Pre-show jitters all part of the action

SARAH MCCARTHY
Last updated 05:00 06/08/2014
mamma mia
NICOLE JOHNSTONE/ Fairfax NZ

Ewen Rodway (Bill), from left, Dave McMeeking (Sam), and Nathan Hughes (Harry), in Invercargill Musical Theatre's Mamma Mia!

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Ewen Rodway reckons he will be fine until he's actually standing backstage.

That's when the nerves will hit. By day he works at Environment Southland, but by night these past few months he has been strutting his stuff as Bill in the 2014 Invercargill Musical Theatre Company production of Mamma Mia!, which opens tonight at the Civic Theatre.

"I work in the science team and it's a bit of a bunch of blokes. They give me a bit of stick about it, to be honest. I think a few of them are coming, it should be a bit of a laugh."

Rodway has only been in one production before, a small part in last year's theatre restaurant that his friends convinced him to audition for - unless you count his 2006 role in James Hargest College's production of Les Miserables.

Getting cast as Bill was a bit of a shock.

But the hard work - and tonight's nerves - are all worth it.

"The best part hasn't come yet. Being in the moment onstage is really fun. I think it is going to be a pretty awesome show."

Southlanders already agree, with so many tickets already sold that a further show was announced yesterday.

Theatre company vice-president Bernadette Gourley said a matinee had been added to the programme on Saturday. "The sales have been so encouraging."

The theatre company was expecting the show to be popular with audiences after a similarly enthusiastic reception to their 2013 production of Grease.

"With a show like Mamma Mia! you know the music, you love the music, it's a feelgood, upbeat, light and bright show."

Southlanders responded to musicals because they loved to be entertained, she said.

"There's a wealth of amazing talent that we have here, as good as you will find anywhere in the world, and Southlanders are very loyal to their province and are keen to support every effort made to provide shows like this."

Mamma Mia! opens tonight at the Civic Theatre at 7.30 and runs until August 16. Tickets available from TicketDirect and the ICC booking office.

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- The Southland Times

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