So as I am writing this it has almost been one whole week since our first performance of The Wedding Singer and I honestly have no idea where the time has gone. I don’t think I’ve quite processed that the show or my time in Loco has come to an end (and I’m going to write a separate post bidding Loco farewell when I am emotionally stable enough) but here is a look back at my last show with my beloved Loco Show Co. Prepare for lots of pics.
If you’ve been following this blog or my Instagram, you’ll know that the last few weeks we have been in weekend rehearsals trying to pull everything together in time for when our audiences arrived. There’s been an elephant in this blog for a while that I haven’t addressed and that would be the suspension of the society. I can’t go into too much detail but the suspension was caused by lies and has impacted myself and the society to no end this semester. As a result, we went from a cast of over 30 to a cast of 18 including myself and the rest of production team having to take roles and lost almost 5 weeks of rehearsals.
However, I am so, so proud to say that those of us that were left fought with everything we had to stay afloat and to ensure that the show went ahead. We became so much closer as a society who all shared the same goal – to enjoy the time we had left and put on a good show. I guess it’s like the whole fight and flight debate and those that chose to fight fought hard and we ended with an amazing end product.
Unfortunately, we lost a few lead roles in the process which meant that production team had to reluctantly take roles in order for the show to go ahead. Alex took on the role of Glen, Leanne took on numerous ensemble roles and I ended up taking on Julia, the leading lady. It has been a long standing dream of mine to play the leading lady in a musical but I really wish it didn’t happen under the circumstances it did. I had just under a month to learn the entire show whilst also fulfilling my roles as chairperson and vocal director and covering the role of vice chair.
Julia pushed me as an actress way outside of my comfort zone and sang more than any character I have ever played. She also has a ridiculous number of costume changes which all needed to happen in less than 30 seconds so it is safe to say there was a lot of naked, panicked Meg on display in the wings! I enjoyed playing her so much but I definitely underestimated how demanding it would be to play a leading role on top of everything else I was doing. I also sprained my ankle the week of the show so was fighting through the pain of that. Looking back I have no idea how I managed it but I am so glad that I did. Thank you Julia Sullivan for giving me the opportunity to do something I have always wanted to do and push me to a new limit.
The show itself was absolutely fantastic in the end. Despite ticket sales being poor before the opening night, people showed up on the door and we finally had an audience for our performances. I remember thinking as the exit music played on Saturday night “I can’t believe we actually did it and I can’t believe it was so good.” I think I can speak for all of committee when I say that we never thought that the show would be at the standard it was after everything that happened and I struggle to find words to articulate how proud I am of everyone involved.
We were also so lucky to have so many wonderful people rush to our aid to help make it happen. Em Kent did all of our lighting programming and operating for free, Lydia designed the poster and programme for us and Jordan drove from work in Milton Keynes the night of dress rehearsal to stage manage the show and take on the roles of some last minute drop outs. The support we experienced was so moving and I can honestly say the show could not have happened without the love and kindness we received from these guys.
After the show we host something called ‘circle time’ where we give out awards and handover to the new committee. I was so surprised to win Callen semester award for coming to socials and making two costumes every week (one for myself and Alex). We also treated cast to a feast from the committee as part of the Loco Spirit award as we couldn’t just choose one person to give it to when they all worked so hard and stuck with us to the very end. We also had the faithful aftershow party which was the best one I have ever been to. We made it to sunrise in Cripplegate park, headed to Maccies for breakfast when it opened at 6am and got home to bed at about 7:45am.
It hasn’t sunk it yet that it’s over as it has been quite a busy week doing last minute committee tasks and spending time with friends but I think the post show blues will kick in soon.
Like I said, I will write a separate post to say goodbye to Loco but for now it’s time to hang up my apron as Julia and enjoy some well earned rest.