Musical a big, fun production

Students make a song and dance of it

ANGELA CROMPTON
Last updated 10:29 15/07/2014
Crystal Clear
JIM TANNOCK

STAGE CRAFT: Marlborough combined colleges students, from left, Sosaia Mesui, Olivia Burns, Jack Rainbird, Alice Schofield, Emma Logan and Ryan Cook are ready to bring High School Musical to life.

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Ninety senior students will appear on stage in this year's combined colleges stage production, High School Musical.

Cast members say the show, opening on August 5, will appeal to all ages.

Olivia Burns, a year 12 Marlborough Girls' College student who becomes "brainac Taylor McKessie" from East High, Albuquerque, New Mexico, says the play is all about friendships.

"About breaking boundaries," adds another Marlborough Girls' student, Charlotte Cook, who plays East High drama teacher Miss Darbus.

The girls have slipped away from rehearsal to promote the show with Marlborough Boys' College students Jack Rainbird (playing Troy Bolton)and Jack Lankshear (baseball geek Zeke).

They nod when asked if college director Denise Moran was right when she said High School Musical would have been one of their favourites when Walt Disney produced it for the big screen in 2006.

"I still enjoyed it at 16," Burns said. "This show definitely appeals to all ages. We still love it. It's so cheesy."

Likened by critics to a modern adaptation of Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet, the story follows two high school juniors, Troy Bolton who captains the basketball team and Gabriella Montez (Alice Schofield), a student who excels in maths and science.

Taylor is Gabriella's best friend but tells her she is wasting her time performing in the high school musical. Troy is told the same thing by his friends.

The senior students have spent nearly three months rehearsing their musical, which opens for a six-show season at the Floor Pride Civic Theatre in Blenheim on August 5.

It's quite a commitment, with rehearsals up to four times a week, but Burns says the combined school production is always lots of fun.

Like the students they are portraying on stage, there is a wide mix of people involved, including boys in the First XV rugby team, says Lankshear.

He, Rainbird and Cook have acted with the Marlborough Children's Theatre and Burns says her performance background has been developed through choral singing.

"I enjoy acting but it's not my main passion."

She agrees with the others, though, that live theatre provides a dramatic element that can never be copied on television or the big screen.

Lankshear says: "You can't watch TV and feel the same way as when you watch a show."

Burns says: "You can watch TV or a video any time, rewind it, watch it online and it will always be the same.

"With a live show, you never see the exact same show a second time. Each time it's a little different."

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- The Marlborough Express

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