HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN INVOLVED WITH COS PRODUCTIONS?
I became a member in 2014 for my first ever role as Ella in “Patience”. Since then I have become increasingly more involved with every production that followed, on stage as well as off, as Assistant Director, rehearsal photographer, marketer, stand-in chorus conductor and general question-answerer.
TELL US A BIT ABOUT THE SHOW AND THE ROLE YOU’RE PLAYING.
“Grand Hotel” is a musical about the mysterious goings-on between guests and staff at the most luxurious and expensive hotel in 1928 Berlin. I’ll be playing Frieda Flamm, a typist in trouble, who makes some questionable decisions in her desperation to become a Hollywood star.
All the characters, although a little larger than life (this is musical theatre, after all), are inarguably realistic and understandable, and an absolute joy to portray.
WHY DID THE GROUP DECIDE ON SUCH AN UNKNOWN SHOW, AND WHY SHOULD PEOPLE COME AND SEE GRAND HOTEL?
First, COS has been around for over 50 years, so they have done all the classics already. We have an amazingly talented group of people who want to play fresh, interesting characters and learn striking new music. Secondly, with the launch of the professional theatre, it has become even more important to push ourselves, do something unpredictable and give the community a reason to keep coming back for more.
We knew from the beginning this would be a tough one to sell, but we know our audiences will not be disappointed if they take the risk. The story is unexpected, with beautifully written characters who you’ve never seen before, accompanied by a score which makes you want to cry one second and get up and dance the next. So yes, it’s challenging and risky, but it’s also something incredibly special, and a real treat for anyone who gets to experience it.
HAVE THE BARN’S PROFESSIONAL SHOWS IMPROVED THE QUALITY OF YOUR PRODUCTIONS?
When I joined COS four years ago, the Barn Theatre was a glorified shed with some fancy light and sound equipment. The renovation has undoubtedly improved the quality of our shows, allowing us the same facilities used by professional companies, which very few have the luxury of. Not to mention the air-conditioned auditorium, new (comfortable) seating and two bars, which our audiences are loving.
Having many pro shows so close to home gives our members the opportunity to watch, learn and develop as actors, which has been a valuable asset to myself and many others.
WHAT’S NEXT FOR COS?
For our May production, we’ll be entering into the world of Sondheim with “Merrily We Roll Along”, which is going to be a great one for members, new and old, to get their teeth into. Following that will be “Half a Sixpence”, directed by yours truly!