Disney’s Moana Junior hits the stage at the Coffs Harbour Regional Conservatorium

The cast of Moana performing the finale.

 

DISNEY’S Moana Junior hit the stage last week as local performers delighted thousands of theatre goers in a 16 show musical production at the Coffs Harbour Regional Conservatorium.

The captivating production of song, dance, comedy and storytelling had the audience cheering every scene as local performers aged from 10 to 18 showcased their talents on the big stage.

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The Coffs Conservatorium was transferred into a tropical island setting with a ship on the balcony connecting the sand to the sea by a curved pathway, forming a spectacular backdrop.

Makaylah Beatty and Ebony Davies from Coffs Harbour played Moana and captured the heart of the audience from the opening scenes alongside her charismatic Grandmother, played by Karys Werstak.

It was a polished performance of acting, singing and humour from Boambee’s Sam Melinz who played the demigod Maui.

The dance ensembles were spectacular, ranging from uplifting island village dancing to the expressive ocean dance ensemble who combined contemporary dance, ballet and jazz to depict the mood of the ocean from calmness to fury.

The costumes and makeup were predominantly prepared by the cast and their families and none were more ‘Shiny’ than Tamatoa the crab’s, played by Shanaya Pitt alongside her two claws Lily Hibbard and Cleo Davison.

Jade Naidu, Director of Naidu Theatre Co, said she was delighted with the outcome after two and a half years of preparation.

“I am blown away with the outcome, the cast have done a magnificent job, some have never performed like this before and have really outdone themselves.

“There is so much talent in the region, this is the best cast I have ever worked with.

“It’s been two and a half years of preparation.

“We started the audition process nine months ago, it was such a difficult task and since then we have intensely been training, practicing and rehearsing.

“Storytelling is how we have communicated for thousands of years and as the show says, passing down stories from generation to the next.

“As much as modern technology is helpful, it’s really important we don’t lose touch with storytelling and continue to tell stories, to teach our children, the next generation how to tell stories.

“Expressing yourself through song and dance is something we are all passionate about and love to encourage, it’s been a journey for the cast and production crew who have made new friends and shared storytelling with the community.

“We are towards the end of our 16 show schedule and are all so grateful for the support of the community, for coming to see the show, share in the experience and support live theatre.

“Most of our shows have sold out and we look forward to finishing with a bang from our last three shows on Saturday 23 January.

“Thank you to the cast, parents and community for supporting live theatre, we can’t wait to announce what our next plans are next for Naidu Theatre Co,” said Jade.

 

By David WIGLEY

 

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