THE ARTS

Tal­ented York­shire Ter­rier goes Over The Rain­bow “Love hav­ing her around” cul­ture of mod­ern age

Evening Express (City Final) - The Guide - - LET’S PARTY - By Sonja Ras­mussen

Wizard set to work his magic with city

young­sters

ADAILY walk for York­shire ter­rier Molly ended with the dog go­ing Over The Rain­bow. For the star-in-the-mak­ing was seen by one of the pro­duc­tion team of Ju­nior Aberdeen Youth Mu­sic Theatre and signed up for the lead­ing role of Toto in The Wizard of Oz. Di­rec­tor of the show Michelle Bruce re­veals: “She’s lovely. She was spot­ted by our chore­og­ra­pher Fiona Beedie who thought she looked like the per­fect Toto, and luck­ily the owner agreed to her join­ing us. “The owner works at a pet shop and Molly goes into work with her so she’s used to be­ing around the pub­lic.” Michelle her­self is a cat per­son, she says, but is get­ting more used to the canine star. She says: “Molly has been re­ally good, she gets car­ried ev­ery­where so that solves a lot of prob­lems. “You never know what a dog is go­ing to do but Molly is used to be­ing car­ried so that works per­fectly for us.” Through­out re­hearsals, the cast of young­sters, who are aged be­tween 10 and 14, have re­hearsed with­out Molly, but over the past few weeks the canine star has been com­ing along to learn her part. Says Michelle: “She ap­pears through­out the show so has a fair amount to do, but she slots into what’s go­ing on around her very eas­ily. She’s a true pro!” She is very well looked af­ter too, says Michelle. “She has her own dress­ing room and cer­tifi­cate of per­form­ing rights, and she re­ally gets treated like a star. We all love hav­ing her around.” As a di­rec­tor, Michelle is break­ing one of the the­atri­cal rules, she laughs. “Peo­ple al­ways tell you never to work with chil­dren and an­i­mals and this is the first time I’ve done it. It’s ex­cit­ing and you never know what ei­ther of them are go­ing to do but it’s a lot of fun.” Next week it is time to click the heels of her ruby slip­pers and bring the whole pro­duc­tion to­gether at Aberdeen Arts Cen­tre. If only it were that easy, she laughs. “It’s go­ing to be a very colour­ful, spec­tac­u­lar show with lots of spe­cial ef­fects. We are lucky to have been able to do it, ac­tu­ally, as it is also on in Lon­don at the mo­ment.” The Andrew Lloyd Web­ber-pro­duced ver­sion of the show cur­rently run­ning in the West End, started with the tele­vi­sion search for Dorothy, Over The Rain­bow. It opened at the be­gin­ning of the year in a pro­duc­tion star­ring Michael Craw­ford as the wizard. When di­rect­ing the two girls shar­ing the role of Dorothy on al­ter­nate nights – Scar­lett Massie and Danielle Hen­der­son – Michelle has re­vis­ited the Yel­low Brick Road her­self – hav­ing played the role 20 years ago in a pro­duc­tion di­rected by An­nie Inglis. As a 14-year-old, Michelle says the part, which was her first lead­ing role, was very dear to her. “Be­cause I played her, I feel I have a vested in­ter­est in Dorothy, and I keep think­ing ‘Oh, that’s the way I did that bit’.” Theatre di­rec­tor An­nie, who died last year at the grand old age of 87, al­ways called Michelle ‘her Dorothy’. “Just be­fore An­nie died she said to me ‘You should do The Wizard of Oz’, and so that’s why I’m do­ing it,” she re­veals. “There are a lot of happy mem­o­ries at­tached to the role and to the show it­self. Next week is go­ing to be very sen­ti­men­tal for me.” Ju­nior AYMT per­forms The Wizard of Oz at Aberdeen Arts Cen­tre next Wed­nes­day to Satur­day at 7.30pm.

for us on stage as for the au­di­ence.” It’s sur­pris­ing to dis­cover that the pro­duc­tion even in­cludes an ad lib sec­tion. “It hap­pens at the top of Act Three and the two chaps in­volved have to wan­der through the au­di­ence – it cer­tainly brings a bit of life to things,” said He­len. Eye­brows might be raised at pub­lic­ity ma­te­rial de­scrib­ing this ver­sion as “saucy”. But He­len in­sisted au­di­ences have no need to worry. She said: “There’s a healthy amount of in­nu­endo and things get a lit­tle bit, well, lively I guess. But there’s noth­ing ex­plicit in any way, shape or form. “The whole sto­ry­line, though, is to do with se­duc­tion and peo­ple per­haps se­duc­ing peo­ple they shouldn’t be.” He­len is hav­ing a ball as Adele, who plays a piv­otal role in all the shenani­gans. “She is brazen, I sup­pose, has no shame at all and is quite will­ing to put her­self in a po­si­tion she shouldn’t be and she’ll front it out – and get away with it,” said the singer.

He­len Massey play­ing the maid Adele.

TAL­ENTED: Scar­lett Massie and Danielle Hen­der­son share the role of Dorothy.

PER­FECT PAIR: Scar­lett Massie, who plays Dorothy, with Molly. In­set, Judy Gar­land and Toto.

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