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It’s ‘Just Us’

Anna McBride, left, Bridget Connor, Siobhan Connor, Mark Richardson, and Eilish Carmichael, of Just Us. PHOTO/EMILY IRELAND


Emily Ireland

If you ask the cast of Just Us what their upcoming concert is about, they’ll tell you that the answer is in the title.

The brainchild of Masterton’s Eilish Carmichael, Just Us is a nod to “everything that has been” in musical theatre, featuring 38 of the cast’s favourite tunes from musicals across the years.

The production stars Eilish, Mark Richardson, and sisters Bridget and Siobhan Connor, and is musically directed by Anna McBride.

Anna said Just Us took “a whole lot of songs” that either inspired them or would potentially inspire their audience.

“When we first met up, we thought about this theme of strong women,” she said.

“That was the starting point and so we chose songs that conveyed that message, or songs sung by characters with a relevant backstory.

“We’ve taken it [the songs] out of context and made it our own.”

Bridget said each performer played themselves as characters and did not follow a plot or story line – rather the concert followed the theme of strong women.

The show will be held on Friday and Saturday at the Majestic Theatre in Masterton and is presented by Masterton Amateur Theatrical Society (MATS).

MATS holds a special place in each performers hearts, but especially for Siobhan and Bridget.

“We’ve also got a lot of family ties to this place,” Bridget said.

“We go back three generations.

“Siobhan was on stage before she was even born because mum was a pregnant nun.”

“That sounds terrible,” Siobhan laughed.

“She was performing and was wondering why the habit costume wouldn’t fit very well.”

Siobhan said Just Us was a special production because it was “all about the next generation of performers”.

“This is our turn to show everyone what we can do.”

Eilish said because the cast were all now trained in performing arts, it was a way of “giving back” to the theatre society they loved.

Just Us will show at 7.30pm this Friday night, and 2pm and 7.30pm on Saturday.

To buy tickets, visit Eventfinda or www.matsmusicaltheatre.org.nz.

Emily Ireland
Emily Ireland
Emily Ireland is Wairarapa’s Local Democracy Reporter, a Public Interest Journalism role funded through NZ On Air. Emily has worked at the Wairarapa Times-Age for seven years and has a keen interest in council decision-making and transparency.

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