UCOL Music staff, graduates, and a student have been part of Centrepoint Theatre’s successful production of That Bloody Woman, which has now sold out for its final week of shows.
That Bloody Woman is a rock musical that tells the story of Kate Sheppard, New Zealand’s most influential suffragette.
UCOL has a strong presence in the production, with Music staff, graduates and a student in performing and off-stage roles. UCOL Lecturer & Programme Leader, Kane Parsons, is Musical Director and also plays in the band. Student Ashton Lyne and Tutor Daniel Ashcroft are also in the band, while graduate Laura Signal is in the cast. Graduate Caleb Hickmott is pulling double-duty as Sound Engineer and occasional drummer, while UCOL Lecturer Graham Johnston is a Sound Consultant.
For guitarist Ashton Lyne, this is his second big musical, having recently been a part of Grease at the Regent on Broadway.
“It’s been lot fun, I’ve learnt a lot, and it’s been cool getting to meet people in the community. It has been pretty intense playing almost every night for a month,” says Ashton.
Ashton says it has been a great experience playing in front of a sold-out crowd on most nights.
“With a lot of musicals the band is behind a curtain, but with That Bloody Woman we get to interact with the cast and I have a few lines, so it’s been fun.”
Kane Parsons says it is rare for Centrepoint Theatre to put on musicals, so this was a great opportunity for music students to get a different kind of work experience.
“We talked to Centrepoint about getting students to play in the band for work experience. We had a few lined up who ended up having other commitments, but Ashton had just finished Grease and I told him we needed a guitarist. He jumped at the opportunity and he’s been incredible.”
“We’ve taken the students to the show so they can see what other kinds of employment opportunities are out there for them. It’s opened up Ashton’s eyes to a whole new world, and it’s the biggest sound engineering opportunity Caleb has had.”
Image above: Lisa Chappell stars as Kate Sheppard. The photograph is courtesy of Centrepoint Theatre.