From Matrix’ to local show

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The handiwork of Queenstown’s John Allan (right) has moved from big screen to stage for upcoming production The Sound of Music

Art director Allan has spent 20 years in the film and television industry – including working on blockbuster hits The Matrix and Wolverine – but this year he’s had his first foray into amateur theatre. 

Allan’s recently finished building the set for Showbiz Queenstown’s adaptation of the famous von Trapp family musical, which opens at the Memorial Hall in central Queenstown on May 17. 

“Set building for a stage production is very similar to film and television, but the major difference is that
everything’s on wheels,” Allan explains. 

“It’s really just about making things look as accurate as possible, and as cheaply and effectively as you can.” 

The former chef landed his gig in the film industry by initially catering to film crews. 

Allan eventually ended up in the art department and now predominantly works arranging props and sets for television commercials and movies. 

“It’s the perfect job for people who have no idea what they want to do,” he jokes. “I like to do a bit of everything. My wife thinks it’s the perfect excuse for me to buy every power tool there is.” 

Allan’s looking forward to seeing his handiwork when The Sound of Music opens. 

“They’re a great bunch,” Allan says. 

They’re all really enthusiastic and lovely people. I’m sure the show will go splendidly.”