A YOUNG dancer preparing to perform in St Giles’ Theatre Group’s 24th outing knows more than most the true meaning of the term, ‘the show must go on’.
For at the age of just 18, Shelley MacDonald was propelled into dreaming up the dance numbers for ‘Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat’, after the original choreographer fell ill.
On April 18, about 120 young people from across Moray will take to the stage at Elgin Town Hall for a four-night run of the popular Andrew Lloyd Webber musical.
Director Anne Duncan, the depute head at Elgin High School, said that Shelley had done a brilliant job of bringing movement to the much-loved family show.
“I’m absolutely delighted – she is only 18, and she is choreographer of the whole show,” Mrs Duncan said.
Shelley, who has danced since the age of seven, and joined the theatre group when she was just 10, said she was apprehensive at first.
“There were more than 100 people to think about, and about nine or 10 dances. That’s the senior dancers, junior dancers and all the chorus as well.
“I knew I wanted to do it, because I like a challenge, but it was a bit scary as well, because I’ve never worked with that many people,” she said.
However, with everything now set for opening night, Shelley said she can’t wait for curtain-up.
The production will be the fourth outing of ‘Joseph’ for the group, and benefits from the musical direction of Roz Burnett, who was narrator in the group’s first outing of the musical in the 1980s.
“Roz is absolutely amazing; she is so flexible that I sometimes can’t believe she manages to stay upright,” said the director.
Mrs Duncan also praised the abilities of her assistant director, Lewis Watson, who also came up through the group, as well as the vast team of volunteers who help ensure the success of the annual event.
“It is like a well-oiled machine. There is a whole team involved, and so, as director, there are so many things that you just don’t have to think about,” she said.
Final praise went to the cast of young people, aged from 10 to 19, who have been in rehearsals since October.
“They are just phenomenal. The biggest thing about this cast is that they have worked so well together,” she said.
“To be honest, the show is going to be a bit of a bonus, because the rehearsals have been, for the most part, a wonderful experience.”
‘Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat’ runs at Elgin Town Hall from Wednesday to Saturday, April 18 to 21. Doors open at 7pm for a 7.30pm start.
Tickets are available from the box office at St Giles’ Church (entrance opposite WH Smith), on Monday, Wednesday and Saturday from 10am to noon, and on Tuesday and Friday from noon to 2pm. Subject to availability, they will also be available on the door.