Interview With Nell Ng : The Wizard Of Oz

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Last year, many of us enjoyed watching Pan Productions’ “Cabaret”. This year, we can look forward to Pan Productions’ “The Wizard Of Oz”, an unforgettable musical. I’m sure quite a few of us know a few lines of “Over The Rainbow”. I had a chat with Nell Ng about this upcoming musical which will be performed at KLPAC beginning 26th April.

How different are the challenges in producing “The Wizard Of Oz” compared to “Cabaret”?

This one (Wizard Of Oz) has different challenges. We have a bigger cast, bigger stage and more seats to fill. We have a main cast of 24 plus 26 children and 15 band members.

How many weeks are rehearsals?

5 weeks in total before the show starts. We rehearse intensively everyday from 10am-6pm. We want to make it productive for everyone to minimize waiting around. We have a schedule for everyone, we want to keep all interested in their character and continue to be excited about performing. In these 5 weeks, everything moves fast which keeps the cast alert. There’s no time wasting and everyone fully utilises their time.

What were the auditions like for this production?

Wehad 2 rounds for adults, then a further 2 rounds for the callbacks (those shortlisted). For kids, there was just 1 round of ausition.

What is the age range of the child actors?

Between 6-16 years.

What do you look for in your actors?

I look for personality and good energy, they need not necessarily have had acting experience as long as they show potential. Some people have passion and interest, they only need an opportunity. Initially, I only wanted 20 kids but ended up with 26.

What kind of role do parents play if their kids are acting?

Parents play an important role, they need to be supportive and encouraging.

Your advice to budding actors?

Follow your dream, follow your passion and believe in yourself.

Your opinion on MAC’s Artistic Team?

They are very good as all I had to do was show them what was needed of a certain character and they take it from there. They know their work well and that helps a lot. They have to transform the Scarecrow and the Wicked Witch in just 4 minutes, that shows their expertise. I feel very relieved and have complete confidence in the MAC Artists. They are very passionate about their work and have built good relationships with the people they work with. They make the best out of the environment.

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