Musical ‘made for this district’

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Footrot Flats, the musical, will be staged by the Methven Theatre Company in September.

Director Matt Markham and musical director Linda Young are looking forward to delivering laughs in a show Markham said ‘‘is made for this district’’.

‘‘Audiences here will love it,’’ he said.

After auditions last month, 17 people were cast in the iconic roles everyone who grew up in the 70s and 80s with – Wal, his offsiders Dog, Cooch, Jess, Aunt Dolly, the terrifying Horse, sarcastic Pongo and the rest of the farm animals.

Wal is being played by longtime company actor Jason Ree. Cooch is played by Ree’s son Jake, Dog is Richard Norrish, and Cheeky Hobson is Rebecca Robinson, who is new to the company. Aunt Dolly is Sheree Tait, Jess is Becky Dirks, Pongo is Shyan Hughes and Cecil is Shane Stockdill.

“While it’s all the familiar faces we know and love from the Footrot Flats movie and cartoon strips, the show is completely different,’’ Markham said.

‘‘But hidden amongst the new storyline is so much of what made Footrot Flats such a firm part of life for so many of us.’’

When rehearsals commenced mid-June, the cast was excited to learn they already have purpose-made costumes courtesy of a loan from the Te Puke Theatre Company, as well as a selection of props.

“We are so lucky that Te Puke was willing to share with us their recent costumes following a successful run of the show in the Waikato last year,” Markham said.

“Footrot Flats hasn’t been performed in the Ashburton District since the 1990s, and some people are already asking when tickets go on sale. Hopefully by August, but watch our Facebook page as we’ll let locals know first.”

The Footrot Flats stage musical is based on the book by Roger Hall, with music by Phillip Norman and lyrics by AK Grant.

The show in Methven will open on September 5 and run for three nights only.