The Moree community is invited to take a trip down the rabbit hole and into the curious world of Wonderland at the end of this month for Moree Arts Community Theatre's (MACT) latest production.
Featuring an all-local cast and lots of fresh new faces, MACT will present the musical version of the well-known classic Alice in Wonderland for five shows in October and November.
It's MACT's biggest production to date and its first major musical undertaking since the amateur theatre group was established.
It's also the first time MACT member Greg Fisher has sat in the director's chair.
"Having been involved in all of MACT's previous performers, it's something I've always wanted to do," the first time director, who will also put on the hat of the iconic Mad Hatter, said.
Alice in Wonderland was chosen as this year's show for its well-known, much-loved story, which Fisher said caters to a variety of different performers.
"It allows us to use the various talents that we have in our community," he said.
"The musical is based on Lewis Carroll's novel, so the characters are well-known but the songs are new.
"It's the biggest show we've done so far, which is very exciting.
"There are a lot of new faces as well, which is refreshing."
First-time performer Chantelle Shipman leads the local cast as Alice, bringing her love of the story and beautiful voice to the role she's made her own.
Fisher brings his energy to the role of Mad Hatter, while fellow well-known MACT member Jayne McDouall is the epitome of the sadistic Queen of Hearts with her comedic timing and natural talent for the stage.
Another MACT newcomer Jodie Shaw is also sure to entertain as the cool and slinky Cheshire Cat and Danielle Jukes and Amy Haley will bring the laughs as the goofy duo Tweedle Dum and Tweedle Dee.
Other cast members include Deeni Mitchell (White Rabbit), Will Penfold (Doormouse), Curtis Teed (March Hare), Bronte Marshall (Mock Turtle), Kerrie Matchett (Dodo Bird), Isaac Bartelen (Two of Hearts), Sophie Harris (Five of Hearts), Lyndon Hankey (Seven of Hearts), Elliot Dean (Knave of Hearts), Greg Cumberland (King of Hearts), Beth Twartz (Mother), Andrew O'Neill (Loreena) and Millie Mitchell (Flower).
With limited events on this year as a result of COVID-19 restrictions, Fisher encourages everyone to come and enjoy a family-friendly night out, while supporting some of Moree's talent.
He said it promises to provide plenty of fun and laughter and will be a great escape from the realities of 2020.
"It'll be a fun night full of colour and magic with very talented performers in a high-energy musical," he said.
"We've been shut down and very quiet for so many months now. It's been a wonderful escape for the cast to get out and meet new people.
"We're hoping to put on a wonderful show for our audience, for many of whom it'll be their first night out in months."
The show will be held at the Moree Military Museum, which has a long history as a performance centre. In fact, cast member Jodie Shaw remembers performing The Sound of Music in the building, what was formerly known as the old school hall before it was the old library, in the late 1980s.
"When we came out of lockdown and were looking for a place to rehearse, the Moree Military Museum were kind enough to lend us the space," Fisher said.
"After a couple of weeks, we decided it was the perfect space for the show.
"Many people would have fond memories of other performances there."
MACT's Alice in Wonderland the Musical will take the stage for five nights only, opening on Friday, October 30 at 7.30pm.
Other show dates include Saturday, October 31 at 7.30pm; Sunday, November 1 at 3pm; Friday, November 13 at 7.30pm and Saturday, November 14 at 7.30pm.
Tickets are $40 and are on sale now from Sylvia's Fabrics. They are selling fast, with the first Saturday nearly sold out already, so Fisher encourages everyone to get in quick to avoid disappointment.
There are only 50 tickets available per show, due to COVID-19 restrictions.
The show will be COVID-Safe with seating and performing in line with COVID guidelines.