Youthful performers show talents

Music theatre pupils show off some of their costumes for tonight. Photo by Gerard O'Brien. Any Broadway stars in Dunedin can take a back seat today as local schoolchildren take to the stage for the Child Cancer Foundation.

The pupils are from the Musicool Summer School, a five-day intensive camp that brings together Dunedin's young performers in preparation for the annual charity musical performance.

Founded by Denise Henderson 12 years ago in Timaru, the school shifted to Dunedin in 2011 to collaborate with fellow theatre instructor Bridget Telfer.

Ms Henderson estimates that since she founded the school in 2002, almost $10,000 has been raised for various youth charities.

''Part of the school's philosophy has been to raise money for youth-related charities. Every year we pick a different charity. Last year we raised money for the Sophie Elliot Foundation.''

She believed the combination of charity and performance was empowering for the children, and had positive responses from both parents and the pupils.

''It really helps them grow and bloom. It's a cliche but it's true.''

The theme of this year's event is ''musicals with a modern edge'', featuring renditions of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Beauty and the Beast and reality television star Simon Cowell's latest musical creation I Can't Sing.

The musical will be held at Coronation Hall, Mosgiel. Doors open at 6.30pm. Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for students and children.

All proceeds will go to the Child Cancer Foundation.

- Liam MacAndrew.

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