The Spring Musical: Once Upon a Mattress

TIM BARNSLEY PHOTOGRAPHY: High School Spring Musical April 18th 2017 &emdash;

Finding that one activity that suits your interest and incorporates a diverse set of skills from many of the extra-curricular activities in our school is very challenging. For me, the activity that embodies all my set of skills would be being a part of this year’s musical “Once Upon a Mattress,” which ran from 20-22 of April at the UNIS Theatre. The talent of the amazing cast and Ms. Twynam-Perkins’ artistic vision makes this play fresh and great! Here are a few words from Ms. Twynam-Perkins, the director herself, stating why this musical was an unmissable show:

“This year the spring musical takes us back to the golden age of musical theatre with a whimsical retelling of the Princess and the Pea. The cast, crew, and band that have assembled and really illustrated the strength and depth of the creative, musical and theatrical talent at the school.  It will be a fun evening entertainment for all the family.”

TIM BARNSLEY PHOTOGRAPHY: High School Spring Musical April 18th 2017 &emdash;


As the conversation emerged deeper into the real meaning of theatre and what the play does for our UNIS community, I also asked what the play can specifically do for the new young talents within our school.

“When working with youth in a theatre setting I have two main focuses,” Ms. Twynam-Perkins said. “I see production as an opportunity for students to further develop and apply the skills they learn from drama classes in a realistic environment.

“Firstly, I focus on getting the show blocked and rehearsed to a standard that is ready for performance. It is important for students who are wishing to be involved with a production of any kind to realise that yes it is fun, but the fun is a pay off for all the hard work and discipline they need.

“Secondly, I focus on building rehearsal and performance skills in all the students involved. From basic skills such as making sure you cheat out when on stage for some of the newer students to production or specific character development and acting skills for the more experienced students.”

Finally, I asked what Ms. Twynam-Perkins would hope the experience would be for the audience of the show and what it could do for them, and her final response was: “I hope the production of ‘Once Upon a Mattress’ captures the fun of the characters, the pure enjoyment of the performers, and mostly that it gives the audience hours of where they can just relax and enjoy the show without the need to be connected to the outside world. I want them to get caught up in the fun and frivolity of this well known and loved fairy tale.”

TIM BARNSLEY PHOTOGRAPHY: High School Spring Musical April 18th 2017 &emdash;

The most cherished and exciting part of theatre is the bond created between students who share similar interests. Within the cast I have asked the stars of the play, lead Bea Campilan, young comedian Max Knight, and thriving theatre lover Kathleen Sharman.

These are their opinions of being part of the cast this year and their experience:

Bea: “The costumes this year are pretty cool and the fact that everyone will be dancing in heels, while terrifying, is exciting. Even though the cast is not as big as previous musicals, I feel like this year’s musical will be just as good as before. As Winnifred, I’m most excited about getting to sleep in the bed. I’m not that great with heights, but I’ve never had to climb tall structures for a role before. She’s also such an extravagant, loud, unexpected “princess” that every time I read her lines, I feel like I could always give more energy. It’s such a great role to play because I can go crazy and people would probably think it’s just a part of her character.”

Max: “Looking forward to that scene in which Bea goes to bed while Maia sings – it has a nice atmosphere. I’m excited to play the mute king, as he is mute, and hopefully to be a role model to people who are mute.”

Kate: “Everyone should look forward to this musical because it’s nothing like you’ve ever seen before. Taking a classic fairy tale and putting such a fun twist. It leaves fresh and new feelings. It’s one of those shows that you need to come in knowing to expect the unexpected. I’m very excited because this is my first musical at UNIS, and I get to spend my time playing the character of Minstrel, a fun-loving medieval musician with a huge heart who wants the best for everyone. Bringing this character to life is a lot of fun, especially because this role pushes me in both my acting and singing. I love a challenge.”

With the inside scoop of the UNIS talent who worked hard for the past months for the recent UNIS play, “Once Upon a Mattress”, come support future theatrical performances as the contributors share their marvelous experience.


All Photographs by Tim Barnsley