STARS OF STAGE: Ipswich Musical Theatre Company artistic director Brenda Ryan and performer Annabelle Harbison.
STARS OF STAGE: Ipswich Musical Theatre Company artistic director Brenda Ryan and performer Annabelle Harbison. David Nielsen

Wicked year for musicals with better still to come

IT HAS been a massive year for the Ipswich Musical Theatre Company, with a variety of performances at the Old Court House and the major production of Les Miserables.

The company also took out a number of awards. Well-known local identity, artistic director and co-founder of IMTC, Brenda Ryan is very excited about all that is planned for 2018.

It was the 2016 production of the highly-acclaimed Wicked that gave IMTC the Ipswich Chamber of Commerce Business Award for Community Event of the Year for 2017.

"I was overwhelmed at such a prestigious award, it is a celebration of the whole process of the production. It is a marvellous way to end a year," she said.

"We were also very successful at the Gold Coast Area Theatre Awards where we took out Outstanding Community Theatre Production for 2017 for Les Miserables, and The Palmies, also went to Murray Keidge of CPC Audio for best sound design, Wesley Bluff for best lighting design, and Bruce Edwards for best program. It was wonderful to take out so many awards," Mrs Ryan said.

IMTC is proud of the fact that Annabelle Harbison, who played Glenda in their Wicked production, was granted an internship at Broadway.

"It is a six-week internship and it is part of her theatre degree.

She has been able to shadow company managers and the cast of Wicked in Broadway as they continue to present the Broadway production of Wicked," Mrs Ryan said.

Wicked sold out and IMTC had to put on two more shows that also sold out. Les Miserables was also very successful and this follows a number of years of solid houses and first class productions. So what will IMTC pull out of the hat for 2018?

Mrs Ryan and co-founder and production manager Ken Mundt are very excited to announce that Strictly Ballroom is the 2018 major production. "We will stage this amazing, colourful spectacle in September this year.

On top of that we will have a special production at Woodlands of Marburg of A Little Night Music, that is on November 2 and 3."

Auditions for Strictly Ballroom will be held about April or May, with details to come.

According to Mrs Ryan a number of actors are looking for these more demanding productions.

"The audience expects high-tech productions with strong performances. Each show has had its demands and technical edge to it," she said.

"I believe that because we do stretch the boundaries and give a stunning production is the very reason why we are so successful and we are always mindful of our audience.

"We will continue in 2018 with our regular shows at the Old Court House, we have our dinner theatre production, this year its Are You Being Served, we always do the songs of the war, this is held on the week-end nearest Remembrance Day."



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