Travelling time a chance to rehearse

Daughter and father Carter, 12, and Scott Mitchell travel from Bannockburn to Tapanui three times...
Daughter and father Carter, 12, and Scott Mitchell travel from Bannockburn to Tapanui three times a week to rehearse for the latest West Otago Theatrical Society production of 'Mary Poppins: The Broadway Musical'. PHOTO: BEN ANDREWS
You might think you could run out of things to talk about, travelling four hours to and from rehearsals three times a week.

But Bannockburn performers Scott Mitchell and his daughter Carter have yet to face that problem.

The pair are performing in the West Otago Theatrical Society (WOTS) production of Mary Poppins: The Broadway Musical at the end of the month.

On Mondays, Wednesdays and Sundays the pair, and other WOTS cast members from around the South, make the journey to Tapanui to rehearse.

Mr Mitchell said when he first started doing the trips he thought it would be a "grind" travelling so often.

"We do our warm-ups in the car.

"We do our singing and work on the bits we maybe messed up before."

That made the journey far from a grind, with about half the time spent rehearsing, he said.

"We’re only here for a two-hour rehearsal but we feel like we get an extra hour either way."

When rehearsals started they drove the whole way to Tapanui in daylight.

Because of daylight saving ending it was now dark by the time they reached Alexandra.

"But you get [to Tapanui] and see all the friendly faces and that makes it worthwhile."

In the production, Mr Mitchell plays the role of Bert, the chimney sweep, "a friend of Mary Poppins whom nobody knows where he’s from".

"He seems to have a bit of magic and a bit of mystery about him."

He narrated the story in a Cockney accent from an on-stage position.

"I already have an accent [Mr Mitchell is from Scotland] but I get to do another."

Carter plays Jane Banks.

"Jane is like the bossy sister", she said.

"She’s very rude and thinks she can get her own way all the time."

As the show progressed Jane would begin to show a lot more empathy towards others, she said.

Mary Poppins: The Broadway Musical will be the pair’s first time in a WOTS production.

"It’s really good coming in as an outsider", Mr Mitchell said.

"Everybody has been so welcoming, really making you feel like a part of their group", he said.

"All the rehearsals have been fun but there will be nothing better than getting the show under way."

The first show will be performed at the Mataura Licensing Trust Community Theatre in Tapanui on June 29.

— Ben Andrews