“I Adore Musical Theatre”: An Interview with Ross Andrews
Ross: "I am playing Billali in “She” and I am also the Captain in “Alchemy” as well as Greaves. Billali happens to be a very efficient priest who goes telling people what to do and ordering people around and singing as low as I possibly can in a bass register, which means it’s extremely difficult. In “Alchemy” I am Greaves, who is the evil henchman, who goes around slapping people about and killing them. And I am also the captain, who goes on with a huge book and starts singing in a bass register blasting the notes everywhere I possibly can."
The Chorus Perspective – Part Three: Ollie West
Ollie West: “I have had the privilege of being a chorus member of Clive Nolan's shows from the inception of the full stage version of ‘She’ performed previously at the Playhouse with a large chorus. Now being reworked in mode of ‘Alchemy’ so that it can be performed without the need for vast expensive sets and lots of people.
My role in the shows is to sing the amazing songs with the rest of the chorus and act. This brings a greater depth of meaning to the stories - which are now full stage versions with amazing singing and acting from all. I am also apparently again the wardrobe mistress with the difficult job of keeping them all in order in the dressing rooms and ensuring all the costumes remain complete for each character. The costumes are stunning!
Ian’s conception of ‘She’ is superb and simple and so different from the original stage version. It will be like seeing a new show. Rehearsals are going well and as we all say "it will be alright on the night". The Caamora family will be superb.
Clive’s talents are boundless and he gets better all the time. His new song in ‘She’ is well, you'll find out for yourselves,wow! I love all the music, I cannot get enough of it and I don't get bored with it. That is the true talent of the man. Such an honour to know him and be involved. You know he was amazing to start with and he keeps getting better. Many congratulations on your jubilee, Clive and here's to the future years!
The Chorus Perspective - Part Two: Ron Milsom
Ron Milsom: "Being a member of the chorus means playing a variety of roles. For me in both ‘She’ and ‘Alchemy’, these include a sailor, Queen’s guard, a priest, a vagrant, a mercenary and a member of the Hell-Fire Club. During rehearsals, it can sometimes be a bit confusing, but once the costumes go on, the character’s have their own identity. Our job is to reinforce the story that’s unfolding on stage and to provide harmony to the songs.
I’m pleased to say that the rehearsals are going really well, considering that we’re doing two different shows over consecutive nights. Although I’ve played in ‘She’ and ´Alchemy´ previously, this is a completely new version of ‘She’. That means learning new parts and stage directions, although of course the songs are the same. It may be difficult at times, but it’s great fun too.
Caamora is not just a theatrical company, it’s a family of friends working together and helping each other to bring Clive’s music to life. The talented Ian Baldwin has transformed the shows into some something quite dynamic and I’ve learnt so much by working with him. I never tire of listening to Clive’s music. ‘The Fire and the Quest’ is going to be a very special weekend for everybody involved. I’m privileged to be part of this company and for that I am truly grateful to Clive Nolan. Thanks Clive and good luck for the future!"
"I Just Love Musicals!": An Interview with Verity Smith
Verity: Quite a while ago when we were doing "Alchemy" at the Cheltenham Playhouse, I was asked to audition for an understudy role for Mrs Muncey. It feels like a long time ago now. And I was lucky enough (sorry Tracy!) that Tracy Hitchings couldn't make the Cheltenham shows, so I ended up playing the lead role and then when we went to the off West End, Clive asked me to extend that part into playing Jessamine as well as Mrs Muncey. And then, when it was announced that we were going to do a new version of "She", Ian Baldwin, who is directing "She", asked me to be Rehani in this production. And it's been awesome to be involved.