June may not be generally seen as pantomime time but work is already way for Wellington Pantomime Group’s next show in January 2018.
Young Director Ashleigh Payne is holding a series of workshops and auditions at Wellington Arts Centre, Eight Acre Lane for potential performers of all ages who are interested in being involved in ‘Hercules: A Pantomime’. The second workshop is on Friday 9 June at 7pm for ensemble players and juniors and at 8.30pm to 10pm for potential principals. This is an open invitation to anyone, irrespective of their previous stage experience. Auditions follow on Sunday 11 June from 10am to 12pm for Under 16s and from 12.30pm onwards for everyone over 16.
Ashleigh Payne may be only 17 years old but he has a wealth of experience in drama, dance and performing arts to draw on, having been involved as a performer, choreographer and assistant director with Wellington Arts Association’s groups since he was in primary school. He is now a student at The Space at the Tacchi-Morris Centre in Taunton in the first year of a BTech Extended Diploma in Performing Arts – the equivalent of 3 A Levels – and hopes to go on to Bath Spa University in September 2018 to study dance and performing arts.
In leading performers through dance routines at the first workshop on Tuesday 6 June he showed how well-prepared he is already to take on the production; he also stressed that he wanted everyone in the cast to have fun. And they undoubtedly will, responding to Ashleigh’s irrepressibly cheerful enthusiasm and remarkable talents.
‘Hercules: A Pantomime’ promises to be a romp in glorious Roman style – with togas too. The plot is as follows: ‘The evil Hades, Lord of the Underworld, is plotting his hostile takeover of the cosmos and the only one who can save the world from Hades’ villainous dominion is the young hero, Hercules. The story follows the dramatic journey that Hercules must take to prove himself a true hero and finally defeat the wicked Hades, once and for all. A tale of love, friendship, wonder and hilarity, where peril is never too far away!’
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