Dreaming of Never Land success

By Dave GooderhamAS a former member of the Suffolk Young People's Theatre, Catherine McDonald's love of the theatre is deeply rooted in the region.But she is now preparing to take on the big guns and sharp opinions at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival after writing, producing and directing a musical based on the timeless classic Peter Pan.

By Dave Gooderham

AS a former member of the Suffolk Young People's Theatre, Catherine McDonald's love of the theatre is deeply rooted in the region.

But she is now preparing to take on the big guns and sharp opinions at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival after writing, producing and directing a musical based on the timeless classic Peter Pan.

Now the former Thurston Upper School pupil is preparing to face the wrath of hard-hitting judges at the world famous festival.


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The 21-year-old said: “We were very lucky to get a two-week run at the Edinburgh Festival. We are hoping we will get good reviews and maybe even an award or two.

“The musical just kind of happened. I started writing a couple of songs a few years ago and it just spiralled out of control.

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“I never really intended to write a musical about Peter Pan as I usually only write completely original ideas. But it has been quite refreshing to do something filled with magic and adventure.

“I want to carry on writing and hopefully carve out a career in musical theatre. I do love performing as well, but at the moment I am just happy doing both.”

Although the Birmingham University drama student's love of the theatre started in primary school, her passion grew as a member of the Suffolk Young People's Theatre and the Bury St Edmunds-based Irving Stage Company.

Miss McDonald, who cited famous Suffolk songstress Ruthie Henshall as her idol, said: “I started off doing ballet and I can remember watching and listening to Jesus Christ Superstar all the time when I was about six years old. It is really something that has always been part of my life.”

She spent almost two years writing the musical, Never Land, with fellow university student Erica Reed, which will debut at the festival in August.

“It is a musical based on Peter Pan for children and adults. We have tried to make it a family show, but it is also quite serious at times,” said Miss McDonald.

“It is very much based on the traditional story with all the different adventures associated with the classic.”

All the proceeds from the musical will go to the Great Ormond Street Hospital - after Peter Pan author JM Barrie gave it the copyright of the children's classic.

But Miss McDonald said if any company would like to help sponsor the musical, they can contact her on kit_chief@yahoo.co.uk.

dave.gooderham@eadt.co.uk

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