Wednesday, 10 October 2007

The making of Millboys, Chavs and Space Cadets

One of our Youth Theatre attenders, Jaymi Sulley (Thank you Jaymi!), has been keeping a diary on her involvement with their current project, the multi-media theatrical journey that is Millboys, Chavs and Space Cadets. It gives future and wannabe activ8-ers a chance to see what goes on at the Youth Theatre, so if you would like to know what's involved, please read on.

Day One
Today was the first day at drama school. The main focus of the day was to get to know the cast and staff involved in our production.
When we arrived we all stood in a circle and had a ball which we threw and had to say the name of the recipient of the ball. We played a few more games and then sat down and got serious. We discussed the basic storyline of the performance and were split into groups to perform a little piece of the script.
I enjoyed making new friends and I also learnt how co-operation is a key role in your part of a production.

Day Two
I arrived at drama today with the fabulous news that I was going to be dancing for about four hours of my afternoon. I was more disappointed when I found out that half of my fellow production / cast team members were singing all morning. I suppose I have to make sacrifices to be a reliable member of the team. Although the dancing was a low point, I had a morning of acting ahead of me which was good ;) !

We all went off into groups and went over parts of the script and then acted it out in front of the rest of the group. After lunch we were greeted by a dance teacher (choreographer) who taught us all a dance. I didn't enjoy it much as I am naturally unable to dance, but after a long session it was worth the embarrassment as the dance was awesome.
Today I enjoyed working with new people and I learned that patience really is a virtue.

Day Three
Our turn to sing today and I was so glad! During our morning we were with Pete (the music producer alongside me) and we did basic vocal warm-ups, to get our voices ready, such as number chords. We basically said numbers as a chord with 1 being low and 8 being high but to confuse matters we had to go back down in chords e.g. 1,1,2,1,1,2,3,2,1....
After the warm up we got our song words for 'Let the great big world keep turning', learnt the chorus and when Pete thought we were good enough he made us sing solo. After all the fun of singing, we were placed with the group to continue with script reading.
Today I enjoyed the singing as I love singing. I learnt how I can use my voice to suit the basic style of the song. I also learnt a new song and vocal exercises.

Day Four
Today we arrived and played a few games and then we decided to do the Mill scenes, creating machinery and workers we put together a little routine that emphasises the mood / feel of the scene.
After we had produced the scene we performed it and it turned out great. Our afternoon was just a recap of what we had done during the week so far. We went through the dance and sang our songs. With any spare time we had to went through the script.

Day Five
We found out our parts today. I am a Millhand, Musical Dancer, a futuristic museum exhibit and a talent show performer! Because we didn't have a script for the talent show, we improvised a talent show. I was grouped and we decided to do a Spice Girl mick take! It was so much fun. Later on Ellie and Caz decided what type of music / talent they wanted to involve. This became my chance to out ideas down for what music and lyrics we need for each performance.

Day Six
Today was when we got down to the real business of rehearsals. As I am not a lead placement, I was given a large opportunity to rethink my ideas for the music and lyrics needed for the show. So far my ideas are quite blunt and amateur but as an amateur it is all that is expected of me!
So far though we have a heavy metal band, Exit Shikiri (which is a rip off of a current rock band named Enter Shikari), performing Sorry You're Not A Winner. I also have to do music and lyrics to the song that Wicked (an all girl pop combo so I am told - Ed) dance to. It's quite difficult as I can see them using a cheesy pop style song.

Day Seven
Today we went through the Mill scene and perfected it. We then watched everybody else do their scenes and all put forward ideas but Ellie did most of it.
During the time I had, I tried again to put some music beats together but it didn't work.

Day Eight
Today we did the same as yesterday...rehearsals, putting ideas forward and went through the dances, song and the talent show.

Day Nine
Again a whole day of run throughs with the main characters.....

I think that gives us a nice insight into the elements that make up a production and I am sure there is many an actor out there that feels the same as Jaymi about having to dance. I know Barrie Rutter does!
Millboys, Chavs and Space Cadets will be performed at Bolton Lads and Girls Club on Saturday 17 November with performances at 2.30pm and 7.30pm (performance times are subject to change).


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