Pupils taking on NZ musical

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A large cast of high school pupils will sing, dance and act their way through original New Zealand show, Suspect, A Murder Mystery Musical, at the Mayfair Theatre next week.
Presented by St Hilda’s Collegiate School, with input from John McGlashan College performers, the musical was created in 2014 by a group of pupils at St Andrew’s College in Christchurch, led by young composer Isaac Shatford and and drama teacher Ginnie Thorner.
Shatford is now a second-year music student at the University of Otago, majoring in composition and performance violin, and is a member of the Dunedin Symphony Orchestra and Christchurch Symphony Orchestra.
St Hilda’s arts co-ordinator Barbara Power, who is directing the production of Suspect, A Murder Mystery Musical, said it was great to have the opportunity to present a New Zealand work.
‘‘This show really appealed to us — we want to support the arts in Aotearoa,’’ Ms Power said.
Involving 75 pupils, Suspect, A Murder Mystery Musical begins with a murder in the small town of Bitter Springs. Enter the Criminal Response Agency Bitter Spring (Crabs), with senior agents and interns battling the odds and each other to solve the case.
‘‘It’s a really good story and there are also lots of fantastic, original songs for the cast to get their teeth into,’’ Ms Power said.
The project has involved close collaboration between pupils and a team of staff, including musical director Michael Grant, production manager Donna Smith and choreographers Hannah Rouse and Lily Sabonadiere.
Suspect, A Murder Mystery Musical will be staged at the Mayfair Theatre on July 6, 7 and 8, at 7pm (doors at 6.30pm). Tickets at the St Hilda’s office.