One person’s junk is another’s treasure … CONDA-winner ASPIRE presents this year’s musical spectacular, The Hoarders Next Door

A talented collection of 130 actors, dancers, vocalists and musicians from primary and secondary schools in the Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle will perform in Artistic Director Anna Kerrigan’s latest work, a compelling theatrical production that explores people and their possessions, neighbourhoods and community.

From Wednesday 2nd to Saturday 5th August, performers representing 29 Catholic schools will take to the stage over five performances at the Civic Theatre.

In its sixth year, the audition-based ASPIRE features the biggest cast of Years 5 to 12 students to date and an original story and script accented by a number of popular songs from Australian artists such as “Cheap Thrills” by Sia and The Presets electropop number “My People”, performed by the ASPIRE band and vocal ensemble.

The Hoarders Next Door features the importance of community at its core through a loveable elderly couple who cannot bear to part with their possessions and the portrayal of a close knit Australian neighbourhood of yesterday; where neighbours have grown up together and everyone knows the local postman.

“The show centres on ‘The Hoarders’, George and Mavis Smith, who live in a fairly regular Australian street and who have a story to tell about every piece of ‘junk’ in their possession. To them, everything evokes a memory, a part of their history and because of that, they cannot part with anything,” Ms Kerrigan said.

“As the script developed, however, the other characters on the street became as important as George and Mavis. The script became a piece about community, something I worry we are losing in this technologically charged world.”

While developing the script, Anna found herself looking at the way people today interact with each other and what that means to the communities we are all a part of.

“Some might say we have created an aspirational neighbourhood where people take a moment to say hello to each other rather than buzzing off in their cars without a word. It’s the kind of community that we need to hold on to, I believe,” Ms Kerrigan said.

In 2016, ASPIRE was awarded “Best Special Theatrical Event” at the City of Newcastle Drama Awards (CONDA) for last year’s hit production, There’s Something Strange About Marvin McRae.

Tickets to ASPIRE’s performances: Wednesday 2nd, 11:00am; Thursday 3rd, 11:00am; Friday 4th, 11:00am and 7:00pm and Saturday 5th, 7:00pm are available from the Civic Theatre box office or through Ticketek.

WHAT: ASPIRE – The Hoarders Next Door – photo and interview opportunities with students and organisers.
WHO: Organisers, including Anna Kerrigan (who wrote the script), 130 Catholic school students performing
WHERE: Civic Theatre, Hunter Street, Newcastle
WHEN: Tuesday, 1 August 2017. Interview opportunities from 9:00am – 9:40am, Performance: 10:00am – 1:00pm

To arrange a photo or interview with students or teachers taking part in ASPIRE from your local area or to RSVP for Tuesday’s matinee performance, please contact the Catholic Schools Office Communications Manager, Alyssa Faith, on 0428 234 961.