Youth Theatre members in the Christmas Show!
Published on 12 May 2016
Four of our Youth Theatre members were in the Christmas show 2015. It was fantastic seeing them on the main stage, read about their experiences below.
Receiving the news that I'd been one of the lucky four who had been successful in getting a role in 'Pharaoh Cross the Mersey' was probably one of the best moments of my life.
The experience of working on a professional production with seasoned actors who were not only kind, but genuinely guiding and actively did everything they could to teach us along the way, was something I didn't think I'd get to experience at the age of 17. I felt proud that I'd won the opportunity to represent the youth theatre and that I was considered a good display of all the hard work that comes out of the youth theatre.
Working on the show was a dream - the cast were wonderful and didn't make us feel out of place at all. We were treated like professionals, and we acted as such. Being able to attend my first press night as a performer and learn how to mingle with those who had come to see the performance was a scary yet essential experience and I am glad that I got to do it first in the Royal Court, as the theatre has basically been my second home since I was twelve years old. Without the training and connections offered from the youth theatre, I never would have gotten this break and so to Miriam, Zain, Kelly and all the other specialised instructors who run workshops and dedicate so much of their time to giving us a way to explore our passions, I am forever thankful. The buzz of going on stage on opening night is one that isn't easily rivalled, and I feel blessed that I have been able to experience it.
Being a part of Pharaoh Across The Mersey was an enlightening and exciting experience. When it was suggested for me to audition I was honored to have been asked and I obviously jumped at the chance. I pushed my nerves to one side because I knew that due to all the support over the years from the youth theatre I would be prepared to go into that audition with my head in the right place. The audition was actually fun when I pushed past the pressure; it just felt like one of the many workshops we do at the youth theatre.
When I was told I was to receive a part I was overjoyed. Our first script reading was an interesting day; it was so interesting to see everyone who is involved in the show sitting in the same room. You really don't know the amount of work that is involved to produce one show until you see all the people responsible. Another thing that was great to witness was how the actors helped shape the script and how they provided suggestions to Howard (the director) and Fred (the writer) of how their lines should be said.
Rehearsals started and to go from a long day of school into the rehearsal space was tiring. But once I was there and in amongst the magic of rehearsals I felt wide awake. The rehearsal process was thorough and for me was a great learning experience. I watched the show grow from a wad of paper to a complex tapestry of dialogue, music and movement. Tech Week was long and high intensity to compare it to a gym session; it may seem an odd comparison but honestly they both left me sweaty, knackered and oddly fulfilled.
The shows started and I was so thrilled to actually start working; it was great to feel the glare of the stage lights again. I really enjoyed being involved in the rush of the show and to get that instant feedback from the audience. There is really no greater feeling than bowing after a long show and hearing the audience as happy as you are. Something I had experienced for the first time in Pharaoh was having something in the show go wrong, having to deal with that and resolve it as quickly as possible; I mean its not completely new to me but it had never happened to and around me so often. But that is the nature of live theatre and to be honest it keeps the whole process fresh and exciting; it gives us all something to talk about in the green room anyway.
Flash forward to the very end show and the wrap party; the party was a great time to reflect on how well the shows went and to talk about all of the exciting moments that happened –both positive and negative- that shaped the whole process for everyone. It was at the wrap party that I got to give thanks to everyone involved who helped me learn and be the best performer I could be. There was such relief in the room but also sadness that the whole experience was ending. The time I spent in Pharaoh Across The Mersey was wonderful and I would love to be a part of future productions at the theatre; there is such a nice and welcoming atmosphere there and you really feel that you are a part of an odd little family. I would do it all again in a heartbeat.