Play Review: St Sebs Performs Great Expectations with two Montrosians in Lead Roles


Grace Marino '22, Contributing Writer

On November 1st and 2nd of this year, Saint Sebastian’s School performed the well-known play, Great Expectations by Charles Dickens– and their expectations were clearly met. The cool and crisp fall weather made for a perfect night to see this production. There were 24 actors and actresses, some doubling or even tripling parts, which was very impressive. Two of the characters were played by our very own Montrosians, Katie Randall ‘19 playing the beautiful Estella, and Nora Cahill ‘19 played the cool-hearted Miss Havisham. All the characters exceeded expectations and were very fitting for their roles.

Katie described how she got involved because her brother encouraged here: “Having never been much of a theater person, I was sceptical when my brother asked me to do him a favor and join the St. Sebastian’s play.  The only productions that I have ever been a part of are School House Rock Jr. in 6th grade and Hello, Dolly in 10th grade; additionally, both of these productions were at Montrose and with my friends.  After thinking about it, I decided that I wanted to try something new as well as help out my brother.”  When Nora was asked about her role, she responded: ““It was a challenging role for me because it was unlike any other role I’ve played, but it was a really fun experience because the cast and director were so kind and supportive.”

The plot was very clear and it was easy to follow even if you weren’t familiar with the story. The 9th grade has just finished reading Great Expectations, and seeing this play helped clarify the storyline because it was a basic plot overview without the intricate details that the book uses. The actors portrayed their roles well, but it did get a little confusing when they changed characters. None of the characters lacked enthusiasm and their acting skills were outstanding.

To help set the scene, slides were projected during the production with illustrations from various early editions of the novel.  Pip’s actor portrayed great facial expressions and he seemed to be channel Pip out of the book. The Aged Parent was absolutely hilarious, with his grunts and loud responses; he made everyone laugh.

The costumes consisted of white button down shirts and black pants for the boys or a black skirt for the girls. The set was very simple, made up of chairs lining both sides of the stage and a table in the middle. This simplistic approach showcased the actors skills, allowing for an overall fantastic performance.  There was a respectable turnout but there was definitely room for more enthusiastic play-goers. It was obvious that the audience was quite pleased as there was a lot of applause. I would go see this play again and I commend the cast for their exceptional performance. My 9th grade contingent appreciated the perfect timing of St Seb’s play choice and our reading of Great Expectations.