Pat on the back for arts coun­cil

The Weekly Advertiser Horsham - - News - BY SARAH SCULLY

Per­form­ers in one of the ‘best’ shows in Hor­sham Arts Coun­cil his­tory have been re­warded with an in­vi­ta­tion to per­form at next month’s Mu­sic The­atre Guild of Vic­to­ria awards cer­e­mony.

Arts coun­cil pres­i­dent Si­mon Dandy con­grat­u­lated the cast and crew of RENT on an out­stand­ing in­ter­pre­ta­tion of the edgy, Tony-award win­ning rock mu­si­cal.

“RENT was un­like any­thing else we’ve ever done,” he said.

“It was never go­ing to be about bums on seats, al­though we did get good num­bers.

“From the feed­back we’ve re­ceived, from an artis­tic point of view, it’s some of the best stuff we’ve ever done.

“A lot of peo­ple have said the stan­dard of the show was far higher than they ex­pected from a re­gional area.”

Mu­sic The­atre Guild of Vic­to­ria is a not-for­profit or­gan­i­sa­tion that sup­ports, en­cour­ages and de­vel­ops non-pro­fes­sional mu­sic the­atre.

Mr Dandy said the guild’s an­nual ac­co­lades were am­a­teur the­atre’s equiv­a­lent of the Academy Awards.

The Hor­sham group first per­formed at the awards in 2012 fol­low­ing a suc­cess­ful pro­duc­tion of God­spell.

Mr Dandy said be­ing asked to per­form a sec­ond time was a feather in the arts coun­cil’s cap.

“Judges travel around the state to have a look at the shows through­out the year,” he said.

“They might ask 10 groups to per­form out of about 70 or 80.

“This in­cludes metropoli­tan am­a­teur groups that prob­a­bly have 20 times our bud­get, with shows in­volv­ing out-of-work ac­tors.

“To be picked is a huge pat on the back for Hor­sham Arts Coun­cil. I’m thrilled for every­one in­volved in RENT – they fully de­serve this.

“The par­tic­u­lar song they are go­ing to sing is per­formed by the whole cast but led by Brian Har­ri­son. He does a won­der­ful per­for­mance and it is a very pow­er­ful mo­ment in the show.”

Mr Dandy said the coun­cil was wait­ing to learn of the nom­i­na­tions for this year’s awards. “They are due out any day,” he said. “We’ve had two big, well-re­ceived shows year in An­nie and RENT.

“We could get some­thing, or we could get noth­ing – who knows? They at least think RENT was very good so I’m hope­ful we get some­thing.”

New pro­duc­tion

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Hor­sham Arts Coun­cil mem­bers have al­ready turned their at­ten­tion to the group’s next pro­duc­tion in 2018.

The arts coun­cil will present Joseph and the Amaz­ing Tech­ni­color Dream­coat from May 4 to 19.

“As great as RENT was, it was a lit­tle left of cen­tre of what we usu­ally do,” Mr Dandy said.

“For one, it doesn’t cater for kids, and two, the sub­ject mat­ter prob­a­bly counted a few peo­ple out.

“We wanted to fol­low up RENT with a fam­i­lyfriendly show. It’s been 20 years since we’ve done Joseph and we thought it was a good way to get fam­i­lies back to the the­atre.”

Mr Dandy, who will di­rect the pro­duc­tion, said an ini­tial in­for­ma­tion ses­sion on Mon­day night was well at­tended.

“It was great to see so many peo­ple there,” he said.

“There were prob­a­bly a lot of other peo­ple who couldn’t come, but they don’t have to miss out. All they need to do is sched­ule an au­di­tion time.

“I en­cour­age any­one of any age to come along and have a go. Ev­ery year we have peo­ple who think they can’t do it or they’re not good enough and they end up hav­ing the time of their lives.”

Mr Dandy said peo­ple could visit the arts coun­cil’s web­site, www.hor­shamartscoun­cil.com, for an in­for­ma­tion pack.

“It has all the in­for­ma­tion about up­com­ing roles,” he said.

“Chil­dren can be in­volved but they need to be nine by De­cem­ber 31.”

Peo­ple can call ex­ec­u­tive pro­ducer Luke Mit­ton on 0418 621 730 to sched­ule an au­di­tion.

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