Illabo Melodrama returns to stage

Margaret Kanaley, Neil Smith, Jane Davis and Rebecca Pascall practise their roles ahead for the latest Illabo Melodrama. Picture: Declan Rurenga

Margaret Kanaley, Neil Smith, Jane Davis and Rebecca Pascall practise their roles ahead for the latest Illabo Melodrama. Picture: Declan Rurenga

TICKETS are selling out fast for the Illabo Melodrama.

It’s been three years since the volunteer-driven performance appeared on stage with Illabo’s showground hall undergoing an extensive renovation between shows.

Titled Murder in the Heir, the performance has a unique twist with the audience to decide who the culprit is.

“We won’t know who the murderer is until the audience decides,” cast member Jane Davis said.

“We have to learn our lines as if one of us becomes the murderer,” she said.

For Junee’s Rebecca Pascall, Murder in the Heir is the first time she’s been on stage after working as a prompter for a production last year.

“The closest I’ve experienced to acting was studying drama in high school,” Miss Pascall said.

“There’s a big learning curve.

“(But) every practise has been a ball.”

The audience participation and renovated hall have challenged the cast and crew.

“We’ll raise the stage up this year so people can see up the back,” director Jeanne Pratt said.

“The renovations are great. It’s got a different ambiance, but we can’t close off areas like we used to so our set decorators are working hard.”

There are 35 cast and crew with three new actors on stage, Nicole Crozier, Kim Lemmich and Rebecca Pascall.

“It’s the first time Neil Smith has had a small role, but he’s put his own spin on it already and the first time Bob Callow has had a part with lines,” Mrs Pratt said.

Meanwhile, Chris Wilson will return to Australia the day before the show begins.

The run of performances has been reduced to just four over two weekends with more seats at each show.

“There’s less pressure on the cast, three weekends is a lot of work,” Mrs Pratt said.

“Normally I’m pulling my hair out, but this year I’ve been laughing a lot of the time.”

Cooinda Court, St Joseph’s Primary, Illabo and Eurongilly Public and Junee Christian Education will cater for the show, another charity will receive profits from ticket sales.

Tickets are only available to the first weekend on March 11 and 12, email illabo1@bigpond.com with your desired date.

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