HUNTER Region Drama School will be the first Australian theatrical company to stage The Little Mermaid Jr.
The school won the theatrical licence to produce the Disney film musical and last week the Australian premiere was launched at Newcastle's Civic Theatre.
Hunter Region Drama School producer Daniel Stoddart said the production would be like nothing Newcastle had seen.
"We've taken the Hunter's outstanding young talent, secured an internationally-loved story and songs," Stoddart said.
"We've combined these with innovative sets and costumes to deliver a show that would shine on Broadway."
At the launch the show's two stars, Ariel, played by 14-year-old Hunter School of Performing Arts student Bonnie Peak, and Sebastian, played by 14-year-old Tom Rodgers, sang several of the production's songs.
From the audience's reaction to the actors, songs and costumes by Jennifer Ellicott and Kerrie Fisher, the school could have a sell-out on its hands.
The Little Mermaid Jr, with its cast of 50 local children aged nine to 19 years, will be on stage at the Civic Theatre for four performances between October 9 and 11.
The cast will have a three-month break before it jets off for another Australian first - guest performers at the annual Junior Theatre Festival held in Atlanta, the US.
■ Disney's The Little Mermaid Jr, October 9 to 11, Civic Theatre. Book through www.ticketek.com or phone 4929 1977.