CENTRE STAGE: Ella Kibblewhite-Claus and Luca Mella rehearse their parts of Jemima and Jeremy for RMU's Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. INSET: Don't miss the magic of Chitty at the Pilbeam Theatre.
CENTRE STAGE: Ella Kibblewhite-Claus and Luca Mella rehearse their parts of Jemima and Jeremy for RMU's Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. INSET: Don't miss the magic of Chitty at the Pilbeam Theatre. Kerrod Wells

Rockhampton's young stars are shining bright

TAKING up a lead role in a community musical is a big enough challenge for an adult.

So it's astounding to see four talented young Rockhampton performers taking centre stage in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang this weekend.

The four have been juggling school alongside months of rehearsals, with charming results on stage.

Tylah Ellis and Dominic Chavasse opened the show last night and will perform in the matinee of the Rockhampton Musical Union Choir production today.

Tonight, Ella Kibblewhite-Claus and Luca Mella will become Jemima and Jeremy, the two fun-loving children of eccentric inventor Caractacus Potts.

The pair will be familiar to Rockhampton audiences, with both also starring in Rockhampton Regional Council's production of Mary Poppins this year.

Luca and Ella have both been performing for two to three years, taking part in several other productions as well as Mary Poppins.

REVIEW: Teamwork makes Chitty a dream production

Luca said nothing beat being part of a show like Chitty.

"The atmosphere is very good,” he said.

"Everyone is very friendly and it's lots of fun.”

For Ella, the experience of performing in a musical is like finding a new family.

"We all take care of each other and have fun,” she said.

"When we get on stage, it's like you're transported to another world. It's so much fun to see the audience having a good time and singing all the songs.”

Despite hours of rehearsals after school, Luca said the outcome was worth it with audiences sure to be surprised by the magical show this weekend.

Ella said audiences would be enchanted by Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, the magical car which lends the production its name.

The car, designed and built by Rockhampton man Ross James, comes to life on the Pilbeam stage.

After a few scary moments during their first ride in the car, Ella and Luca said they quickly got used to the thrill of 'flying' during the show.

"To think someone in Rocky made that is unbelievable,” Ella said.

Dominic Chavasse and Tayah Ellis in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.
Dominic Chavasse and Tayah Ellis in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. Allan Reinikka ROK271016achitty1

Director Janette McLennan said all four lead children had been easy to work with and willing to try anything on stage.

"They all bring something wonderful to each of their roles,” she said.

"The whole show really does rely on them. In the story it's their imagination which carries everything through. They've got heaps of dialogue and they've been really great at learning that.”

Janette said the children had also picked up plenty of stagecraft skills which allowed them to mix well with the adult cast.

"There were lots of great people who auditioned,” Janette said.

"It's a big ask of anyone.

"These guys are stars.”



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