Every year my old secondary school put on a musical at the end of term and since leaving I have been back annually to help out backstage. This year marked the end of an era as our old drama teacher is moving on to another school meaning this was our last year helping out.
This year’s production was ‘School of Rock’ which was a musical I had never seen before and didn’t know much about. Naturally, I adore the film but in terms of the stage version I was going in blind. I have to say I loved the script and the music and it is definitely something I would like to go and see in London now. The set looked amazing and it was really cool to have the orchestra on stage instead of in the pit and the children in the show actually playing the instruments.
Our backstage dream team comprised of my favourite English teacher, Alex, his brother Luke and girlfriend Alys along with our theatre friends Joe and Jon. I have to say as much as I love performing, I do really enjoying being part of the backstage crew especially when the team is as great as these guys! I genuinely had so much fun and am going to miss herding children out of the way and the backstage banter.
For some reason, every year I am put in charge of microphones which is a challenge I also enjoy. However, this show was the biggest challenge yet with 16 radio microphones basically changing 24/7 backstage in the dark amidst lots of set changes and 70 children backstage.
The biggest set changes were the instruments that the kids in the band play like the drum kit and keyboard which were on wooden boards with wheels that needed to be moved on and off stage numerous times throughout the production. We all absolutely smashed it though and lots of audience members commented on how slick the scene changes and tech were etc.
The show ran for 3 nights and after the get out on the final evening we headed to spoons for some celebratory drinks which was a lovely way to round off a fab week at the theatre.
I’ve been really apprehensive about the big move back from Worcester to Abergavenny but this week has settled my nerves a bit and actually got me a bit excited to embark on the next chapter. I’m really eager to get back to performing down here and am thinking of rejoining Pantomime for Aladdin and AAODS for Chicago this year so watch this space!