"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.
The Chorus Perspective - Part One: Colin Greene
Colin Greene: "I have been with Caamora from the first 'Alchemy' rehearsals in Cheltenham, which was about two years back. It was amazing being part of a process that saw a new theatre company become very expert in their interpretation of Clive Nolan's musicals. For me, it was the total belief in the music and how it stood out as something special. I was proud to be a part of the enthusiasm towards exciting shows at the Jermyn Street Theatre in London and now I am part of one of the best singing and acting casts that we have ever had. It is a delight to bring to a conclusion within the next few days both of the musicals. There is no doubt that it is hard work and for some it is hours of extra toil making sets and costumes which would not be out of place in the best costume wardrobes. It is never easy to gather a team together and work with them until they meet with the standard that the audience expect. I love working with Ian Baldwin, the director, who with the patience and guidance and experience polishes us until we all shine. I still remember the day when it felt like family. And it still does.
Clive, a few words for you - I loved it when you had just finished Jermyn Street. You picked up a glass of wine and I looked at you - you held up the glass in a well-done salute and said "This is rock'n' roll'. You deserved that drink and I hope to be part of the glasses raised after "The Fire and the Quest".
Rock Has Always Been Close To Me: An interview with Gemma Louise Edwards
Gemma: I auditioned for "She The Musical". That's how I met Clive. I went to his house and we run through some songs and he offered me the part of Ustane, which is one of the lead female parts in the musical "She". And it's a really great role for me - the songs are absolutely fantastic and they are actually slightly challenging for me, because it's not a soprano role. It's a mezzo role and it's not usually where my voice is placed for songs. So, it's a completely different style and I'm finding it really exciting and enjoyable. Ustane is quite a strong character but obviously the Queen is the one who leads the tribe, so, Ustane's under her command, but she is a very good character to play. Definitely!
“I Jumped to the Chance and Tried my Best”: An Interview with Robbie Gardner
Robbie Gardner: "I'm playing a part of Leo in "She" and William Gardelle in "Alchemy". I'm actually a silk printer by profession in a silk printing company just outside of Tewkesbury. But I was an actor before for about 10 years. I trained at Central School of Speech and Drama and I did a few of small acting roles and next went on to perform on cruise ships in Australia for about 3 years. Then I gave it up to have some normal life and was only involved in theatre part time - enough to be able to enjoy being a part of a team such as this. So, it's a real pleasure."
“Directing Has Been a Fun Little Path”: An Interview with Ian Baldwin
Ian Baldwin (the director): "It all started with my famous interpretation of a stable boy at school nativity play. At school I joined a youth theatre. I was lucky enough to take part in quite a few performances at the Cheltenham Playhouse and at the Everyman and to work with a few people who knew how to influence my ideas of what theatre and performance is about. I then went on and did a degree in Performance Arts and since then I've done all sorts of stuff really. I've written a few things, been in a few things, I directed a few things and just enjoyed performing and producing things that people can watch and enjoy.
As far as Caamora is concerned, I was asked to direct "Alchemy" last year for our off-West End Jermyn Street Theatre experience, which must have gone OK, because I was then asked to direct "She", which has been quite a pleasurable experience so far. So, yes, as far as directing is concerned, it's been a fun little path so far. Who knows where it will lead!"
Costumes and Scenery Are Almost Ready!
Caron Morgan (Costume and Scenery Assistant): “Things are moving alone steadily in the costume and scenery department. As usual Natalie Barnett is a hard task master and works tirelessly to achieve the designs she desires. The “She” costumes are cohesive and compliment each other, keeping an Egyptian and tribal feel. Her use of colour works to good effect and adds some depth and richness to the costumes. Natalie's attention to detail is as always unfaltering.
The set for “She” is also coming along well, using a similar formula to that of “Alchemy”. But without giving to much away, there are a few interesting and very effective use of props and scenery. As for myself, I have enjoyed working with Natalie - it's meant quite a few late nights and long weekends, but as always, it's a pleasure to work with such a creative young woman, who just happens to be my daughter!”
I Like Writing Musicals: A Conversation with Clive Nolan Part 2
Clive Nolan: "As far as the characters I played are concerned, there was a practical reason... When I started writing the songs I was cheaper than anybody else around, so it made some kind of sense that I played Leo initially in "She". But I never felt any affinity for that particular role - it didn't really suit me. But when I wrote the story of "Alchemy", I was very aware that the character of King would suit me more. So that was a much easier decision to make. These two characters are the two that I actually sang. Obviously I sing a lot of the background chorus as well and when I do the demos, I sing a lot of the material even if it becomes somebody else's part later on".
Read the interview HERE
It's Nice to be a Bad Girl: A Conversation with Victoria Bolley
Victoria Bolley: I have pleasure to play Queen Ayesha in Clive Nolan's "She" and Eva Bonaduce in Clive Nolan's "Alchemy". This is my second time I am playing Ayesha. My first time was back in 2012 when I understudied Agnieszka Swita at the Playhouse Theatre in Cheltenham in the matinee performance. But this time I am what they call a leading lady, so I am Ayesha. It's quite a challenge, because some of the music has been changed and edited. The stage direction is totally different. Ian Baldwin has done a fantastic job looking after us, keeping control of us and putting his own spin on things. So, I think you'll be very pleased with what you see. And if you've already seen it, I hope you are very pleased, because we've been working really hard. Two or three times a week sometimes - early mornings, late nights.
I Like Writing Musicals: A Conversation with Clive Nolan Part 1
Clive Nolan: "When I was a child my parents had a radiogram. You were pulling the little doors open and there was room for albums on the sides and the record deck in the middle. Being an only child I used to have a lot of time on my own and I used to go through these records. We had a collection of albums like "South Pacific", "My Fair Lady", "The Sound of Music". At that time I did not really think consciously about the genre - I just used to listen to these albums all the time and make up my own stories, cause they did not have proper sleeves. So, I had to imagine what was going on in the story. Thus from a very early age I was listening to that kind of music and my parents used to take me to see some of the musicals in the cinema. I remember being taken to see "Oliver!" and "Scrooge the Musical" and various other ones as well. So, I was brought up on a diet of musicals to some extent."
Read the interview HERE