Wanted: Prince charming and a fairy godmother

Fleur Coombe is on the lookout for Taranaki’s very own Prince Charming.

She would also like a fabulous fairy godmother, a talented storyteller, and of course, a beautiful Cinderella.

The director is casting her next theatre show, which is set to hit the stage in November, and she’s on the hunt for some Taranaki talent to make it magical.

Cinderella was adapted for the stage by her father the late Les Emslie, who was a Taranaki actor, director and playwright.

Fleur is carrying on his legacy and after a successful production of his adaptation of Sleeping Beauty in 2017, she is now staging one of the world’s most well known fairy tales – Cinderella.

“It’s a cast of 14, mixed from about eight years old for the cheeky young page boy, to anything really. The storyteller could be any age, and the Fairy Godmother could be any age.”

She’s also after a charming young man, around the age of 15 to 19 years old, who can woo Cinderella and leave the audience smitten too.

There’s also a young Cinderella, who is around nine, her two young Step Sisters, and an older Cinderella who is around the age of 15 to 20 years old.

“I’ve had lots of interest from young Cinderellas, so I’m hoping to be able to do a double of that role, so we can give more children an opportunity.”

Fleur decided to relaunch her father’s adaptations of children’s tales to provide opportunities for her young daughter Leticia, who made her theatrical debut as one of the fairy dancers in Sleeping Beauty.

“There’s just not enough opportunities for kids to perform,” she says.

“Particularly the younger ones. It’s a great confidence builder for them and I think it helps them in later life.”

Leticia is now nine and has her eyes on playing the young Cinderella or one of the young Step Sisters.

The budding young star goes to at least six dance classes every week, loves making new friends through dancing and theatre, and says she is already practicing for her audition for Cinderella.

Leticia says she loves being on stage, and thinks it is pretty special that she will get to star in one of her grandad’s plays – either as Young Cinderella or a fairy dancer depending on how those auditions go.

  • Cinderella, directed by Fleur Coombe and choreographed by Jenni Simpkin, will be on stage from November 16 to 30 at Repertory Theatre. Auditions are being held at the theatre on Sunday July 28, from 1pm. For more information or for a script, please phone Fleur on 021 211 3257.

Words and photo by Taryn Utiger