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All hands on deck for magical show

RETURN TO OZ: South Burnett Musical and Comedy Society's Wizard of Oz stars Kieran and Brad Boynton with director Craig Reiger put the finishing touches on the set ahead of opening night in Kingaroy Town Hall.
RETURN TO OZ: South Burnett Musical and Comedy Society's Wizard of Oz stars Kieran and Brad Boynton with director Craig Reiger put the finishing touches on the set ahead of opening night in Kingaroy Town Hall. Christian Berechree

A LOT of people might not realise how much work goes into putting on an amateur theatre production.

That's what Kingaroy performer, Brad Boynton reckons.

Mr Boynton, who will grace the Kingaroy Town Hall stage as the Cowardly Lion in the South Burnett Musical and Comedy Society's production of the Wizard of Oz, said it was not simply a matter of showing up to sing and dance.

"I'm not sure many people realise how complex putting a show together is,” Mr Boynton said.

"It's not just a matter of learning lines. You cover many roles and wear many hats.”

For Mr Boynton and his wife, Kieran, who plays the lead role of Dorothy in the show, those "hats” include set building, publicity and general backstage wrangling.

Mr Boynton, who spends much of the production in a heavy and restrictive costume, said all that work became physically draining.

He said learning to manage the physical side of performing on stage was an important part of theatre.

"In terms of pacing yourself through a show, it's just experience. The more you do that hobby, the more you learn and the wiser you become,” Mr Boynton said.

"You see people who are newcomers to theatre don't understand that. They don't realise if they go too hard, they won't be able to finish later.”

Having said all that, Mr Boynton would not trade his hobby in for anything.

In particular, he feels a deep connection to the merry old land of Oz.

Earlier this year he portrayed the Wizard of Oz in Empire Theatre's production of Wicked.

This is his second time playing the Cowardly Lion, having performed in Empire's production of the Wizard of Oz five years ago.

He said coming back to the iconic character for a second time was a pleasure.

"There are things I've learned from last time that I'm trying to do better,” he said.

"I just play it the best way I can, and I think it's different for everyone in terms of vocal range and how you interpret the lines.

"I'm playing the character similar to how I did in Toowoomba. I'm trying to keep a bit of continuity but the creative team has asked us to do things differently.”

Mr Boynton, a father to two young girls, said he was drawn to the colourful, innocent and family-friendly nature of the Wizard of Oz.

"It's good to see the kids involved. The kids are loving it and their eyes are being opened to the theatre,” he said.

The Wizard of Oz opens in Kingaroy Town Hall, 7pm Friday August 18.

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Topics:  south burnett musical and comedy society wizard of oz

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