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April 15, 2021

Young Max heads up Alice production

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Max-Foggon-EJ-9W6A4016
Taking it easy, Max was relaxed before the premiere of Alice in Wonderland last Friday.

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.

Ballina Players White Rabbit (Rebekah Johnson), Mad Hatter (Sebastian Gallagher) and March Hare (Danni Reeks). Photo supplied.
Ballina Players White Rabbit (Rebekah Johnson), Mad Hatter (Sebastian Gallagher) and March Hare (Danni Reeks). Photo supplied.

‘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 Foggon – Photo Eve Jeffery

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.

 


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2 COMMENTS

  1. Take a bow Max Foggon. Take a red bow tie and tie all the ends together in a bow as the musical director of the play Alice in Wonderland. Is it any wonder that you Max at your direction can produce music that was no play on words but a real live production of Lewis Carroll’s masterpiece as you pulled a rabbit out of a hat and the Queen of Hearts said ‘Off with her head” to Alice. Nothing more to be said as Alive did not lose her head and Alive followed the white rabbit following the rabbit no matter where the rabbit went or where it would bring her. That was her thing. And there was the king.

    The White Rabbit put on his spectacles. “Where shall I begin, please your Majesty?” he asked.
    “Begin at the beginning,” the King said gravely, “and go on till you come to the end: then stop.”
    Well Max, with your music you topped the top of that with a top hat of the mad hatter with the price tag of 1 shilling and six pence. There was humour and there was tense and a lot of musical sense.

    And there was the Cheshire cat that sat on the bough and the cat appeared and disappeared, so where would a Cheshire cat come from here, there and now.
    It was the cat’s “meow’ Max. The play with the music that became Alice’s beau…..So Max take a bow.

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