THRILL: Christie King and Jimm Woodly in costume for the Brisbane production of the musical Hairspray.
THRILL: Christie King and Jimm Woodly in costume for the Brisbane production of the musical Hairspray. Contributed

Kids high on Hairspray

THE largest production of the arena musical Hairspray has just finished in Brisbane, with two Grafton locals, Christie King and Jimm Woodley, taking part in the mass ensemble.

The two 17-year-old Grafton locals were among 900 young performers in the mass ensemble, who complemented the story and atmosphere of the main cast of the musical, set in 1960's Baltimore, with singing and dancing.

Ms King, who is in Year 12 at Clarence Valley Anglican School, said the opportunity to be involved in the production has fuelled her passion for musical theatre.

"I've always enjoyed the idea of story telling through the art forms of dancing, singing and acting," she said.

"I only first started thinking about musical theatre as a possible career path a few years ago when I found out about Harvest Rain Musical Theatre Company, who have produced this Hairspray show. Musical theatre and theatre are such special modes of expression and story telling, and the more I am exposed to theatre the more intrigued I feel about performance as a profession."

Mr Woodley, who is studying Year 12 at Grafton High School, said the rehearsals were long and gruelling, but it was all worth it.

"I was head over heels about the production, and to be able to perform in front of tens of thousands was just exceptional," he said.

The professional principal cast and mass ensemble rehearsed separately since December, and only came together in April to put the show together in two frantic weeks of rehearsing.

Ms King said being a part of the production was a valuable learning experience.

"It was great being able to perform at the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre but it was only a small part of the whole process," he said.

"Going to rehearsals to hang out with so many like-minded, crazy theatre people has been just as exciting."

"It has been so great to be able to experience this level of professional expectation."



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