Burnside tackles Disney classic

REHEARSAL: Sophie Gilmore who plays Belle and Sam Burt who plays Beast.

This year, Burnside High School is tackling the Disney classic Beauty and the Beast for its school production.

But, if you drive past the school you might notice a container sitting outside the Aurora Centre.

Inside is the secret to the production – the original set used in the 2006 Showbiz production of Beauty and the Beast.

With a cast of more than 70 students, head of Arts Faculty, Gavin Hurley, and arts consultant, Ravil Atlas, were mulling over which musical to produce this year.

Their thoughts went to the talent available and what kind of production they could afford to do.

It was at this point they heard a rumour that the original set was sitting somewhere in a container on a farm in Darfield.

“We knew we had the perfect cast available for Beauty and the Beast but we also understood that it was a Disney show and needed the requisite wow-factor of a production” said Mr Atlas.

Mr Hurley then went to work to see if the rumours were true and after a visit to a Darfield property, the sets were indeed discovered sitting in a container.

The sets and costumes were made by Showbiz in cooperation with WETA studios.

After the arrangements were made and the costumes located in the North Island, Hurley booked in the show and got to work on the production.

“I saw NASDA use them to great effect a few years ago in Ashburton and I knew if we could get the sets and costumes we could put on a great show,” Mr Atlas said.

The students have been rehearsing since March.

The student orchestra will be led by Chris Petch head of the music department with the direction falling to Mr Atlas, a former Broadway performer and now local conductor and stage director.

Performances of Beauty and the Beast will be held on July 20, 21, 22, 27, and 28 starting at 7pm.

Matinees are available on July 23 and 29 starting 2pm.

Tickets can be purchased through the school reception or by phoning 358 8383.