• Jack Ward

Second bite of Snow White’s apple

Published in The Ararat Advocate, Ararat's weekly newspaper published by West Vic News Pty Ltd.


ARARAT Musical Comedy Society is getting its production of ‘Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs’ back on track for a rescheduled 2021 season.

PHOTO: Committee members, Rennie Hannon and Suellen Blackie, have been dusting off the costumes and props. (Jack Ward/Ararat Advocate)

The community organisation was rocked in March when they were forced to pull on the breaks just five weeks into rehearsals, but now it is full steam ahead.


Society secretary, Rennie Hannon said, excitement is brewing amongst the cast and crew as they come out of performance hibernation.


“Everyone was really pumped and really energetic about it. And then for us to turn around and say, look, sorry guys we're going to have to put a hold on this and we'll stay in touch was really hard,” she said.


“When we put out the message that we were taking that second bite of the apple – who’s in, who's not - the response was overwhelming.”


The committee is hosting a restart familiarisation night on Tuesday, February 2, at the Ararat Scout Hall in Campbell Street.


President Suellen Blackie said the night will begin at 7pm and help clarify the voids left in the cast due to members unable to commit this year.


“It's literally getting us all back together again. The main thing is just to touch base, to make sure that those that attend on that night are keen and ready to go,” she said.


“Anyone that wants to be involved is more than welcome to come along.”


Ms Hannon is also Wardrobe Coordinator and said, director Emily Friedrichsen is giving the traditional pantomime a steampunk twist to bring a unique portrayal of the production to the stage.


“Steampunk is an interesting genre. It's Victorian style costuming but you have that element of steam driven power behind it,” Ms Hannon said.


The committee is now moving its attention to finding a new rehearsal space. Their usual building at Ararat 800 Primary School has been damaged, rendering it unsafe.


“So that's put a bit of a pickle in the sandwich,” Ms Blackie said.


“At this point, we're using the Scout Hall for familiarisation night… but it is a little bit of a concern at the moment to find a home that will allow us to have the numbers that we want [in line with COVID regulations].”


The cast will be required to maintain social distancing throughout the rehearsal period and committee will be aware of the group limits in each room.


New regulations have also given the Ararat Musical Comedy Society no option but to relocate their six shows to the Stawell Town Hall.


“Based on the numbers and figures that the Ararat Town Hall has given us, we could only have about 40 at each show, which simply wouldn't make it viable,” Ms Blackie said.


“So we've actually locked in the Stawell Town Hall. Based on their figures and their seating arrangements we could have 140 so that's a big change for this year.”


She said that the relocation reflects the society’s move to expand as well, with “serious conversations” underway to change their name and become more regional.

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