Choral Society’s Arena Spectacular

Jamie Hunt will direct the Townsville Choral Society's hundredth production, 'We Will Rock You.' The arena spectacular will take over the Townsville Entertainment and Convention Centre from 31 January - 10 February, 2018. IMAGE: Sonia Warrell

With the closure of the Townsville Civic Theatre in the first half of 2018, the Townsville Choral Society is kicking things up a notch and moving in to the Townsville Entertainment and Convention Centre for the arena spectacular We Will Rock You – the first time the production will be performed in Townsville, and the first time the Choral Society has taken on an arena-style musical. We caught up with We Will Rock You Director Jamie Hunt to find out what to expect from the production, and what he’ll be looking for in auditions.

Is it intimidating, stepping in to direct the Choral Society’s hundredth production?
If I was walking in to this production on my own, it would be terrifying, but I am very fortunate to be surrounded by people with a wealth of experience. The advantage of working in a company with a long history like the Townsville Choral Society is that there is always someone that you can ask for advice or to bounce ideas off of. We are just going to approach it like any other production and put on the best performance that we can. It is my second time directing for TCS and I feel very lucky to be given the opportunity at such a huge milestone.

How will the arena spectacular differ from past locally-produced musicals?
The big difference is the venue. The Civic Theatre is a fantastic venue, but we have jumped at the opportunity to stage this in arena-style at the Townsville Entertainment and Convention Centre. Queen is iconic rock, so that’s how We Will Rock You needs to be staged. Everything is bigger than the theatre, just like a rock concert!

For people who haven’t seen or heard of the show before, what should they expect?
Although the songs of Queen have been weaved together to tell a story, the musical stays true to the music. Almost every hit song that Queen is known for is included in the show, so people are going to love it. The story line is quirky, but hilarious!

When will audition pieces become available, and how can people get involved?
Audition material will be ready over the next week and all the details will be uploaded to the Townsville Choral Society’s website. Auditions will be held from 19-22 October at Kirwan State High School.

What will you be looking for in auditions?
The beauty of this show is that there are not many age restrictions on characters, so everyone is encouraged to audition. We are obviously looking for people who can sing, dance and act, but we are also looking for people who take direction well and want to work with the team to create a fantastic show.

What’s your all-time favourite Queen song?
This is probably the hardest question yet! My favourite Queen song is probably Breakthru (if you’ve seen the film clip they are actually performing on a steam train through the English countryside). My favourite Queen song in the show is Under Pressure.

Auditions for Townsville Choral Society’s We Will Rock You Arena Spectacular will be held from 19-22 October, with audition information available here. Catch We Will Rock You at the Townsville Entertainment and Convention Centre from 31 January – 10 February, with tickets available now. For an idea of what to expect, listen to songs from the original London production below.

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