Harvest Rain Theatre Company left me impressed with their new take on the Essgee Pirates of Penzance earlier this year (★★★★☆ / 5), and are set to perform Into the Woods at the Queensland Performing Arts Centre’s Concert Hall in early-October 2015. Looking forward into 2016, the company have announced that they will be performing the stage musical Hairspray at the Brisbane Convention Centre from April 8th to 10th 2016.
This is set to be another arena production, similar to their 2014 production of CATS which saw over 800 performers take to the stage. This version of Hairspray will be directed and choreographed by Callum Mansfield, and will star Simon Burke as Edna Turnblad, Christine Anu as Motormouth Maybell, Wayne Scott Kermond as Wilbur Turnblad and Rob Mills as Corny Collins. This is in addition to a core cast of 30 unconfirmed professional performers and an amateur ensemble which they hope will comprise of over 500 local performers.
But 500 ensemble members don’t just get picked off the street, so Harvest Rain are going to be holding auditions for young performers with ages ranging from 9 to 21. Each successful applicant will be put through a “rigorous” Hairspray boot camp and performance training process (Thus gaining valuable experience in the industry), before going on to participate in the five performances held in April 2016. Those looking to audition should check out the official Harvest Rain website.
While I am personally a tad disappointed that Harvest Rain Theatre Company have not yet announced any plans to work on the comedic Essgee G&S renditions of Mikado and HMS Pinafore (As they did with Pirates of Penzance this year), I eagerly look forward to seeing how their arena production of Hairspray fares.