Big jubilee show in spotlight
What has 90 legs, 700 items of clothing and the biggest TV screen in the south?
Well, a visit to the South Otago Theatrical Society’s 50th jubilee production 50 Curtain Calls will quickly reveal all, as one of the society’s largest and most ambitious productions in recent years hits the stage in Balclutha from Wednesday.
Co-director with husband Brent, Robyn Gardner offered up further clues.
‘‘We thought for our 50th production since 1967, it would be appropriate to take a look back at some of the highlights from those five decades, so we’ve put together an impressive cast of 45 performers and given them a compendium of some of the best [South Otago Theatrical Society] moments to bring to the stage for our audiences this year,’’ she said.
Gardner had composed the medley herself, with the sheer volume of material being the major initial obstacle.
‘‘I narrowed it down from a long list, then balanced out male and female roles, solos and duets, and finally took our auditions into account so we could take advantage of the particular skills and abilities of some of our brilliant local performers.
‘‘So we’ve got a bit of something for everyone, including excerpts from popular favourites like Jesus Christ Superstar, Little Shop of Horrors, My Fair Lady, Oliver, Annie, and much, much more.’’
50 Curtain Calls was expected to run for a little over two hours.
Because of the show’s eclectic nature, the Balclutha Memorial Hall dressing rooms would be unusually busy, Gardner said.
‘‘Each member of the cast has at least three changes of costume, comprising five or more items each. So we estimate there are at least 700 wardrobe items being managed by wardrobe mistress Marianne Leslie for this production.’’
In an exciting technological departure, the backdrop to the show would be a 6m by 3.6m LED panel screen, beaming archival footage and images to the audience as the performance progressed.
‘‘We’ve come up with some imaginative and original ways to use the screen, although I don’t want to give too much away. Come along and see for yourself,’’ Gardner said.
Tickets are $20. There are four evening performances and one matinee performance.