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Rep Talk Oct 16 – New Beginnings

singing-practice

Chuckles galore as the newly selected cast of Roger Hall’s ‘Red Riding Hood’ met to have their first read through of Repertory Theatre’s end of year production, a pantomime, full of old and new gags. It will be interesting to see what current references director Colin Hedivan chooses to incorporate in this production. Global warming? Whanganui’s wastewater treatment plant? Local body elections and their outcomes may provide amusing fodder for a pantomime as well.

Music rehearsals have started already too. Some of the talented cast are trained singers which is evidenced by their quick uptake of the tunes, easily harmonising with each other. Funny lyrics add to the enjoyment as well.

Although the pantomime was penned by Roger Hall, the music was written by Michael Nicholas Williams and the lyrics by Paul Jenden. A little confusion arose during this first read through when the cast found that the lyricist had given some of the character’s different names. Again, what names they finally adopt will be up to the director’s discretion.

Whatever they are called, the singers produced a rousing foot tapping rendition of the numbers with young Ben Power providing the musical accompaniment. No doubt when the few missing cast members are able to join in the volume will swell even more. As I write, two cast members are out of town and Chris McKenzie is currently impersonating a lion at another venue in town.

Even at this early stage ‘Red Riding Hood promises to be great entertainment.

Phil Portland, our immediate past president has resigned in order to meet other commitments, but we are hopeful that we can call on him to add his considerable expertise to this show when we need him. Repertory Theatre has a lot to thank Phil Portland for, energy, commitment and talent. Acting president Phil Hudson has earned the respect of local theatre people, working tirelessly on stage and backstage, acting, directing and set building. We are lucky that he has been willing to accept the role of president as he has the passion and drive to ensure that ‘Red Riding Hood’ enjoys the success it deserves.

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