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A monster of a ‘tail’ in charming new musical

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

DERRY – At 7:30 p.m. Friday and at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Saturday, NH Theatre Factory will present “A Dragon's Tail” at Derry Opera House, 29 W. Broadway.

The NH Theatre Factory presents this world-premiere musical, written and directed by NHTF's artistic director, Joel Mercier. “With so many of the same shows being produced over and over again by youth companies in New Hampshire, we wondered if our young actors might enjoy something different,” Mercier said. “So this is our second year introducing them to a new work that we tailor around their needs, but also let their imaginations run wild.”

“A Dragon's Tail” is a charming musical retelling of Kenneth Grahame's 19th century fairytale, “The Reluctant Dragon.” When a dragon is discovered living high in the hills above a tiny village, it takes the understanding and bravery of one small girl to see past the scales and wings into the heart of a creature who is not all that different from the rest of us. Unfortunately, it's going to take even more to convince the Royal Court, who has already called for the greatest dragon slayer of all time to come and vanquish the beast, Saint George himself.

“A Dragon's Tail” is an enchanting spin on the famous story, filled with medieval spectacle, stunning costumes, contemporary music and a powerful message about not judging a book by its cover.

The show features a cast of youth performers, ages 8-16, representing Manchester, Derry, Londonderry, Amherst, Merrimack, Hooksett, Concord, Boscawen and Barrington. “Our cast includes beginner and experienced actors, who have come together to learn a craft and then apply it to the project at hand,” Mercier said. “Our program is not just a rehearsal process and performance. We bring in industry professionals to teach master classes, as well as work extensively on character development and acting.”

NHTF's philosophy is craft comes first. For “A Dragon's Tail,” the actors worked with guest fight choreographer Alex Jacobs, originally from Aylesbury, England, who taught the basics of safe stage combat. Amanda Pawlik taught a master class on pantomime movement which is being incorporated into the physicality of some of the mythological creatures in the show.

The show is suitable for all ages. Tickets are $16, available online via ticketleap at Ci4D. More information at

Content provided by Encore, The Telegraph’s arts and entertainment, food and wine section. Editor Kathleen Palmer can be reached at 594-6403 or Also, follow her on Twitter (@Telegraph_KathP or @NHFoodandFun).
Copyright © The Telegraph, All Rights Reserved, Used by permission.


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