Casting net for Big Fish

July 17, 2017

Colourful costumes: Cast members (left to right) Gabby Sanders, Jess Parris, Beth Robinson, Ruby Shannon, Georgia Barrass, Jeremy Sargent, Zoe Hamilton and Nicola Coats.

Big Fish: Jayden Yosh, as Edward Bloom and Maicy Hocking as Sandra Bloom interact.

Big cast: Some of the younger cast members of Big Fish James Male, Charlie McCosh and Lily Giuliani.

Leads: Jayden Yosh as Edward Bloom and Maicy Hocking as Sandra Bloom.

Notre Dame College will bring the fantastical adventures of Edward Bloom to Mooroopna’s Westside Performing Arts Centre with its production of Big Fish this week.

Production director Casey Fogarty said this was only the fifth time the US comedy-drama, originally based on a Daniel Wallace’s book Big Fish: A Novel of Mythic Proportions, was being performed in Australia.

Ms Fogarty said the college decided to go in a different direction this year after performing the traditional and well-known Beauty and the Beast last year.

‘‘It’s important to mix it up, I fell in love with the music first, then the story of Big Fish, which, I feel, can resonate with lots of different people, people can connect with it,’’ Ms Fogarty said.

‘‘Our production is more of a light-hearted approach than the 2003 film by Tim Burton, with more musical items.’’

The story, based in southern United States, centres around the life of Edward Bloom, who has a prodigious gift for storytelling.

The production starts towards the end of his life, where he is on his deathbed attempting to reconnect with his estranged son who is no longer amused by his stories about his eventful youth and believes are all lies.

‘‘The story is set around three different times and each lead has at least five different costumes, which has been hard to sort out,’’ Ms Fogarty said.

‘‘There are 50 students (both senior and junior) on stage, meaning there are lots of fun characters on display supported by another 10 students helping out backstage.

‘‘Our youngest cast member is five years old.’’

A live orchestra, made up of Shepparton musicians including two Notre Dame students, will also add to the magic of Big Fish on stage.

Student Ruby Shannon said she had never heard of Big Fish, so she did some research and found she loved the great soundtrack and story.

‘‘I’ve been performing in shows since Year 7 and it is very different to anything I’ve done before and it’s great to bring to Shepparton for the first time,’’ Ruby said.

‘‘At the start, I’m a fisherman, then I’m a doctor, a friend of one of the leads as well as a dancer.’’

Ruby and Rob Baxter, who plays Amos, have also had the opportunity to choreograph some of the play and take on role of a director.

‘‘There’s lots of different time jumps and the leads get to explore the different times in their characters’ lives,’’ Rob said.

‘‘There’s something for everyone, younger kids will enjoy the bright colours and dancing, while the older audiences will appreciate the heart-felt story underneath the fun,’’ he said.

Performances are on 7.30pm, Thursday, Friday and Saturday at Mooroopna’s Westside Performing Arts Centre.

Tickets are $15 and are available from Notre Dame College front reception in Knight St, Shepparton, or on the door if there any are left.

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