This Saturday (11th August) the Hebrides Dance studio will host auditions for January’s pantomime, Robin Hood. (excerpt above from 2011 programme)
The pantomime is again being brought to Stornoway by director and producer Stuart Morrison.
Stuart was born in Newcastle but has strong Lewis connections. His father’s family are from Borve while his mother is originally from Carloway.
This year’s cast includes a number of star names – Nick Cochran as Muddles, David Rumelle as Dame Dora deluxe and the West End’s Sarah Galbraith as the Wicked Pandora.
As well as the professional cast, Stuart Morrison is again looking for local dancers to fill a number of amateur dance roles.
Auditions are for boys and girls over the age of eight, ideally with some dance experience although this will not be essential. Although everyone will be considered, performance skills and confidence are a must.
Auditions will be held in two sections – senior dancers (11+) 2-3pm and junior dancers (8-10) 3-4 pm (seven-year-olds who will be eight by January will also be considered).
Those auditioning will perform a short fun routine in small groups, displaying their ability to learn choreography and showcase dancing skills.
Kirstie Anderson who will be in charge of auditions on the day said, “It's a great opportunity to be part of a professional production. The process is hard work and dancers need to be dedicated, from the auditions until the final performance.”
“Although it's a lot of commitment we find many dancers want to come back again and again as they enjoy the experience so much.”
Kirstie also made reference to past successes through the pantomime auditions, in particular that of Mia Hartley Oliver.
When Stuart Morrison first brought his Premier Pantomime’s production to Stornoway in 2011 the youngest member of the cast was 10-year-old, Hebrides Dance student, Mia Hartley Oliver. That pantomime was also Robin Hood.
Since this first performance Mia has gone on to be the only performer to appear in each of the following seven productions. Last year Mia progressed from the amateur roles that she has previously occupied to a professional dance role. She described this as an “amazing experience”.
This year Mia is unlikely to be a feature of the pantomime as she has recently moved to the Borders to undertake a course at the MGA Academy in Edinburgh.
The course commencing this September is a BA in Dance and Musical theatre, with 30 students enrolled from thousands of applicants.
Kirstie said, “I have no doubt that her pantomime experience on her CV would have helped Mia gain a place at this prestigious stage school.”
Aside from pantomime Mia was recently involved a tour with Let’s Circus as a dancer. She has performed professionally with the circus for the past three years.
Mia said “Performing in the Panto has made me much more confident. While growing up, I’ve had such an amazing time performing and in the future hope to perform professionally in dance, circus and pantomimes.”
Mia would like to thank Stuart Morrison and Kirstie Anderson for all their work with the pantomime as well as Helen Averley, Steve Cousins and Freya Averley from Let’s Circus.