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CLIENT NEWS: Musical parody of reality talent show debuts in Hamilton

Hamilton’s home-grown musical writer Chris Williams debuts his second locally-written show, The Quest, at The Meteor Theatre from 1-9 December.

After experiencing the successful launch of his first musical State Highway 48 in 2014, which culminated in a national tour in 2016, he’s written a parody that’s bound to please all audiences.

“This show is completely different to State Highway 48, which dealt with the themes of recession, depression, job loss, marriage break up and communication,” says Williams.

“The Quest is a funny and insightful parody of reality talent shows. Sections of the show include a televised version of the programme itself.  The rest of the musical takes a behind-the-scenes look at the TV network where the desperate bid for daily survival takes place. 

“We also get an insight into the contestants’ lives and witness their struggles to deal with the reality of reality TV.

“Twenty-two original songs make up The Quest and we can’t wait to put it on stage,” says Williams.

Williams is collaborating with Hamilton-based talent to bring The Quest to life.

Nick Wilkinson will direct the show. His credits include Jesus Christ Superstar, Bouncers, The Addams Family and State Highway 48. He’s also well known to local audiences for his acting with recent credits including Noises Off, Evita, Mamma Mia and Phantom of the Opera.

“I’ve worked with Nick Wilkinson since we launched State Highway 48 in 2014,” says Williams. “He’s a very talented director who has contributed a great deal to The Quest’s story development and dialogue.

Nick Braae, a senior academic staff member at Wintec’s School of Media Arts, is the music director.

“Nick Braae is working on the musical’s arrangements and score and has assembled a band of amazing musicians who promise to rock the house.  He has impeccable music credentials holding a PhD in music from Waikato University.”

Waikato is the home to most of the cast of The Quest, including Kersten Hickman (State Highway 48, Phantom of the Opera) as Stella, the lead female. 

Other Hamilton-based cast members include: Henry Ashby, Falstaff Dowling Mitchell, Fiona Greaves, Heather Connolly, Eden Dowling Mitchell, Tamsin Rose and Liam Pascoe.

“For the male lead, we’ve recruited Kyle Chuen who is one of the country’s most experienced musical theatre performers.”

“Hamiltonians will know Kyle best as Jean Valjean in Hamilton Operatic’s 2017 production of Les Miserables.  His career began in 2007 and he’s been in several musicals each year since then, including greats such as Billy Elliot, That Bloody Woman, Guys and Dolls and Jesus Christ Superstar.

“We are really excited about having someone of Kyle’s calibre joining our cast.  The show is guaranteed to be immersive, entertaining and funny,” says Williams.

The Quest is running at The Meteor Theatre, December 1-9. Tickets can be bought at: http://themeteor.co.nz/event/the-quest