Pupils bringing film to the stage

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by Greta Yeoman

Madagascar is coming to Mountainview.

The Timaru high school has picked up the hit film as its 2018 school production and will bring the characters of Alex the Lion, King Julien the lemur and Marty the zebra to life on May 16-18.

The 2005 film, which tells the story of four animals from New York’s Central Park Zoo unexpectedly finding themselves on the island of Madagascar, has been adapted into a stage production.

Mountainview’s drama teacher Catherine Smith said the 70-strong cast had been working towards the show since the start of the school year, as part of a specialised production class for pupils in Years 9-13.

Pupils who chose to take the subject would rehearse their performances, as well as lighting, sound and other technical roles, in class time.

Those taking NCEA assessments would be able to earn music, drama and technical skills credits from their work on the production, Ms Smith said.

One of the joys of the mixed-year-level class was enabling the younger pupils to work with their older schoolmates and learn from and support each other, Ms Smith said.

Besides directing the show herself, with support from the music teacher as musical director, the entire production was run by the pupils – including 10 tech roles.

“We wanted to do something that was lots of fun.”

The annual productions were a mixed bag of serious and fun, so the school had opted to take on the movie’s stage production.

Ms Smith said the hour-long production was a bearable length for children, and the pupils hoped it would attract a younger audience to watch the characters come to life.

basically the same as the film, there was more music in the production, she said.

The production will be performed on three nights, from May 16-18, at Mountainview’s hall at 7pm. There would also be matinee performances, but these had all been booked out for schools and preschools around the town, Ms Smith said.

Tickets can be bought from pupils in the production, or from the Mountainview High School office.