May 28: The musical theatre issue
The Stage’s musical theatre supplement 2009 is free with this week’s paper. A special guide to working in the genre, the 12-page supplement is full of ways to help you choose the right training as well as interviews with performers and industry experts to help you get the skills you need or build on the skills you have.
Oliver! star Jodie Prenger, whose rise to West End stardom has all the makings of a musical in itself, talks about how battling with working men’s club audiences and with her weight toughened her up for the role of Nancy.
Having dropped to a size eight [by the final of I’d Do Anything], I was gutted that my size remained an issue.. I was so worried that Cameron’s opinion would mean I was out of the running. The public might vote me through, but that didn’t mean the producer would be happy about it.
Money from the voting lines for I’d Do Anything and its predecessor shows including Any Dream Will Do and How Do You Solve a Problem Like Maria? have helped to fund the BBC Performing Arts Fund (formerly the Fame Academy Musical Theatre Bursary), a scheme which provides grants of up to £8,000 a year for performing arts students. We talk to Miriam O’Keeffe, project manager for the Fund, about the scheme and what is involved in applying for it.
Acting teachers from Central School of Speech and Drama and Mountview Academy of Performing Arts explain why acting is the most fundamental skill in musical theatre, and why your acting skills need to be every bit as good as those working in straight theatre. And other tutors from around the country talk about the importance of drama within musical theatre courses.
Casting director Richard Evans, author of Auditions - A Practical Guide, advises on how to find the right course to suite your needs, and how to build on your talent to ensure a successful audition, while Free Degrees author Lyndi Smith talks about ways to fund your training
Angela and Nick Rudling, founders of London Theatre School, talk about how they help talented singers learn to become accomplished dancers and actors
Also in this week’s packed paper:
Former Coronation Street and Queer as Folk actress Denise Black is heading back to her singing roots with a series of concerts in London. But, as she tells The Stage, she still has some acting projects in the pipeline, including a stint in Alan Ayckbourn’s Bedroom Farce at the West Yorkshire Playhouse.
“There are a few who remember me as a singer as I was predominantly a singer for eight years. Dillie Keane, who runs Fascinating Aida, said to me, ‘Darling, I remember you. But nobody else is going to give a fuck’,” she laughs.
“What I have to do it make that transition. People will be surprised. And people are always suspicious when you are known for one thing, but want to try another.”
Laurie Sansom, artistic director of the Royal and Derngate, talks about how Northampton’s theatre scene is thriving despite the recession. and the impact of his mentor Alan Ayckbourn on his career.
The light entertainment world is finally cottoning on to the sort of graduate recruitment schemes long favoured by other industry sectors. We speak to people who have found work straight after studying and the organisations offering the jobs
Backstage Focus: Staging a promenade play poses a whole new set of challenges for the production crew trying to realise the ambitions of the show. Those who have been involved with site-specific theatre share their experiences
We meet the four finalists vying for The Stage scholarship to Kent-based KSA - and reveal the winner
Garsington Opera has won a landmark case which challenged HM Revenue & Customs on the amount of VAT that the company could recover. Laywer Lawrence Graham explains the arguments and hos it could affect you.
Dear John: “I have good material and, I’m told, a lot of talent. How do I polish all those elements into a successful act?” WIth guest advisers Annie Bright and Judith Baxter
Malta-based Unifaun Theatre has been banned from performing Anthony Neilson’s controversial play Stitching because it is deemed ‘blasphemous’ and ‘pro-abortion’. The company’s artistic director Adrian Buckle tells Nick Awde how the ban has succeeded in bringing the Maltese theatre community together
As Scarborough’s Spa Theatre celebrates its 90th consecutive summer season, we look at the venue’s history and whether this annual celebration of variety has a future.
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