Welcome to the SUTCo Spotlight!
The 24 hour musical begins tonight! I sat down with Jonathan (Director), Cerys (Assistant Director), Tom Robbins (Production Manager), Tara (Choreographer), Eloise (Musical Director), Helen (Producer) and Tom (Assistant Musical Director) to discuss the upcoming show.
George: Hey guys, thanks for coming down! Tell us all about The 24 Hour Musical.
Helen: The production team have been working since June to figure out how to put on a full scale musical in the space of 24 hours. We will be meeting with the cast who we auditioned in secret and the whole crew who also don’t know what the show is on the 8th February in the Octagon Centre. We’ll then reveal it at 7pm and will have 24 hours until the doors open in the Octagon and showtime will commence. It’s all in aid of Cavendish Cancer Care.
George: Tell us a little bit about Cavendish.
H: Cavendish do really amazing work for people who are affected in any way by cancer, so that could be cancer patients themselves, family members and friends, they offer emotional support, talkinga dn therapy, everything that isn’t the medical assistance, stuff that is often neglected or forgotten about. They’re based just down the road so it’s easy for us to talk to them about how 24 can benefit their goals.
G: How will you go about the process of directing so much In so little time?
Jonathan: We’ve worked through all the pre-planning together, so essentially we’ll both know the show inside out before the 24 hours. During that time we’ll take small groups of people and work through scenes, hopefully it’ll all come together.
Cerys: Yeah so we’ll be doing some stuff together and other stuff individually, all coming together at the end. The timing is gonna be tense. Intense. And Tense. All tenses.
G: Past, Present, Future. Is that a clue, Back to the Future The Musical maybe?
C: I’m not saying anything.
G: How difficult is it to promote a show that you can’t tell anyone about?
H: I think the biggest difficulty comes with the fundraising in general, it’s difficult to go into potential sponsors and ask for money for things that we can’t actually tell them about. But in general, it’s good to get friends and family members along, trying to get the general public interested isn’t too hard because it’s so interesting, it’s really about when we announce the actual show and try and reach the corners we haven’t got to yet.
G: Choreographers and Musical directors have very difficult jobs in the sense that you’ve got to deal with a lot of tired people a lot of the time, Tara obviously it’s very high intense work for you choreographing too, how are you all feeling about that challenge?
Eloise: I think the musical directors have a bit of an easier job, we already have the music written for us whereas the other jobs have to create something out of nothing. But obviously people get so irritable, I‘m a bit scared for that. I don’t want to get hit. But I’m excited. And also very scared.
Tara: Yeah, I guess we’ll just see what happens. There's not a lot of time to teach the dances, so it’ll be a case of, ‘this is it, please go away and practice as much as possible.’ I think it’ll be a lot about emphasising that it’s for fun and its for charity, and however much I’d love it to be perfect it probably wont be.
E: You’ve got to trust that if people want to put the effort in they will, you cant force people to do more than they want to do. Just trust that people will look over their lines and choreography and singing.
C: It’s so hard to predict because you don’t have the rehearsal time so it’s all pinned on the very few moments you have to go over stuff. And then you have to trust that people will remember it.
Tom Crathorne: There’s this essential level that we all want, in every aspect. It’s just about how refined it can get without driving everyone to insanity.
C: You don’t really have the opportunity to feel it out at all – you just kind of have to do it and deal with it.
J: There’s no time to sit there and work things through, which is probably how we’d prefer to direct, but you don’t have the time.
Tom Robbins: Hello.
G: Big challenge for you too. How are you going to get everything ready in such a short space of time? What are your plans moving into the 24 hours?
TR: It’s a difficult one as I’ve already been working with our heads of department fairly closely and building those schedules.
G: And are they aware of the show?
TR: So the head of costume does, but no one else does. From their point of view they’re specifying equipment for designs that they don’t know if they’re going to even use. So that’s an issue in monitoring how much money we are spending on equipment on designs that will work with the musical. But I’m very excited, I’ve been up for hours with my brain buzzing.
G: Have you found that difficult? You’ve got a big team of people that you have to control, giving them some hints that may help them but also restraining them and not giving too much away, have you had to say no a lot?
TR: Yeah a lot. It’s knowing when to say no, but not necessarily giving a reason why. It’s guiding conversations with the tech team in a way that doesn’t give away anything but will become clear later on.
G: How difficult has it been to keep it a secret?
H: I just don’t say anything.
C: I’m so expressive, so it’s really hard knowing stuff about the cast, but to monitor how I talk to certain people as it might give away things. My brain explodes, often.
G: Do any of you have any special ways to try and give people red herrings etc?
TC: If people ask you what it is, always say yes.
J: I’ve done the opposite I just always say it’s Finding Nemo. Pick one and run with it.
C: I never confirm or deny, even if people think they know it and they say it, I’m like “I don’t know…” – it’s the frustration of not being able to confirm it.
T: I was doing in here [The Octagon] doing choreography the other day next to a SUTCo rehearsal, and I was so worried people would hear, I had my headphones in. I got a call from Kieran [Jenkins] and Nathan [Sloane] saying “we heard you doing this!” and I had to be like “oh that’s interesting I wasn’t working on that one today. It was definitely the other one…”
H: After we’d cast people I saw some people the next day and knew they were a really great part but just can’t say anything.
TC: Trying to imagine the reaction of people when they do find out can keep you going, because you know that the moment they do find out will be gold.
G: What are we most looking forward to?
TR: Bacon sandwiches.
*everyone is in total agreement*
TC: It’s a bit sadistic, but that first 7am get up and going moment, if you get in the headspace of being really hyped and having 60 odd people that want to kill you… there’s something quite fun about that.
J: I can’t wait to hand over the schedule and people to finally realise what they singed themselves up for.
C: The deliriousness. There’s tired and then getting past that point when you become delirious. I’m excited for that point.
E: I’m excited for my caffeine induced heart attack.
T: I’m excited to finally see what we’ve been thinking about on stage. All the choreography I’ve done I’ve been like. There’s 60 people. This might work. I don’t know.
TC: in our heads there’s this perfect show. I’m looking forward to seeing how it’ll all fall apart.
Saturday 9th February 2019
Doors open at 7:00
Show starts at 7:30
All profits to Cavendish Cancer Care
The Octagon Centre, Glossop Road
Tickets available here
Wednesday 28th November - Saturday 1st December 2018
Doors open at 7:00, Show starts at 7:30