When Regan Crummer stepped inside the St James Theatre for the first time, his mouth dropped open in awe.
The Auckland musician, entertainer and director is in the Gore Musical Theatre’s production of Mamma Mia, playing the main piano in the orchestra.
Crummer said he expected a typical small-town theatre building.
“I walked in and my mouth dropped open.
“It’s not like that at all.”
He became involved in the show through his friend Monica Moore, who is directing the production and also lives in Auckland.
Gore is not totally unfamiliar territory to Crummer who had lived in Dunedin for a while.
The show was pretty well non-stop, he said.
“It’s a lot of fun.”
The level of talent among the cast was extremely high, he said.
Kayla Wilcox, who plays Sophie, was among the many standouts in the show, he said.
The cameo roles acted by Fona Ramage and Raewyn Ramage brought another dimension to the show.
Another example of the clever casting was having Marty Grounds play the priest, which was a tiny part but one that left a lasting impression, he said.
Nicole Parry’s dancing talent had not escaped his eye.
Parry’s dancing drew the eye of the audience, he said.
There was also some great singing talent, he said.
He was impressed by the number of young people involved in the production.
The show was of a very high standard, he said.
“I think Gore should be really proud of what the local company has achieved here.”
The St James Theatre was a fantastic space, he said.
He felt like he had become part of a close-knit family since being involved in the show, he said.
He had not been involved in a production of Mamma Miabefore but had seen it performed twice.
“I’d love to direct it,” he said.
He was also keen to come back to Gore and direct a show in the town.
He believed there was the potential to do much more in the way of theatre in Gore.
He believed Gore Musical Theatre could do another show a year, which would provide a further opportunity for young people to be involved in theatre, he said.
“There could be another Russell Crowe or George Henare in the mix here.”