforgettable. Thanks to all students and staff involved in creating this wonderful experience. It was great working with you all!’
We are incredibly proud of the staff and all the students involved in this year’s show and congratulate them on creating such a run of magnificent musical evenings for us all.
Enjoy the highlights from the show below!