O-Week, or Orientation Week, has finally arrived and feelings of anxiety, nervousness and apprehension are certainly brimming in most of students’ minds. These sentiments are shared between first year students, and returning students as some are experiencing the University for the first time or the last time. Thankfully, the MUST (Monash University Student Theatre) company have developed a unique and succinct method of easing everyone’s woe in their hilariously educational “O-Show”, Fantastic Tips and Where To Find Them.
Housed in the MUST space next to the Campus Centre, an incredible set resembling the halls of Hogwarts was decorated with the Wizarding School’s four house banners hanging from the ceiling. Popular demand for the friends and family exclusive preview show meant the floor was covered with gym mats to accommodate the many audience members excited to see the show.
The show was an insightful, entertaining and raunchy journey through J.K. Rowling’s seven Harry Potter books, including a sneak appearance from Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them’s lead character, Newt Scamander. Plotlines incorporated satirical representations of the Campus Centre as the “Room of Requirement”, the Sports Centre as a “Quidditch Pitch” and Harry Potter, but not as the prophesied chosen-one of the Wizarding World, but was “Harriet Potter”, a randomly chosen muggle who earns her title as the “Heir of Monash” over the course of the story. The parody Draco Malfoy was a fabulous, knee sock wearing gang leader who had a laugh out loud exaggerated personality that bordered on pure Internet fan-fiction. These caricatures of the beloved characters ranging from Dolores “Dumbridge” Umbridge to Professor Snape were delightfully hilarious and had the entire audience, young and old, in stitches. Even then, there were plenty of snide remarks about Monash itself including jokes about the “magical construction barriers”, second or third year students will relate to this wholeheartedly. This tight and charming satire is wholly engaging and is delightful to watch.
The most important part of this show was that it was instructive and informative on how to orientate yourself around the Monash University. These theatrical lessons spanned topics such as Moodle, when to pay Uni fees, and even how to deal with legal help or parking fines. Although the expository dialogue was slightly jarring, with many scenes having characters like Ron Weasley turn to the audience to explain where certain University landmarks are, these funny anecdotes are so much easier to understand than reading a booklet or a brochure. Informative dialogue is also complimented by witty musical numbers that appear out of nowhere multiple times throughout the show. Inspired by the likes of The Mighty Boosh and Aunty Donna, the genre-bending, absurd and original songs split up the dialogue perfectly, allowing the show a really natural and smooth pacing.
The clever and amusing play ended with an incredibly crucial and imperative message to not only new students but also returning students, which is something everyone attending University needs to hear. To save readers from spoilers and to further encourage readers to see the play, the ending is a perfect way to conclude the explanatory story.
Being a second year student, the play is something I wish I saw in my first year, as it’s a very simple way to be on top of how University works. To be even more informed and aware of how 2017 will go at Monash, there are a variety of other activities that will be happening the next week.
The O-Show can be seen at 11:30am, 12:20pm, 2pm, 3pm for the rest of the week at the MUST space for free!
You can attend the O’Week Trivia night from 7pm on Thursday, the February 23rd at Sir John’s Bar in the Campus Centre.
As well as this, Radio Monash will be setting up at stall number “E18” in front of the Big Plaza Screen if you want to discuss membership or what the station is. We are more than happy to answer questions and put you in the right direction.