NOT TO BE TRUSTED The Duke (left, Tim Roberts) and the King (Graeme Speed), in Ballina Theatre's upcoming prodcution of Big River.
NOT TO BE TRUSTED The Duke (left, Tim Roberts) and the King (Graeme Speed), in Ballina Theatre's upcoming prodcution of Big River. Contributed

Ballina Player's Big River opens this weekend

BIG River, the latest musical theatre production by Ballina Players, opens this Friday for a three-week season.

Both the music and characters stand out in Big River, the Roger Miller musical, a great story of adventure on the Mississippi with a foot-stomping country music score.

There is Huckleberry Finn (Brian Pamphilon), the eternal kid Tom Sawyer (Josh Green) and the honourable runaway slave, Jim (Carl Moore).

Disrupting their journey are the outrageous pair of snake oil salesmen, the King and the Duke (Graeme Speed and Tim Roberts), who escape an angry mob to join the raft.

These two have, as Huck tells us, "as many schemes as a possum does ticks".

Huck is intrigued by the delinquent "royals" as they find new ways to fleece ignorant townsfolk.

In the song, The Royal Nonesuch, they swindle locals tempted to see a fabulous made-up creature, but step up to serious fraud when they meet the Wilkes family, mourning the death of their patriarch.

Hearing that a fortune is to be inherited, they present themselves as the rightful heirs.

At first Huck is taken in and amused by these shenanigans, but with his growing maturity and moral awareness, in the end he stands up for what he thinks is right.

The music in Big River is as entertaining as Mark Twain's timeless story and characters.

Big River will be staged at the Players Theatre, 24 Swift St, Ballina, from November 13 until December 5.

Evening performances begin at 8 pm and Sunday matinees at 2 pm.

Opening night patrons will receive a complimentary glass of champagne.

Book online at ballinaplayers.com.au or at Just Funkin Music, 6686 2440.


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