Blackout debuts with hilarious spelling bee in Tongala

By Ivy Jensen

A NEW theatre arts group will make its debut with a rendition of The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee in Tongala in February.

Spearheaded by directors Andrew Moore, Chris McDonald and Liz Dillon, Blackout Arts Company has spent fewer than two months rehearsing the musical comedy, which features talent from across the region, including Echuca-Moama, Kyabram, Shepparton and Bendigo.

Show director Liz Dillon said the production centred on a fictional spelling bee set in Putnam Valley Middle School.

“Six quirky children, played by adults, compete in the bee, run by three equally quirky grown-ups,” she said.

“Three audience members are also called up and included in the first act of the show. We have also selected two budding students as swings/ensemble who are certainly learning a lot from this talented cast.

“This cast is simply incredible and I promise you a show you will not forget in a hurry.”

Liz said the cast was about to go into its third full run through, with choreography complete and vocal parts finalised.

“The audience must have a sense of humour and I hope they laugh a lot,” she said.

“There is less laughter around and we just want people to know that it’s so okay to laugh out loud.

“It does have adult themes but we do leave it up to the discretion of parents whether or not bring children 8-12. Under this is possibly not the right show.”

Liz said the show would be staged in Tongala shire hall.

“The scene needs to be set in a quirky hall and this little town just has so much to offer when it comes to the arts,” she said.

“Their hall is immaculate and we cannot wait to bump in.”

● Opening night is on Friday, February 21. Performances continue on February 22 at 1.30 pm and 7.30 pm. Tickets are on sale on the website trybooking.com