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Junior Inverness drama group to present virtual musical during coronavirus lockdown

By Margaret Chrystall

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The Junior Florians cast of The Show Must Go Online!
The Junior Florians cast of The Show Must Go Online!

An Inverness drama group which had plans for two live productions cancelled by lockdown will present a specially-written virtual musical this weekend.

And the presentation on Saturday comes with the perfect title - The Show Must Go Online!

Morag Russell, leader of the Junior Florians, said: “Our two groups of juniors sadly had their big annual productions cancelled in March, just a week before curtain up, due to the current pandemic.

“But since lockdown we’ve been lucky enough to have the chance to work on this virtual musical from the company we had used for our 2019 production, Beat by Beat Press.

“They put together this new musical in record time specifically for all the young performers affected by these unprecedented circumstances.

“The idea was that it can be rehearsed remotely and showcased virtually, so we were still able to work on a full production from the safety of our own homes!”

Now 21 youngsters are taking part in the show.

“I’m playing the not-so-tech-savvy drama teacher,” laughed Morag.

It’s Morag’s character’s story which opens the show. The frazzled drama teacher sends a video message to her students from her home office, announcing that their production of Brushes With Greatness: The Dental Hygiene Musical has been cancelled.

But she accidentally leaves the camera running, and the students hear the school principal tell her that without the musical, the drama club will shut down.

The students, determined to not see this happen, decide to keep the show running - online! They have lots of challenges to overcome in a show that features 15 songs, including Defying Cavities, possibly a familiar-sounding title for fans of Wicked.

Morag said: “At first, the virtual rehearsals but everyone's given it 100 per cent and we've all really enjoyed still being able to connect and work on a project together.

“And we've even had kids pulling together their own props and costumes!”

See The Show Must Go Online! (book Jessica Penzias, lyrics David Hudson and music Denver Casadoon) on Saturday at 7.30pm via The Florians’ Facebook page: https://m.facebook.com/florianstheatre)

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