About the Cast

Cervantes / Don Quixote Sandy Mackinnon Author, playwright, director, raconteur, actor - so much talent in just one man. Sandy as DQ owns the stage and makes this production his own.
Aldonza / Dulcinea Bec Bolwell It's hard to believe but Bec has been on stage with MMuDS since appearing as Astrid (the bridesmaid) in Dimboola in 1994.  She was also Yum Yum in Mikado (1994), Joanna in Sweeney Todd (1995), & Miss Bingley in Pride & Pejudice (2005)
Sancho Panza Michael Isbister Lives and breathes musical theatre, and can probably sing more songs from theatre productions than most people know exist. Although reasonably new to MMuDS, he has already hit the boards in Grease, directed two shows (Footloose and Sound of Music), and has plans for a show in 2016. Michael was born to play Sancho.
Padre / Tenorio Colin Price Unbelievably, Colin's turn as the butler in last year's MMuDS production of Sound of Music was his first time on stage. He did however sing with a number of bands in Melbourne - Melbourne's loss, Mansfield's gain.
Antonia Simone Reeder MoLM is Simone's third theatrical experience with MMuDS - first appeared in Oliver, was in the orchestra for Cabaret (although was on stage at the piano due to the blocking of the show), now appearing as Antonia.
Housekeeper Judy Dixon Since first becoming involved with MMuDS a few years ago in Cabaret, Judy has thrown herself in the theatre world with gusto. As Charity Hope Valentine in Sweet Charity (2013) she was marvellous. Her elevator scene with Oscar Lindquist (Chris Casey) was outstanding.
The Duke / Dr Carassco / Knight of Mirrors Lex Ross Lex first become involved with the stage through Rockhampton Little Theatre. He moved onto various theatre groups in suburban Melbourne, before stepping out with MMuDS in Cabaret. He made his MMuDS' directoral debut with A Month Of Sundays (2014), and returns to the stage in MoLM undertaking multiple roles.
Maria Cathie Smith Cathie has been in more MMuDS productions than is sensible! At last count, she has been on stage in 26 shows and directed several others. She has made costumes, managed make up teams, organised Front of House, designed sets (sometimes all in the same production!) - the only thing she hasn't done is play in the orchestra (...but there's still time to rectify that!)
Fermina Rachael Noble Rach is an all-rounder, comfortable both on stage, or in the production team. From Grease (2011) to Footloose (2012) to MoLM, Rach commits to the production totally. She loves to dress up, and looks great in a costume.
Barber / Anselmo Tim Crawford Tim was involved in a multitude of MMuDS shows in the early years, including being part of the cast of the award-winning production The Big Men Fly (1996). He now has a renewed taste for treading the boards, and is enjoying being menacing in MoLM!
Governor / Inn Keeper Daryl Hunt In 1984, Daryl appeared in MMuDS' production Chrysanthemum. Since that time, he is a prolific winner of theatre awards (most notable several ZAPA awards from Wangaratta Zonta Club). Daryl's entire contribution to Dimboola as the groom were the words, "No worries", several times, with the occasional, "No worries at all" thrown in!
Captain of the Inquisition / Juan Keith Padbury Has a strong history with MMuDS, first appearing as a witty drunk (or perhaps as a drunken wit) in Dimboola (1994). He has also appeared in The Mikado, The Big Men Fly, and Widdow of Wappan. He has been nominated and won awards for his work with MMuDS.
Prison Urchins Stella Weingott, Lily Weingott, Charli Cooper A trooper at the age of 6, this is Stella's 2nd outing with MMuDS after a "Stellar" perfomance in SoM. MoLM sees the first time on stage for Lily. Charli is a high energy performer - this is her first time on stage with MMuDS, but theatre is in her blood as her mum Andy has worked in Australia and internationally in the hair department of many high profile theatre productions.
Head Muleteer, Pedro Warren Henningson Warren uses his stage presence well, and has undertaken several character roles with MMuDS. In MoLM, he is a rough muleteer, Pedro, as well as an exotic Moor.
1st Muleteer, Jose Will Twycross Will has appeared in 16 MMuDS' shows and has directed four. As Ko-Ko in the Mikado in 1994, Will added his own touches to "I've Got A Little List", which some Mansfieldians still sing today. And how could you forget his work as Dangles, the best man in Dimboola - all slicked back hair and attitude?
Paco Steven Flew MoLM is Steven's first role with MMuDS. Steven is a lover of theatre, and now that he has the taste for greasepaint, we hope to see more of him in the future.
Guards / Knight of Mirrors Attendants Deb Sala Tenna, Tim Crawford Before being on stage in MMuDS' Sweet Charity in 2013, Deb's last thespian outing was in primary school as Toto in the Wizard of Oz. Deb is a hard worker and enthusiastic cast member.
Moors Simone Reeder, Judy Dixon, Rachael Noble, Louise Bretherton, Bec Bolwell, Cathie Smith, Warren Henningson, Rolf Koren Louise first graced the stage with MMuDS in Cabaret in 2012. With her interest in dance and choreography, Louise is always a valuable cast member, and is a delight as a Moorish dancer.
Rory the Dog Herself One of the best behaved cast members, quiet, respectful, always where she should be. A sneaky scene-stealer, Rory brazenly wore her cast tee shirt when the opportunity arose to get her head (and tee shirt) on national TV.

Choreography

The Spanish setting for “Man of La Mancha” provides a great opportunity to explore Spanish dance and musical influences. Given the importance of this element, choreographers, Lyn and Brook Saville have been working with the cast since the beginning of the year.

“We’re really enjoying working on choreography for the show with such a dedicated cast. We've had some absolutely hilarious moments along the way and everyone has learnt so much through the process. I’m very happy with how it’s all coming together” said Lyn.

Wig design

Andy Dolling is well known in Mansfield as a wonderful hairdresser...

...but some may be also surprised to learn she has spent over 15 years working in professional theatre productions nationally. In fact she was the hairdresser for "Man of La Mancha" when it toured in Australia in 2002 with Anthony Warlow and Caroline O’Connor.

"It’s absolutely fantastic and a real coup to have Andy bringing all her skills and experience to this show", said co-director Ian Keys.

Set Construction

Ian Keys and David Caddy are two of the five men working on the set for Man of La Mancha.

Construction began about a month ago. The boys have been getting together weekly to design and build the structures for the show. Towards the end May the set will be transported to the Performing Arts Centre where more work on the finishing touches will complete the effect of a dungeon.

Costume Making

Costuming for the Front of House crew for Man of La Mancha has been taken on by 8 women who have been busy designing and making a series of unusual costumes inspired by the Spanish flamenco style.

Working from a technique learnt by Karen Pirie at a recent workshop at the State Library in conjunction with the Les Miserables exhibition in Melbourne, the outfits are all created using many overlapping patterned and textured fabrics. The results are unpredictable and break away from the conventions of using a pattern.

"It has been so much fun sharing this new technique with the 'costuming girls'. A great deal of project was spent collecting the fabrics and other bits and pieces to be used and the girls have created a wardrobe of exciting designs", said Karen.

MMuDS next musical production, Man of La Mancha, is set in Spain in a dungeon at the time of the Spanish inquisition and tells the story of Don Quixote and his faithful manservant and their many misadventures. Part of the appeal of the show comes from the very ‘human’ nature of conflict of what is real and imagined. The musical is a black comedy style ‘play within a play’ and has many fantastical elements to it, giving wonderful theatrical opportunity to be creative with costumes, sets and lighting.

And then there’s the Band of Gypsies

Everyone knows that ‘gypsies’ feature prominently in Spain and other parts of Europe. Not having a country of their ‘own’ they travelled widely and developed a musical style with many influences. In Spain today, as it was in the 16th century, gypsies are are still very much part of the culture.

Under the Musical Directorship of Alastair Pirie, five other musicians make up the “La Mancha” Gypsy Band: Derek Beautyman, Janet Haensel, Richard Smith, Carey Meadows and Rolf Koren have been working since February to bring the score, with all it’s Spanish rhythms to life.

“The music in this show is really well written and it’s a delight to play such a great score”, said Alastair. “Each song is beautifully constructed and I’m sure the audience is going to enjoy this aspect of Man of La Mancha”.

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