Rehearsals for a Hucknall theatre company’s swashbuckling New Year pantomime are well under way.
Lovelace Theatre Group’s production of The Three Musketeers at the John Godber Centre in January not only features plenty of songs, sword fights and derring do, but also a wealth of fresh-faced new talent.
The show’s choreographer - 15-year-old Owen Wright - is studying for his GCSEs at Holgate Academy, while his assistant, Elise Radford, is a mere 17, and doing her A Levels.
Stage manager Chloe Smith said the group have been rehearsing two nights a week since October.
She said: “Rehearsals are going really, really well. We are getting to the stage where it is really taking shape. We are ahead of schedule.
“It is very busy. We are constantly doing scenery, finding props and costumes. The directors are workshopping the actors. There’s a lot to do!”
The play, written by Darren Edwards, is “not really a traditional choice for a pantomime” says Chloe.
“It’s got all the normal characters - D’Artagnan, Athos, Porthos and Aramis, but Princess Constance is the leading lady and the dame is Dame Meanie. But it’s also quite a “rocky” musical.”
The panto’s directors, Tom Morley and Chris Stevenson, are both school friends who studied at Holgate School together.
Chris studied drama at De Montfort University, while Tom is researching theoretical physics at Sheffield University.
Tom also wrote last January’s production of Peter Pan, was recently involved in the RSC touring performance of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, performing in Nottingham and Stratford-upon-Avon with a professional cast.
The “fully functioning and organised production team” consists of “new and young talent from in and around Hucknall”.
Chloe, 23, of Greenwood Vale, in Hucknall, studied drama at Lincoln University and also acts as the group’s publicity officer. She said
“I have been involved with the company since I was 14. Drama has always been an interest of mine since being really young as I find enjoyment in creating characters and bringing them to life on stage.
“After finishing my university course I have taken more of a backstage role within the group. This is my first year as stage manager and I will be using lots of skills which I have picked whilst studying towards my degree.
“Overall, as a group we’re all really enjoying the experience of putting together this show, regardless of whether we’re onstage or backstage, as we all share a common interest in theatre and performance.”
The show features 12 principal cast members and a chorus of around 20 including 15 junior cast members.