Chance to be part of panto

Matamata Chronicle - - News - By TERESA HAT­TAN

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.

Photo: TERESA HAT­TAN

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.

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