Chance to be part of panto
A pantomime based loosely around Matamata looks set to wow local audiences next year.
Auditions for Sharon Holmes’ Princess of Piako take place next week and the writer is hopeful the show will be as successful as the theatre’s most recent children’s show, Olivia.
Olivia was staged four years ago and Holmes said she was hoping locals would get in behind this latest showcase too.
Theatre in Matamata, both the dramatic society and the musical society, was coming along in leaps and bounds, Holmes believed. This was in part because of what the local schools provided their students, she felt. ‘‘ What we try to do is provide the next step. We’ve got experienced adults that have been in the business for quite some time, it’s almost like a mentor system.’’
Along with a cast of young people, the Princess of Piako would hopefully involve a few adults, possibly even teachers, Holmes said.
The young people will be mentored on how to act on stage and Holmes’ ‘‘ big one’’, theatre etiquette.
‘‘They don’t really learn that at the schools, they learn that from us.’’
Holmes, who would also direct the show, had found children really got something out of the theatre experience because etiquette was taught. ‘‘They come thinking everything is going to be just like a school show, but it’s not, we have to respect the theatre.’’
Alex Juma, who is the show’s production assistant, agrees. He remembers being involved with musicals at the theatre more than school productions while he was growing up.
Matamata Musical Theatre always had good support from the community, but Holmes said it was definitely on the increase. ‘‘The interest in theatre has skyrocketed. We were on the verge of thinking, ‘ what are we going to do now?’ about five or six years ago. There was a time there that we were all starting to worry because it was all about films and TV but it’s actually picked up. I think both theatres are finding good audiences.’’
The latest production would hopefully draw a crowd as it was based around Matamata, Holmes said. ‘‘ There are lots of points of interest, lots of references. We’re following normal lines of pantomime but we’re giving them a Matamata twist.’’
Holmes and Juma will be looking for a cast featuring Cinderella, a Prince, three ugly sisters, royal palace staff, dancing fairies and lots more.
‘‘There’s a part there for everyone, they all get the chance to be part of the company,’’ Holmes said.
Lots of fun for the youngsters involved is a promise Holmes hopes to keep. ‘ They love it, they find it really fun.’’
Auditions will be held on December 15 and 16 from 6- 8pm at the Kea St theatre. Hopefuls need to be aged between 8-14 years, along with a few adults.
Inquiries and audition bookings to Alex on 888 2807 or Jenny on 888 7755.
CINDERELLA SEARCH: Matamata Musical Theatre’s Sharon Holmes, left, and Alex Juma are searching for Cinderella, plus a host of other characters for an upcoming production of Princess of Piako.