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Pirates help raise $8000 for charity

BLUE Mountains Musical Society has raised $8000 for Barnardos Australia from a limited concert season of the Gilbert and Sullivan musical comedy, the Pirates of Penzance.

The two charity performances at the Blue Mountains Theatre in Springwood on April 27 were a smash hit with audiences – while also raising money for the children’s charity.

The initiative came about as result of the sheer amount of performing talent on offer in the Blue Mountains. With BMMS holding cast auditions for two productions each year it is forced to turn
away many talented hopefuls because there simply aren’t enough roles.

“It’s kind of disheartening to say ‘Hey, you’re a phenomenal talent, we’d love you to be in our show but we just can’t put you on stage because there’s too many people already’,” said BMMS
president Aubtin Namdar.

So when almost 150 people auditioned for less than 50 roles in the society’s upcoming season of The Sound of Music (opening on May 25), the committee decided to stage an extra show to take
advantage of this excess of talent. The new show would be in a concert format with a strictly limited season, allowing for a shorter than usual rehearsal period with the added benefit of having
lower production costs.

Enter the Pirates of Penzance. The Gilbert and Sullivan favourite was brought to the stage with just five rehearsals, including one dress rehearsal at the venue on the night before it opened. A full
BMMS production usually involves twice-weekly rehearsals over three months.

The Gilbert and Sullivan favourite was embraced by local audiences with both performances greeted rapturously by packed theatres.

With no elaborate sets, the concert format also allowed the orchestra to be featured prominently on stage rather than hidden from the audience.

Mr Namdar said they would love to make the concerts an annual event but this would depend on other commitments, including plans to produce a third production each year featuring under-18s performers.

 

Respecting Copyright

First published at the Blue Mountains Gazette here

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