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Youth performances of James and The Giant Peach are set to entertain Waihī. Photo: SUPPLIED

Waihī kids ready for fruitful performance

More than 30 youth will take the Waihī Drama Society stage for a slice of a Roald Dahl classic.
The newly formed Youth Theatreworks Waihī will host three James and the Giant Peach performances at the Boyd Rd venue on December 9, 10 and 11.
Trustee and stage manager for the production Victoria Menary told The Profile the hour-long performance was authentic to the Roald Dahl story originally published in 1961.
“James is an orphan… and he goes to live with Aunt Sponge and Aunt Spiker who are very horrible and one day a mysterious man comes along with a bag of little wriggly green things,” she said.
“He tells James that they’re magic. The next day Aunt Sponge and Aunt Spiker notice a peach growing on this old tree and it grows to massive proportions, and James discovers a little hole in the side of the peach and goes in and meets all the gigantic insect characters.”
Victoria said Youth Theartreworks Waihī, which has five other trustees, was established around four months ago to build on the successes of the youth programme originally run as a branch of Waihī Drama Society.
“We saw a need for the children and young people in Waihī to have an opportunity for performing arts so we wanted to create a space that was safe, welcoming and inclusive,” she said.
“Around 30 students are involved in the play and they attend Waihī Beach School, Waihī East School, Waihī College, one from Waihī Central School and a little handful who are homeschooled.”
Victoria said James and the Giant Peach was picked because the director Sandra Timlin had used Roald Dahl stories for previous Waihī Drama Society performances.
“Last year she did Fantastic Mr Fox and the year before that it was The Twits and they’re familiar stories with great characters and they’re really well adapted to the stage and very suitable for the age group we’ve got,” she said.
Victoria said by the time of the first performance, the kids aged between seven- and 14-years would have rehearsed for 10 weeks.
“We’ve been amazed at how well the kids have learned their lines, there’s a lot of dialogue to learn, and a lot of the main cast are quite young, they’re only eight or nine. They’ve really impressed me with their ability,” she said.
Edwin Randell from Waihī College wrote some music for the show, along with two original tunes, she said.
Some costumes and props were also donated by Waihī College and the trust received a $2006 grant from Creative Communities to go towards extra ones.
Victoria said Youth Theatreworks Waihi was also preparing its 2023 programme for workshops so kids could practise theatre skills.
DETAILS: The Theatre Boyd Rd, December 9 at 6pm, December 10 at 11am and 2pm, December 11 at 2pm. Tickets: gold coin donation available at Waihī Stationery