Over 100 young people aged between 10 and 21, let loose in one
of Birmingham's most prestigious theatres but with only two
weeks to put on a production - rather them than me!
the state of affairs for the Alexandra Theatre's Summer Youth
Project in which every summer they put on a fully fledged
musical - and this year, it's Fame. The all-singing, all-dancing
extravaganza inspired by the Oscar-winning movie!
from 10am till 8pm, the range of youngsters dip in and out
of a warm ups, runs and rehearsals - as well as plenty of
time for good social chatter. Tensions are very high as they
have such a short time to put on such a large scale musical.
have to learn all the dance routines and steps, all the vocal
arrangements and harmonies and the full script - under the
guidance of a professional creative team (they were all theatre
lovies - bless 'em!).
Open auditions (this is where anyone can audition, on the
day) were held in the auditorium in June.
member, Andrew Morris from Sutton Coldfield explains the audition
process. "It was a long audition process. It started
off on a Saturday morning. We were broken up into two groups
with the first half of the alphabet in the morning (which
I was in) and the second half in the afternoon. In the auditions
we had to do some singing and dancing the main song ('Fame,
I'm Gonna Live Forever!'), on the stage in groups of ten.
If you passed that, you got called back to the Sunday.
the Sunday, we got here about 1pm and the day was made up
of two rounds - one in the morning and one in the afternoon.
The morning one was just singing and dancing. I got through
that and had another one in the afternoon, where you had to
learn a 'scene' and act it out. The roles were then given
out to whoever did well in that. I got the role of Drama Teacher,
I went along one sunny (ish) afternoon to see what was going
on, during their fifth day of rehearsals. It was quite a 'mish-mash'
of things, with different groups working on different scenes
for the first part of the afternoon (like dance routines,
duo dialogue or characterisation and a practice with the band
in different areas of the theatre) which culminated in a run-through
of the first act at 4 'o' clock - with all the dancing and
singing on the stage.
had a chat with four different characters from the show.
seemed really friendly and as soon as they saw my BBC pass
and the camera, all the young girls were acting like my best
friend! Haha! Can't moan I suppose can you - enjoy it while
it lasts - and I ended up taking pictures of loads of people.
were so many different types of people there from across the
city and it was really good to see everyone get along really
well and mix in such a demanding environment.
tells the story of a class of young wannabes studying at the
New York School of Performing Arts in the 1980's, and their
struggle to make their mark at school and to realise their
dreams of success and stardom. Featuring the songs, 'I Want
To Make Magic, Let's Play a Love Scene, and the world famous
title track, Fame seems like a summer treat for old and young
show had the most cheesiest, fake American accents you'd ever
heard - but everyone picked them up really well. The standard
of the young performers was of really good quality, bearing
it mind for many this is their first time up on stage, they
were very impressive and I think they'll pull it off - no
an eye out for the review of the show!
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