Photo Credit: Manuel Harlan
So, the ‘proper review’ done, and we’re onto the juicy cast gossip then, right? Well we didn’t exactly find out that there was any backstage fisticuffs at the Blogger’s Event, but we did have a great Q&A among other things.
Pre Show, a dance class with Jaye Juliette Elster (Dance Captain) and Samantha Hull (Swing) proved just how hard people work on things other than knowing a single part. I’d not appreciated just how valuable these members of the cast are to the whole production and the sheer amount of things that they know. They also gave us a pretty detailed explanation of how choreography and movement has to change with venue.
Charlie Stemp then gave us a wonderful demonstration of the Banjo, which the whole cast learned to play especially for finale of the show, which if you ask me, is dedication.
In a Q&A with Sam O’Rourke, Charlie Stemp, Bethany Huckle and Emma Williams, Williams mentioned how wonderful it is to create roles especially on the West End, having created the role of Maureen in Mrs Henderson Presents in 2016, and Jenny in Love Story among others. They also shared stories of how things frequently go wrong on stage with fond memories rather than horror – a true testament to the authenticity of live theatre.
Meeting other bloggers before the show was really lovely, especially meeting Daniella who I had followed on twitter for a while but not had the pleasure of meeting yet. I always feel like ‘having a blog’ or ‘having an instagram account’ is a huge niche and not really enough common ground to result in meeting like minded people, but the nature of the event obviously meant that we were all surrounded by people who enjoyed theatre.
A backstage tour of the Noel Coward theatre post-show, gave a real insight into how different it can be doing the same production with the same cast, in a different venue, and how backstage space affects on stage production. The Chichester Festival Theatre is purpose built and moving a production which, as many do, involves several quick changes and cast members needing to be in a different part of the theatre pretty quickly, into a Victorian theatre presented quite a challenge. Not a challenge that they weren’t up to though, turning a side stage dressing room into a quick change room, noting that most dancers really don’t care who they’re changing in front of.