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For Diocesan School, year 13 student, Kelly Kim, it has been an eventful few weeks.
Just last month, she was singing solo at the ANZAC Day dawn service at the Wellington cenotaph, in front of the Prime Minister and many other Members of Parliament.
This week she is into final rehearsals for the Diocesan and Dilworth School production, The Mikado, a comic opera where she plays one of the lead roles – Peek-Bo, one of the ‘three little maids from school’.
Kelly is part of the prestigious New Zealand Secondary Schools choir which performed at the ANZAC service in Wellington.
“I was initially extremely anxious that, at such an early hour (5:30am), my voice would not be in the best form and it was to be broadcast on national television. However, the performance went exceptionally well and I was beaming with pride when I received so much praise.”
Kelly says her role in The Mikado provides a totally different opportunity for her to hone her performing skills.
“This is my first ever school production so the experience itself is really exciting and new to me. We have been able to put so much of our own Dilworth and Dio flair into the show and have really ‘made it our own’.
Set in Japan, The Mikado is one of Gilbert and Sullivan’s most popular shows. While most of the leads were easy to cast, finding someone to play the part of the unattractive Katisha, an elderly lady of the court, was more challenging says Claire Caldwell, the producer of the show.
“With so many gorgeous girls auditioning for parts, it would have been difficult to pull one of them out to act as the ‘ugly Katisha’. However, in a moment of casting genuis, we flipped the roles around and found the perfect person to take on the role - six foot three, Tongan student, Edgar Akauola.”
Kelly thinks Edgar was the perfect choice and is doing justice to the role of Katisha. “He really is a friendly giant and he has an amazing voice. He has embraced the role and is not at all embarressed to step outside of his comfort zone”.
Edgar is expected to be one of the stars of the show when it opens on Wednesday 14 May 2014. Dressed in a specially tailored kimono, high heels and head dress, Edgar towers over his fellow actors, and brings a brilliant and additional comic edge to this entertaining musical.
The Mikado will be playing at Dilworth School in Epsom from 14 to 17 May 2014. Tickets can be purchased through the Dilworth front office by phoning 09 523 1060.