Mentone Grammar has an enviable reputation in the performing arts so what better way to celebrate our centenary than with a showcase of music, dance and drama!

Held on Wednesday 14 June at the iconic 1920s Palais Theatre in St Kilda, the Centenary Showcase took us on a very special journey through the decades beginning of course in the 1920s as the school was born and ending in the new twenties of today as we celebrate our 100-year milestone. 

A cast of over 200 students, staff and Mentonians delighted the packed theatre with a dazzling array of numbers representative of each era and a few highlights from some of the School’s iconic performances over the years. 

The show began with a spellbinding Welcome to Country that saw Wurundjeri Elder, Murrundindi Hunter accompanied in perfect harmony by Year 6 student Scarlett P on Didgeridoo.  

It was a thrill to welcome a number of past students back as performers, musicians and stagecraft professionals. Anna Mallows from the Class of 2017 delivered a stunning solo performance of ‘Don’t Rain on My Parade’, and Blake Fischer’s (Class of 1992) moving rendition of ‘You Raise Me Up’ left the audience in awe.  

In true COVID cancelling style, the senior productions of ‘Chicago’ in 2021 and ‘Jekyll & Hyde’ in 2020 were never performed in front of live audiences. It was wonderful to welcome Ella McNair (Class of 2021) to reprise her lead role as Velma Kelly in a brilliant Chicago medley, as well as Dominique Doig (Class of 2022), Harrison Dart (Class of 2020) and Felix O’Neill-Pugh (Class of 2020) who finally had their chance to shine as Emma Carew, Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde in a haunting medley from the original show. 

Musicians, singers and dancers ranging from Year 4 to Year 12 together with many Mentonians delivered outstanding performances from the iconic 1940s record ‘Sunnyside of the Street’ and a 1950s Elvis medley to a 1970s ‘Mamma Mia’ medley and the 1990s power ballad, ‘Nothing Else Matters’ by Metallica.  

One of the most memorable elements of the show was most definitely ‘Mal the Musical’ celebrating the life and times of Principal Mal Cater, created by MC for the evening and Head of Dance and Drama, Jamie McCarney, together with Mentonian and Mal ‘look-alike’ Ned Dixon (Class of 2012). Expertly performed by a group of amazingly talented students, including additional ‘mini-Mals’ Year 11 student Aimee L and Year 9 Riley H.  

The rousing Finale of Beethoven’s Symphony no.9 was a musical masterpiece performed by MG Orchestra 1 and the Senior Vocal Ensemble, accompanied by incredible vocalists Nicholas Sheppherd (Class of 2017), Joshua Erdelyi-Götz (Class of 2012), Year 12 student Nalisha O and Zoe Lancaster (Class of 2019). With an encore of ‘You’re The Voice’ by John Farnham performed by the entire cast, the Centenary Showcase ended with thunderous applause and a standing ovation. 

Principal, Mal Cater said, “We have so much to be proud of and, once again, it was showcased at this spectacular centenary event. I was extremely humbled by the first and only performance of ‘Mal the Musical’ and pity those poor young people who had to play mini-Mal! My sincere congratulations to everyone involved in this amazing performance. As a community, we thank you for your commitment to demonstrating all that is good in our School.” 

Many thanks to our production team, students, staff, stagecraft professionals, team of volunteers and of course our audience, for making this one of the most memorable events of the year.