Behind The CurtainFriday, August 11TH 2017
It’s been the second busy weekend in a row for us here at Sound Ideas HQ, Maddermarket Theatre was brave kind enough to let us into the theatre early to let us shoot video footage and take promo photos for our close approaching production of USHERS: The Front of House Musical!
“Following a working shift in the lives of the stagiest people in the theatre – the front of house staff, portraying the hilarious, ridiculous and frequently moving stories of ice-cream and programme sellers who dare to dream…”
I thought I’d start with a quick definition of the term ‘stagey’.
Adjective: excessively theatrical, exaggerated.
(Doesn’t sound like us at all!? What with our first production being a steam-punk-inspired-postapocalyptic musical about pee and starting 2017 with an immersive musical with real pies and lots of fake blood in a warehouse… I take it back. Being stagey sounds exactly like us!)
USHERS: The Front of House Musical is a behind the scenes point of view from six front of house staff at a West End theatre: It’s Lucy’s first day on the job after graduating from stage school – and with the team of hardworking staff around her, they navigate (avoiding their manager) through the shift from a unique, and often hilarious, perspective.
As well as being a great comedy there is a huge heart to this show with the common theme of love – especially the love and drive of performing, which is what keeps us all coming back to the theatre again and again. These characters, in their own way, are trying to get back on the stage…
…even if that means selling ice-creams and programmes in front of it for the time being!
We had a smashing time in the theatre shooting the training videos that Lucy (and now you, our lucky audience) will get to see during the show. These videos feature the sleazy Front of House Manager, Robin Pockets who is being played by Sound Ideas regular Joseph Betts – who kept bringing us to tears of laughter whilst we were filming. We’re currently putting together an outtakes video of our favourite moments! (There’s a real ‘The Office’ vibe to, these but with more singing, and a lot more theatre puns.)
After we had gotten through filming, we took the opportunity to get some ‘location’ shots – so that we can reveal our brilliantly talented cast to you over the next few weeks.
I thought, this could be my moment as the assistant director to shine.
I had to hold the curtain up.
The shots that Dan Smith took looked fantastic and after plenty of pictures of all the cast (and me ignoring my very itchy nose) I dropped the curtain on our two actresses and we moved onto the candid shots, where I got to throw popcorn (now lovingly referred to as ‘propcorn’) at our cast for a good fifteen minutes! It was so much fun.
When we finished, like all good Ushers, everyone tidied up the theatre before heading to our afternoon rehearsal. With a month to go, the show is already looking and sounding fantastic. I can’t wait for people too see it and get really stuck into being ‘stagey’ with us!
Team Sound Ideas
Album of the week!
USHERS: The Front of House Musical
Now was it going to be anything elsethis week! Two of the stand out songs on this album are (It’s Time to) Let Go and Dreams and Ice-creams – two fantastic solos that any Tenor and Mezzo should add immediately to their repertoire. Another favourite of mine is Induction as it’s a great tongue-firmly-in-cheek look at all the different types of audience members at a theatre! The album is available on Amazon and directly from the creators.