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The Show Must Go On

The Show Must Go On

Devised, written, produced and performed completely by young people under 20, The Show Must Go On is a colourful and entertaining look into what goes on behind the scenes of a struggling travelling circus. It focuses on many dark aspects of being human but the circus' performers are quirky entertainers through and through and the complicated love triangles, touching and intimate scenes, energetic dancing and alternative costuming are all their own. It is a play bound to play with your heart strings that will also shock and amaze.

Mid-year 2010 a group of young writers and actors, Tabitha Besley, Eleanor Strathern, Zach Miller-Bassett, Comfrey Sanders and Paki Tahu began bouncing ideas around for a theatre piece they wanted to create. By February 2011 they had completed the script and began rehearsing, performing a three night season in April, at Nelson's Suter Theatre.

After the performances the group were passionate about taking their success further. “It felt like all the work we had put into it couldn't just end there,” said Tabby. “We thought that taking part in the Fringe Festival would give us a a great opportunity to keep working on this project and find audiences who can really appreciate it.”

The story follows a travelling circus and the journeys of the troubled characters within it, using dark themes, humour and various performance arts to enchant audiences. “The play was constructed from a combination of themes and scenes that each of us wanted to put into a script. The characters are all close to our hearts,” Eleanor said. Tabby explained that the story development was a group effort, with each writer taking on a number of scenes before coming together to edit the final script.

The cast expect to be the youngest performers in the Fringe Festival as they all fall between the ages of 15 and 19. “One of the most important things for us bout creating this play was to show the potential that young people have,” Tabby explained. “Youth are often portrayed negatively in the media and we really want to show that there are young people out there doing amazing things.” The group loved working on the show with each other because it was all a collaborative process. “One of the reasons we came together in the beginning was because we had all experienced a similar feeling of not being heard or given the creative freedom we wanted in other youth drama settings, so we thought why not create our own opportunities.”

The group are supported by Inspired Productions, an organization in Nelson who aim to empower young people through theatre and film projects. Originally the show was backed financially with funding the organization got through the Nelson City Council “Tomorrow’s Leaders Today” programme funded by the Ministry of Youth Development, but this time round the cast is working only with the money they gained through ticket sales in 2011. They would like to thank Nelson's youth centre The New Hub who have sponsored their rehearsal space and Interislander for providing them with a group discount on travel.

The Show Must Go On opens at 7.30pm on the 24th of February for a four show season. Tickets cost $20 adult and $14 concession from Whitireia Theatre.


Venue: Whitireia Theatre, 25-27 Vivian Street, Wellington
Friday 24th February – 7:30pm
Saturday 25th February – 2pm, 8:30pm
Sunday 26th February – 7:30pm

Full - $20
Concession - $14


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