Dorothy heads to Oz

Bendigo Weekly | Bendigo Weekly | 17-Nov-2017

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Max Harris and Olivia Brereton add some finishing touches to make up. Photo: Contributed.
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Within a few short days the curtain will rise on The Wizard of Oz at Ulumbarra Theatre.

More than 80 students from Bendigo South East College have spent many months rehearsing popular songs and scenes, including Follow the Yellow Brick Road, Over the Rainbow, We’re Off to See the Wizard and If I Only Had a Heart.

“We looked at a number of shows, but this one appealed because there is a large ensemble to involve more students, and some good strong leads,” musical director John Murray said. 

“More importantly, there is a strong moral as friendships are formed despite people’s individual differences, and good overcomes evil.”

Olivia Brereton, who was recently awarded a scholarship for her performance in the national Wakakirri schools story-dance festival, wears the ruby red slippers to play Dorothy, made famous by Judy Garland in the movie.

Max Harris plays the Lion, with Nay Ye Thwey Aung as the Tinman and Rupert Maxwell as the Scarecrow.

“I have loved being in productions at BSE for the past four years, and I’ve been telling everyone you really don’t want to miss out on this one,” Max said. 

“The cast is outstanding and from our leads we have some truly amazing performances, and I’m really proud to be working alongside them.

“Doing a show at BSE is always a lot of fun, and I’m glad that with my final show, I’m ending with a big bang.”

Mr Murray says the production showcases a strong depth of talent in the region’s young performers. 

“A school production team is a supportive community for students to be a part of, and the group this year are like a family,” he said. 

“The principal cast are really hard working and, while much of their characterisation has come from them, they have been exceptionally responsive to direction and have taken on everything I have asked them to do. They have produced a really professional show.”

The Wizard of Oz is on November 22 and 23 at Ulumbarra Theatre.

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