Hopes that a cautious approach will pay dividends

All together now . . . The cast of Musical Theatre Oamaru's Andrew Lloyd Webber in Concert show is enjoying rehearsals this week as the opening night approaches. PHOTO: LISS YOCKNEY

Some of the world’s favourite show tunes will ring out in Oamaru’s Scottish Hall next week.

Musical Theatre Oamaru (MTO) is staging four performances of Andrew Lloyd Webber in Concert from October 6 to 8.

A variety of singers from Oamaru and two from Twizel will present a mixture of numbers from the legendary British composer.

They have been rehearsing at home until earlier this week to prevent the spread of winter illnesses.

MTO president Melissa Yockney said the group was being cautious after it lost four performers and the MC for its June concert to Covid-19 or flu just a few days before the show was due to begin.

‘‘We’re playing cautiously,’’ Miss Yockney said.

The singers are now pooling their talents at combined rehearsals in the lead›up to the new show. It will be staged in three acts, featuring Bruna Williams on her return to the group in a cameo acting role as the go› between.

Performers from the June concert include Tim Blackler and Hannah Cruickshank, who will sing a duet from The Phantom of the Opera. Newcomers are also joining the troupe. Alan Rakiraki is directing the show and Sonya Creedy is the vocal coach.

The Scottish Hall will again be transformed into a lounge bar setting, with comfortable chairs and couches, carpet on the floor, and food platters and drinks available.

That ambience was appreciated by the June audiences, Miss Yockney said.

‘‘We’ve also been really lucky this year to receive a number of donations and grants from various funding schemes, so these concerts will be the first time some of our new gear gets a workout — staging, speakers, sound desk, computers to operate the sound and lighting programmes, etc.’’

The following weekend, MTO’s Junior Theatre will celebrate the 10th anniversary of the production of its own series of concerts.

When plans for a larger venture were being made earlier in the year, Covid was still rampant in the district, Miss Yockney said.

‘‘We had to pull the pin on that one, as it was too risky.’’

It was great to see the concert format coming to fruition for the young performers, she said. Their shows are on October 15 and 16, directed by Pat Gunn. Tickets to all the shows are available at Rose’s General Store in Tyne St.