Centre stage . . . Matt Deavoll (left) and Hannah Burgess (right) perform during the South Canterbury Drama League's latest production, Avenue Q. PHOTO: SUPPLIED

by Greta Yeoman

South Canterbury performers will have the chance to audition for Beauty and the Beast next week.

The South Canterbury Drama League will hold auditions on April 21 and 22 for its production of the Disney musical, which will be performed in September.

Musical director Rob Martin said there would be 40 to 50 parts in the production, including several lead roles.

“It’s a big show.”

The Disney classic, which was released as an animated film in 1991 and then as a live-action remake featuring Harry Potter actress Emma Watson last year, tells the story of a young woman, Belle, who is taken prisoner in a castle by a beast, in exchange for the release of her father.

She befriends a variety of talking objects – including a clock, a teapot and her teacup son – and eventually falls in love with the beast, who turns out to be a prince placed under a magic spell.

Most of the parts in the musical would be adult roles, except for the part of the teacup Chip, Mr Martin said.

This was because a small boy would be required to fit in a small cupboard with a teacup on top, which would be wheeled around the stage, he said.

The musical would be staged at Timaru’s Theatre Royal a year later than the league had originally hoped. Theatre renovations last year had delayed the production, Mr Martin said.

While the drama league aimed to cast mainly South Canterbury performers, out-of-towners were welcome and the production team had already received audition requests from actors in Dunedin, Ashburton and Oamaru, he said.

“[There has been] great interest .. it’ll be two very busy days.”

The drama league will host an information evening for those auditioning next Wednesday.

It would be a chance for the production team – which includes Mr Martin, director Denise Henderson and choreographer Joanne Wedlake – to introduce themselves and explain their aims for the show.

Mr Martin is looking forward to the production, saying it is a show for all ages.

“It’s just a fantastic show.”

For more information on the show or to request a registration pack, visit Nike SneakersBoots