IF you thought Neil Diamond, Harry Potter and the cast of the TV show Glee had nothing in common, think again.
Mission Impossible, a play starring performers from the Monkami Adult Disability Centre in Croydon, will be a show like no other.
Now in his third year of directing the group, James Andrews has learnt not to be surprised by what happens when the curtains rise.
The drama follows a group of young singers from Glee, High School Musical and Young Talent Time who show some cheek to the famous singer-songwriter Neil Diamond.
Diamond enlists the support of Lord Voldemort — an evil character from JK Rowling's Harry Potter novels — to teach the talented youngsters a lesson.
"Through Voldemort's spell, music is removed from the world," explains Andrews.
"The Avengers, led by Mrs Doubtfire, the Fonz (from Happy Days) and Harry Potter have to bring the music back. Patrick Swayze also make a special guest appearance."
The success of the annual Monkami play and the cult status of its performers within Croydon has a lot to do with the effort Andrews and other theatre professionals have invested to get the project off the ground.
Last year's play was seen by more than 1000 people.
Andrews is in the final year of completing a PhD at Monash University, looking at ways drama can assist people with disabilities, and has used the Monkami participants as a case study.
The program involved theatre professionals adapting their lessons in drama for the disabled performers.
Andrews brought in teachers for improvisation, clowning, voice work and stage combat.
"What may be surprising to some people is that they love the stage combat lessons the most. It involved them reacting to the other person's sword manoeuvres.
"We found they started to look in the eyes of the other students more often and respond to physical gestures."
One of the teachers, Felicity Steel, is a professional fight choreographer and works at the Victorian College of the Arts. She said the fight scenes were really about illusion and letting people be free to act.
"You have to be really relaxed," Steel said.
"It's been incredibly rewarding seeing these guys devise their own play."
Mission Impossible will be staged at the Karralyka Centre in Croydon on Thursday, November 1. Details, bookings: 9725 8677.