Preview: Dance back to 1920s with millie

There’s only one way to make Millie Dillmount’s dreams come true, and that’s to move to New York City.

Based on the hit film Thoroughly Modern Millie, this stage rendition by local theatre group Giz Giz, will see between 30 to 40 youngsters perform the inspiring musical.

Mark Cameron, who has worked with the group for around eight years on and off choreographing their shows, is now taking on the role as director for the first time.

He said: “This is the first time I’ve been the director and although it’s been challenging, its been so much fun.

“This year our timescale has been quite tight so we’ve had less rehearsal time, but I’ve had a fantastic time working with the talented bunch of kids involved.”

Arriving at The Tivoli Theatre on Wednesday, the musical follows the story of Millie as she tries to find love, a job and riches in the 1920s in the Big Apple.

However, as expected, not everything goes to plan and she is exposed to numerous events which ends with her in the arms of a man she once hated.

Mark said: “It’s about a girl who comes from Kansas to find a new, modern way of life in New York City.

“She wants to find true love, a job, riches and wealth and the way she believes you do that is by marrying your boss and, of course, this doesn’t quite work out as planned.

“She ends up falling in love with a man who she initially hates, and he ends up owning half of New York.”

With love one of the main themes throughout, the story also touches on white slavery and the idea of hiding your true identity.

He said: “There’s a bit of white slavery in the play, and a feeling of hiding your true identity so that you fall in love for all the wrong reasons.

“Within the story there’s a hotel hiring all of these wannabe female actresses who want to make it big in the city.

“What actually happens is those who enter, never actually leave and are sold to the Chinese market.”

But it was the ability to showcase the group’s talents which convinced Mark to select the show.

He said: “The group is very diverse as there’s lots of different abilities of dancing, singing and acting so I was keen to incorporate them all and this show does exactly that.”

Featuring a beautiful score, the show incorporates some big numbers.

Mark said: “Take A Letter is great – Millie’s boss gets her to type out a letter and he gets faster and faster as they go.

“It’s a fantastic piece as the young gentleman who plays him goes faster and faster – it’s brilliant.

“Only New York by Muzzy – a singer who’s made it – is also incredible, it has a real New York cabaret feel.”

Exploring what life was like for women at work in the 1920s, the show also highlights wardrobe changes over that iconic decade.

Mark said: “The whole thing about becoming a modern woman in those days is that you’d cut your hair.

“The song Raise Your Skirts is all about cutting your hair and raising your skirts as that’s what was perceived to be more attractive in those days. It’s a great number.”

A dance teacher by day, Mark was keen to have a strong dance portfolio in the show, and choreographer Hayley Brown has achieved just that.

He said: “We do a tap number which is all about the tap shoes emulating the taps of the typewriter – it’s very clever.

“There’s a lot of tap, a bit of ballroom with a waltz, and a bit of Ginger Rogers’ style too. Hayley’s really pulled out all the stops.”

“Expect to be taken on a journey that will show exactly what true love is. The show is guaranteed to get audiences tapping their toes and singing along throughout!”

The show is on from 7pm from Wednesday till Saturday.