WHEN an uplifting musical about the late Nelson Mandela arrives at the Canberra Theatre later this month, the audience may well be jumping with joy. For “Madiba the Musical” has a heart-warming message of renewal […]
Alison Plevey is acting artistic director while QL2’s long serving director Ruth Osborne is off on a Churchill Fellowship, and she’s keen to point out both the sameness and differences in the production, saying: “there are moments of unity when we see the same, but the focus is on how we are different.”
With 47 young people between the ages 8–15 and a few from the older Quantum Leap Ensemble on stage, she notes, naturally there is great diversity, in nationality, in opinions and in personality but, she continues mysteriously, “we are all different and that makes us all the same”.
One thing which will ensure differences during the production is that it’s being choreographed by three people – Plevey herself and two QL2 alumni, dancer Jack Riley and hip-hop expert Steve Gow.
Music is usually the key with original dance and the show, which runs in a “fast and furious” manner over 50 minutes, has original music by Riley’s friend Robert Downie, music for the final section was composed by one of the dancers, Natsuko Yonezawa and found music was sourced by Gow and Plevey. For this particular project there was no funding for composers, although Plevey is quick to point out that the annual QL2 main stage production at The Playhouse always uses original music.
While the performances this weekend are very important, the key to the whole project has been, Plevey says, “getting the kids’ input, and they have loved the process”.
But the endpoint is the performance and for the first time, with these junior performers, they’re having a schools matinee so that young people can see the work of other young people.
“Fitting in. Standing out. Working together. Stepping forward. The power of many. The power of one. The joy of difference.” That’s what all is about, Plevey says.
“Not like the others” — a junior contemporary dance performance, at Theatre 3, Repertory Lane Acton, October 13 and 14, 6pm, Friday, 3pm and 6pm Saturday and a school matinee 1pm, Friday. Bookings to canberrarep.org.au or 6257 1950 or at the door.