Story and photos Eve Jeffery
Working his way through the ranks, it’s onwards and upwards for a young Wilsons Creek musician who has just had his first opening night as a musical director of a theatrical production.
Nineteen-year-old Max Foggon was five years ago a performer with the Ballina Players, and nominated for a Gold Coast Theatre Alliance award.
Now he’s at the helm as he guides a 44-member cast ranging from eight to 17 years through songs of Disney’s Alice in Wonderland.
As well as his acting and singing career, Max has been playing in his father’s band Ragga Jump for the past five years. ‘I was 14 when I played my first gig at the Byron Brewery’, says Max.
‘I play bass but I grew up singing – there has always been music in the house.
‘I am also studying a Bachelor of Contemporary Music at SCU in Lismore – that experience is helping me teach the kids.’
Max sees this as the beginning of a grand plan and he’s definite about wanting a future in the performance industry. ‘I am trying to approach my performing from a foundation of music. Then I can go out and do other things.’
Max says it’s been a challenge as he hasn’t done any form of musical directing before. He also says that the other Players leadership crew is stellar.
‘We have a young production team which is a first. They run the lights and sound for the show. They are Lily Cronin (lights), Brittany Pholi (lighting designer), Ellie Lloyde (sound) and Jennifer Briguglio (sound) all of whom are 18-yers-old.
‘The choreographer for the show Chelsea Raeburn is also very young at just 17.’
‘Through the weekly rehearsals the kids have formed friendships and developed their performance skills under the the guidance of our director Geoff Marsh.
Max says that the cast of Alice have played a big part in the smooth running of the show.
‘The kids made it easy’, he says. ‘I’ve really enjoyed being a part of Alice and I love the experience of being side stage instead of on it.’
Alice in Wonderland finishes its run this weekend with both matinee and evening shows. To book, go to Just Funkin Music in Ballina or book online at Ballinaplayers.com.au.