Nicola Thomson is looking forward to her first show with the Variety Theatre of Ashburton.

Ashburton Intermediate School deputy principal Nicola Thomson has been singing in the shower and practising some fancy footwork ahead of the Variety Theatre of Ashburton’s May show.

It’s Only Rock n Roll Baby will run from May 21-29 and it’s a covid-despatching, toe-tapping happy music and dance show that will have huge appeal.

Nicola says she is excited and a bit nervous for her first show, as her best singing performances previously have been confined to karaoke.

She was encouraged to audition by intermediate art teacher Rochelle Cooney, who had heard her sing and was impressed.

Now she hopes staff and students will be inspired by her stage adventure and come along to see one of the eight shows that will be in the Ashburton Trust Event Centre.

Nicola has four solos, including Big Spender and Country Road.

Mel Neumann, who spends her days working for the Ashburton District Council, will be singing three solos, including True Colours and Somewhere Over the Rainbow.

She’s been part of the Variety Theatre since 2012 and is stepping into the limelight as a soloist for the first time.

Mel said music didn’t exactly run in her family but she loved it and was seizing the chance to perform.

She is a bit nervous, but putting hours of training in the countdown to the show next month.

It’s Only Rock n Roll Baby was originally planned for May last year, but covid put paid to that.

The theatre ran auditions again last November and re-selected a cast of singers and dancers that has both familiar and new faces. Half the original cast were unavailable or had left the district.

The show has been compiled by Gavin Templeton, with his daughter Sarah as musical director and Jessie Thomson as choreographer. The numbers have been chosen because they are all songs that we dance to, laugh to, sing to and cry to.

The cast of about 30 has been practising in the theatre’s rooms at Wills Street in the lead-up.

One scene sees them dressed in zombie costumes, which they created themselves in a fun but messy team bonding session. The wardrobe department is also promising one spectacular costume that will only be revealed at show time.

Gavin said it had been nine years since the theatre staged a song and dance show and the whole company was looking forward to it.

Variety Theatre president Kim Vessey said there was some fabulous talent in the show and some voices were new to the area.

“There are a lot of old voices as well, but that is what we love about the theatre.”

There will be eight shows, including a matinee.

Full cast list:

Maddy Wilson, Murran Carter-Buller, Georgie Cartney, Darlene Peters, Anna Gray, Sheree Tait, Tiffany McRae, Brian Taylor, Mackenzie Edmond, Dayle Stoliker, Emily-Jane Farr, Lesley Stoliker, Abbey Marshall, Rocky Bull, Summah Ralston, Viv Horsburgh, Tania Gordon, Peter Murray, Kate Templeton, Mel Neumann, Ellie Lawn, Nicola Thomson, Line Ferriman, Audra Ceullar, Sally Eames, Chris Woods, Denesa Chan.