Taking place over two weeks, Monash University Student Theatre’s (MUST) original production, Holloway: A New Musical, was a modern take on common issues faced by adolescents and young adults, surrounding the area of friendship, community and trust; touching on how these things can be formed, but how they can simultaneously fall apart.
Mannix College Alumni and former Mannix College Student Society (MCSS) Culture representative, Earl Marrows, can now add being a musical director of a sold out show to his resume.
While residing at the College from 2014 to 2016, Marrows undertook a Bachelor of Music/Arts, whilst also showing his musical flare by always preforming at formal dinners and directing a re-enactment of the hit movie, Legally Blonde, as part of committee role.
At the age of 23, Marrows is currently completing a honours degree in music theatre, and has a resume full of achievements, including writing a Comedy Show, Pining for Affection, and having written music for ABC Sideliner.
With the lyrics of Holloway written by Fraser Mitchell and directed by Kathryn Yates, the trio created a musical that touches on current societal issues, emphasising the impact one’s internal battle with mental health can have externally on those within their community.
The original setting for the play consisted of a group of friends living in a share house, but the idea later evolved into a College environment.
‘The director later came to me with the idea to shift it to a college, because I’ve spent 3 years living in one and have had my own experiences,’ says Marrows.
While the play is not based on a real university or residential hall, Marrows addresses his own experiences of the day to day life living at College, and the lasting friendships that are formed- paying particular focus to the positives and growth that can be experienced when living in a residential hall once leaving school.
While Marrows had a pivotal role in the success of the production, other Mannix College Alumni were involved in the musical, including Fergus McLaren, Kate Speakman, Sophie Ashkanasy and Rosie Watt.
Marrows says the ‘opportunity to perform and be a leader of a group [of nearly 300] is something special’ and is thankful for the experiences given to him at Mannix to begin his career.
Earl Marrows will be speaking at one of Mannix College’s 50th anniversary dinners next year. To sign up for notifications and more information about these dinners: https://www.mannix.monash.edu/alumni/
Words by Ava Kelly