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THE HERALD FRIDAY AUGUST 19 2016


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13 News Aberystwyth arts centre


on instruments that they had barely picked up before. Generally, they all had come knowledge of how to play their instruments so they were very good in doing all of the singing, acting and playing the music. “But it leads to a very difficult


casting process - it’s really hard to find people with so many skills. “Then of course, with the rehearsal


process, they had three weeks and not only did they learn the choreography, their lines and their songs, they also learnt how to play the show as well so it was fantastic how well they all worked together to make that happen. They are very talented indeed. “It began with us, the Producers,


some time after ‘Blood Brothers’ was finishing and her name came up in one of our meetings in-house. “One of the other Producers got in


touch with her agent who said she was available, and also said she had done the show before, so it made absolute sense so she came onboard and was absolutely wonderful as well. “Gareth had some pre-contractual


commitments before we casted him onto the show so we knew we were going to have to fill his spot for a few weeks during the tour. So our Associate Producer is a good friend of Lee Brennan and he thought this could be


the role for Lee. “We then auditioned Lee up in


Bridlington and again, he was absolutely fantastic. The team absolutely loved him and he brought another slant to the show which has been great and, of course, those profiles added to the marketing. “We know that Gareth has a huge


following all over the country and a huge fan base, as do Maureen and Lee, so it’s been great having them involved but, essentially, their creativity is everything that makes them so great to work with. “They gave their input and are


brilliant company members and they do a lot of marketing for us so they work really hard, especially when they do extra bits such as rushing to a TV studio or show every now and again. They really do put that extra effort into our show so it’s helped the marketing and PR for the shows - all three of them do it very willingly.”


All the cast members put their


heart and soul into their performances of Footloose. When did the process for the show begin?


“It was two to three years ago


that the idea of it was created and Rebecca Loos, our Director, was really keen on doing the show as well. We were always looking for new ways to excite our audience so, between us, we had the idea of doing an ‘Actor/ Muso’ so everybody played up to four instruments each in the show. “They all came in with a certain


level of skill - some of them were very proficient on some instruments and some cast members were not so much


and then the creative team. We start work on shows one to two years prior to casting so we put all the plans together booking the tour, finding the funds for it and putting the team together (such as the Director and Choreographer). We then have lots of design meetings once the Designer is on board, so the Director, the Producers, the Production Manager and the Designer all get together and we work for a few months on designing the show. We discuss things such as what it’s going to look like, how many are going to be in it, costumes, and how it will all fit together so we are all on the same page. “Once all of that is underway, I


think we then casted around September/ October time last year, so that’s when we start working with the actors. We then cast prior to Christmas and then in January they started their rehearsal process (which was only three weeks) before opening the tour in Bridlington.”


With the props and the setting of


the show, do the team have to take into account the different venues on the tour in order to fit the sets correctly?


“We have a tour draft schedule in


place so nothing is designed until they know roughly where they are going. The Designer and the Production Manager then take those drawings from each venue to make sure that everything can fit. “It might be that if we are in a small


venue, there is a slightly reduced set so one of the flying pieces might not be used at that venue. We try and make sure that the design matches the footprint, as we call it, at each venue so everything can fit in. From this, no venue and no audience will get a lesser show. “We also have a crew of eight


technicians who travel on the road to make sure that things are working. If there are any changes, then they have small rehearsals before the show. We basically get up and get into the theatre at 7am or 8am on the first day of the week and then cast arrive around 4pm, do their warm-up and they go through any changes such as props being in different places or if any props are to be left out due to the size of the venue. “The cast then do their sound


check, done for the opening night, so it’s amazing to see what they all manage to do in a day.


At the end of each show during


the tour, merchandise is sold to the audience. How successful is this with helping the marketing of Footloose the Musical?


“The merchandise is a separate


company, actually, so they run all of the merchandise for us. It’s a really great way for the audience to take a piece of the show home for themselves and there is an online shop on our website for those interested.”


Footloose is at the Aberystwyth Arts Centre until Saturday, August 27.


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