Talented young cast impresses

"Girls can’t go on quests," says Captain Ash, noticeably not volunteering for the job himself.

But unless someone finds the magical moonflower, soon, the King will die and the witch will take over the kingdom.

Petal’s clueless brother can’t or won’t do it, so Petal changes from her princessy dress into something less cumbersome and takes off into the forest, finding a friend who helps her evade the cunning schemes of the witch and her spies.

Petal and the Moonflower, by Dunedin playwright Zac Nicholls, is the Taieri Dramatic Society’s Christmas production this year, and a young, talented and clearly enthusiastic cast and crew, ably directed by Tabitha Littlejohn, are to be congratulated on achieving a remarkably high standard.

The cast are too numerous for me to mention each one individually, but standout performances came from Matt Brennan as King Branch, Jasmine Rixon as the feisty Petal and Kairi Mortensen-Morunga, resplendent and satisfyingly scary as the witch.

Extra-special mention must be made of Ovita Beres and Luke Payne, probably the youngest performers and possibly the most engaging, as the witch’s cheeky, rebellious sidekicks Lou-Lou and Tom-Tom.

Costumes by Judy Spillane, Jan Idour and Glenda Bateup are gorgeously fairy tale-ish, and technical design by Rachel Wilson enhances mood. Dialogue is clear, a good pace is achieved and scene changes are slick.

Thursday night’s dress rehearsal went without a hitch, delighting an invited audience of justly proud family and friends.

Good family shows are all too rare, and this one could provide children with an excellent introduction to theatre. Even if you don’t live in Mosgiel, it’s worth taking a trip to see.

Performances are at family-friendly times until December 19.

Petal and the Moonflower
Fire Station Theatre, Mosgiel
Thursday, December 9

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