At the beginning of April, the gorgeous musical adventure of Masquerade came to life over four performances in the Marist Auditorium at Newman College. The production proudly featured a cast and crew comprising of students from Years 7-12.
Masquerade is a beautiful and whimsical play based on the children’s picture book by Kit Williams. The picture book explores the story of the Moon who has fallen in love with the Sun. The Moon sends a hare named Jack on a journey to deliver an amulet, pose a riddle and tell him of her love. Jack encounters a series of characters on his journey and eventually finds the Sun. Unfortunately, he has lost the amulet and scrambles the riddle along the way, as he negotiates the earthly elements.
The stage adaptation of Masquerade has an additional storyline, included at the request of Kit Williams. Playwright, Kate Mulvany, was diagnosed and treated for a rare cancer as a child. During the difficult times during treatment for her illness Kate’s Godmother visited her bringing a copy of Kit Williams picture book Masquerade. Kate has said that during the journey through the book she was instantly transported out of her pain and sickness, into the magical world of the story. Consequently, Kate Mulvany has added the metaphorical journey of Joe to take place alongside Jack Hare’s journey. Joe is a young boy fighting cancer, enduring the treatment, trying to make sense of his illness, and the meaning of love.
In the first half of the story, the boy Joe and his mother Tessa read the book together, while Jack Hare’s quest is acted out around them. In the second half of the story the gruelling chemotherapy treatment, the emotional impact of Joe’s illness, and his mother’s attempts to stay positive drive the narrative. Joe and Tessa join Jack on the imaginative hunt for the amulet, as the lines between myth and reality become increasingly blurred for Joe, Tessa and the audience. At the heart of this magical musical adventure is the theme of courage, morality, dreams and love.