Springwood students ‘on tour’ in Oz with Poppies and Poets production

editorial image
Have your say

Springwood High School students will stage their First World War anniversary production next week ahead of taking the show on tour in Australia.

Every three years, the theatre department at the school write and produce a play which is to be performed by around 30 students ranging from Year 11 to 13.

The students then take the play on tour to Australia for a month, during which time the show is performed in various cities and schools across the country.

Paula Moates, arts faculty administrator, said: “It’s a fantastic experience and they’ll be making about six stops including Melbourne, Sydney and the Blue Mountains. They’ll be doing some sight-seeing but there is also a lot of work in schools – it’s almost like taking a professional touring company.

“The students are home-hosted by families of students over in Australia, so they are really thrown in the deep end with complete strangers and need to be quite outgoing.”

This year, to mark the centenary of the First World Ward, the play is called Poppies and Poets. It focuses on two war poets, a collection of women who worked in the factories, and the other lesser-known true stories of the First World War.

Paula said: “The piece has been written mainly about the lesser-known poets of the First World War and builds a story around their works.”

The cast have raised over £25,000 in order to fund the project through car boot sales, bag packing, talent and fashion shows.

Paula said: “It’s a huge amount of money to have raised but it just shows the determination of the students and their parents to raise the full amount.”

The play is being performed at Springwood High School on July 16, 17 and 18 before students and teachers leave for Australia.