Grace Hocking, 16, and Ben Felix, 16, as Peter Pan and Captain Hook, joined by some of the other lead performers for Peter Pan, the combined schools musical.
Grace Hocking, 16, and Ben Felix, 16, as Peter Pan and Captain Hook, joined by some of the other lead performers for Peter Pan, the combined schools musical. Luka Kauzlaric

Gladstone's young talent in Neverland as show sells out

THIS production challenges anything and everything you can imagine.

The scene is set on a small island called Neverland, where a mischievous, flying boy spends his never-ending childhood.

Sound familiar?

Peter Pan, the combined schools musical starting on Monday, will feature all the classic's favourites, including Peter, the Lost Boys, mermaids, indians, fairies, pirates and more.

Director Jeannie Butler said this musical brought together the very best of Gladstone's talented youth.

Up to 117 cast members, a live orchestra of instrumental and music teachers joined by talented music students and 25 backstage crew ranging in age from 10-17, make sure this mammoth show will entertain Gladdy crowds.

"This is the eighth production of its kind (in Gladstone) and I have been so fortunate to have been the director and worked with so many amazing, talented children," Ms Butler said.

"Many students who have been involved in the combined schools musicals have gone on to continue their careers."

The production attracted much interest right from the start, with 250 students auditioning.

"Every production I do brings an overwhelming sense of pride and Peter Pan is no exception," Ms Butler said.

"I personally hope this traction of staging such a tremendous project continues in the years to follow.

"It nurtures children's natural enthusiasm for the arts, enhances their disposition for life-long learning and most importantly brings so much joy to their audiences."

About the show:

  • Matinee performances will be held from March 24-28. These are designed for schools, but if you would like to place your name on a waiting list, contact the box office on 4972 2822.
  • Shows for the general public are on Friday, March 28 and Saturday, March 29 are sold out.
  • Tickets: $20 for adults, $12 for students.
Grace Hocking (right), 16, as Peter and Ben Felix, 16, as Captain Hook.
Grace Hocking (right), 16, as Peter and Ben Felix, 16, as Captain Hook. Luka Kauzlaric

Grace goes from Stepford wife to boy who never grows up

GRACE Hocking, 16, has gone from one extreme of musical production roles to another.

She played a Stepford wife in Boomtown, donning a long wig and big dresses, and now she will play the lead role in Peter Pan.

But the boy with the never-ending childhood now played by the fairer gender is not the only surprise.

"Everyone knows the story of Peter Pan, but this production has a twist at the end - which makes it exciting," she teased.

"It's great to see so many kids on the stage enjoying themselves and to have an opportunity to be part of something more than just a small school production," Grace said.

Peter Pan's arch nemesis is played by Ben Felix, 16.

"I have never been involved in a musical before," he admitted.

Despite this, the brave Year 12 student is not afraid of facing a large crowd during the performance.



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