Arts & Entertainment

Paige makes her directorial debut at BMDS tomorrow

  • No place like home: Paige Hallett as Dorothy in last year’s Gilbert & Sullivan production of The Wizard of Oz

If musical revues are your thing, Paige Hallett is offering one you won’t want to miss.

Six women play more than 30 characters in The World Goes ‘Round, an eclectic collection of “love songs, torch songs and acerbically witty comic numbers” by the famed songwriting team, John Kander and Fred Ebb.

Ms Hallett proposed the idea to the Bermuda Musical & Dramatic Society and was shocked when they asked her to direct. The show opens at Daylesford tomorrow evening.

“It’s a little bit terrifying. I’m more confident on stage being told what to do,” she laughed. “To have all this responsibility on me is a whole other ballgame.”

She first appeared on stage in 1999 when she was cast in the BMDS pantomime, Red Riding Hood.

“I was born into theatre,” said Ms Hallett who surprised herself by pursuing a career in reinsurance. “My parents, Annette and Bruce, have been heavily involved since I was a child and I didn’t escape it.

“This is my debut as a director. I got asked by the music director at BMDS, Lisa Maule, if I knew of any small musicals that I thought would be good to put on — basically anything I could do with the least number of people and the least amount of money.

“Once we’d finished chatting, she let me know I’d be directing it.”

The World Goes ‘Round takes its title from a song Kander and Ebb wrote for the 1977 film, New York, New York.

Created by Scott Ellis, Susan Stroman and David Thompson, it opened at an off-Broadway theatre in 1991 and ran for a year.

“It’s hard to describe,” Ms Hallett said. “It’s a musical revue of songs by Kander and Ebb. The people who created the show took songs from their story book that tell the stories of different characters. There’s no through plot line; every song is a new story from a new character.”

The idea is to have limited distractions on stage.

She hopes that with a basic backdrop and few costumes and props, the songs will tell the actual story.

“For the most part, it’s an internal journey that, hopefully, shows through to the audience,” the director said. “We’ve got an incredible cast of women, not to mention people working backstage as well. We have several new faces, and stalwarts.

“It’s refreshing to have new talent onstage and offstage and we hope it’s something that is interesting for the audience to see.

“Bar a few names it’s all women, on stage and off, so that’s really exciting for us as well.”

Ms Hallett also has a small role in the show, a bonus for her.

“It wasn’t the plan initially, but it kind of worked out that way.

“One of the original cast members had to drop out and so I assumed two songs in the show, so I’m performing as well — which is nice as I get to do what I want to do,” she laughed.

The World Goes ‘Round runs tonight through Saturday and May 22, 23 and 24 at Daylesford Theatre at 8pm. Tickets, $35, are available at the box office an hour before the show and