Students create opening night display

PERFORMANCE: Students gave people a taste of what to expect at the Castlemaine State Festival launch in December. The theme is The Future of Things Past. Picture: NONI HYETT

PERFORMANCE: Students gave people a taste of what to expect at the Castlemaine State Festival launch in December. The theme is The Future of Things Past. Picture: NONI HYETT

Students from Castlemaine Secondary College will unveil what they have been rehearsing at the opening night of the Castlemaine State Festival on Friday.

Festival creative producer Sam Thomas said the performance is sure to wow the opening night audience.

He said the performance had been choreographed by England’s Robbie Graham who is taking a break from a National Theatre production in London.

“It’s going to be big. We have got about  80 kids from the secondary college who are all completely engaged with Robbie’s choreography,” Mr Thomas said. 

”The show is written by the kids and directed and guided by us. They have come up with some current themes and created a striking piece of work.

“It’s not about taking a stance on any issue but giving them a chance to channel their exuberance gives the youth a safe place to comment on things.”

The Castlemaine State Festival opens on Friday, March 17, and runs until March 26. Visit www.castlemainefestival.com.au for more.

Circus feel for state festival

Circus acts will give the Castlemaine State Festival more of a family feel this year.

Creative producer Sam Thomas said the festival had catered for the influx of young families in the Mount Alexander area.

“Young families have arrived in town over the last 10 years,” he said.

“So we are taking a step into the future and talking to a new demographic in town which is a lot of kids with parents who value the arts.

“Judging by ticket sales, the state festival’s classical and literature program is always well attended and sold out.”

The “circus-centric’ feel will begin at the launch party tonight with students putting on a 30 minute performance in the Goods Shed.

“We will be using huge projections screens mounted in the shed and are going to close the street and fill it with circus acts from around the world,” Mr Thomas said.

“We will press play just as it gets dark. The festival has a good international mix of circus eccentrics and has looked for shows that appeal to parents and kids alike.”

The Goods Shed will be utilised as two festival venues after almost becoming a pokies venue in 2015.

Since then it has been renovated and is now home to Castlemaine Circus.

“The team who set up Castlemaine Circus three years ago, did a small community performance (at the state festival) in Victory Park,” Mr Thomas said.

“(Festival director) Martin Paten approached me to initiate a circus "circus-centric" curated program of shows in the Goods Shed.

Mr Thomas said the family-friendly acts would be engaging for all audience members.

“It’s not like The Wiggles. Some acts in the program are families themselves and true to the circus tradition have been passed through generations,” he said.

Tickets are still available for the wide variety of acts that will feature in the Goods Shed.

Visit www.castlemainefestival.com.au for more.

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