The Cave of Wonders is set to be opened in Bendigo on January 19.
Bendigo Theatre Company’s summer pantomime, Aladdin, is entering it’s final preparations and sure to entertain families during school holidays.
Year 11 student Zach Fitzpatrick will take on the role of Aladdin and will be joined by a large cast of more than 30 performers.
First-time director Loretta Kingston-Brown said the company’s summer pantomime could give more people experience on the stage.
“It is a big cast and there are a lot of people to co-ordinate. It’s chance to give as many people as possible a go at doing show or being involved with something at BTC,” she said.
“The philosophy is to include as many as possible. We have even put in some extra roles to give people a chance. If the audition is good enough we will find a role.”
Ms Kingston-Brown said she decided to take on the creative side of directing having been involved with BTC as a performer, production manager and committee member.
“I love being involved and thought I’d have a crack at the creative side. There is good people around to support me as well and it has run pretty smoothly,” she said.
“I have been with BTC since 2012 and grew up doing musicals. I was in a panto of Red Riding Hood when I was 17 and loved it.
“(Theatre) took a break during university and after my first full night of sleep after having children, I knew I wanted to get involved again.
“I have always loved the whole panto genre because of the over-the-top acting. I keep saying (to the cast) to make it bigger and hammier.”
Ms Kingston-Brown said Fitzpatrick (who is playing Aladdin) was already proving to be a very dedicated actor.
“He is such a young guy but played (Peter Allen’s) drunk father in Boy From Oz and was fantastic,” she said.
“And in this he has just made Aladdin his own. Our Aladdin is a bit of a show off and a funny guy and Zach has certainly bought his own style and made Aladdin really lovable.”
The pantomime version of Aladdin differs greatly from the musical and Disney movie but is still a lot of fun.
“There’s lots of audience participation and chances to boo the villain and cheer the hero,” Ms Kingston-Brown said.
“It’s an Aladdin panto that you’re more likely to see in England rather than Australia.
“From previous years we know kids love the the small theatre atmosphere.”
Aladdin is on at BTC’s Arts Shed in Allingham Street on January 19, 20, 21, 22, 26, 27, 28 and 29. Visit www.bendigotheatrecompany.org for tickets or information.