Theatre attracts youngsters

by Kent Caddick

Kirwee Players will be introducing a large group of talented youngsters as part of its performance on The Little Mermaid next month, both on and off the stage.

The Little Mermaid, based on the Disney musical fairy tale about Ariel, a mermaid who wishes to live as a human, will play the Kirwee Community Hall on April 8 and 9, with two shows each day.

Kirwee Players publicity officer Courtney Hyde said the group believed there was a need to encourage younger people into the theatre.

“After the success of Oliver last year, it showed there was a gap in Selwyn for a dedicated kid’s theatre group to allow the talent of the area to develop their stagecraft and have fun.

“The hope for Kirwee Players is to continue with the formula for years to come and allow as many kids as possible to experience theatre to enrich their lives.”

Auditions for The Little Mermaid were held in December last year “A fantastic number of kids came from all over Selwyn and 31 children were eventually chosen to join the cast,” Ms Hyde said.

The group has been rehearsing three times a week and is gearing up to hit the stage in early April. She said it wasn’t just on stage that they wanted to encourage younger people into the theatre.

“Kirwee Players acknowledges that not only do they need talent from the youngsters on stage but also behind the scenes, and have taken this opportunity to work with a fresh new directing team.” The new team is made up of Kelsea Nelson-Cummins, Olivia Gibson and pianist Caelan Thomas.

“They are being mentored by the Kirwee Players production team and this allows the society and the district to build its creative base and allow more people to get involved.” Tickets are available online at