Tag Archives: Musical Theatre

ALL OUT!! AOS are going on STRIKE in Autumn 2020

It’s time to show a little solidarity with AOS. Come along and support us in our struggle to bring the very best musical theatre to Abingdon.

Made in Dagenham scene

In the Autumn of 2020 we’ll be debuting the hit West End musical Made in Dagenham at the Amey Theatre.

Made in Dagenham is a musical with music by David Arnold, lyrics by Richard Thomas, and a book by Richard Bean. Based on the 2010 film of the same name, which in turn was based on the real events of the Ford sewing machinists strike of 1968, the musical made its West End and world premiere at the Adelphi Theatre in 2014.

The 2010 film received several award nominations, and the following year, it was announced that a musical was under development. Former Bond girl Gemma Arterton was cast in the role of Rita, a working woman and mother who becomes a union leader amidst the strike, despite the wishes of her husband and children, who feel neglected by her focus on labour issues.

It’s unusual for us to be performing a show set so recently and it should certainly keep our wardrobe budget under control, as all the cast members will be rifling through their parents’ wardrobes looking for authentic 1960s costumes.

To learn more and keep up to date with production news and casting, check out our future show page here.

Top 5 audition tips to help you get that part!

So the audition dates have been published and you’re thinking of going for a principal role. Perhaps you always succeed and play every leading part, or perhaps you’ve never managed to win the role you think you were born to play? Whichever camp you’d place yourself in, here are our top tips for getting through the audition and winning that role.

  1. Be honest with yourself (but dreaming’s good too)

Listen to the director’s description of the character and read the lib carefully. If the director’s looking for an eighteen year old soprano and you’re a fifty year old alto, it’s probably not the right role for you. Similarly, if the part is a tap-dancing leading man and you have two left feet and an in-growing toenail, you might want to think twice. But if you can picture yourself adding something to the character, then give it everything you’ve got.¬† So, don’t be too hard on yourself – just be realistic.

Auditions1

2. Be prepared

If you really want a role, it’s a good idea to try to learn the audition pieces and practice the songs. You need to sell it to the audition panel and doing this while looking at your lib or forgetting the song is not ideal. Learning the lines shows the panel that you want the part enough to have put in some effort. You should also have a good sense of the character you’re auditioning for. Read the whole lib and look for clues about the person you’re portraying, and listen carefully to the director’s description too.

3. Don’t focus on the wrong things

Using props, costume or wigs in an audition is almost always a mistake. When you’re nervous and on the spot, it’s so easy for props to get you mixed up or confused, and costumes and wigs aren’t what the audition panel are looking for. Put your effort into inhabiting the character without distractions. Focus on the acting and singing and the panel will fill in the missing bits.

Auditions2

4. Nerves can be your best friend

Most people find auditions more nerve-wracking than an opening night. There’s something about being so obviously judged that reduces the most experienced performer to a quivering jelly. So, since you can’t avoid the nerves, use them instead. Plan for them in advance and think about how you can use them to express emotion and depth in the audition pieces. This approach can work for acting and singing, but you need to have thought about how your nerves will affect you and how and where you will use this. When you need power or emotion, your nerves can be the fuel that makes your performance electric.

5. Don’t put all your eggs in one basket

If there are two parts that you can reasonably audition for, go for both – even if you really, really want only one of them. It never does any harm to show an audition panel what you can do. Auditioning for a second part shows more of your acting ability and more of your voice. It gives you longer to shine. And of course, if you don’t get the part you have your heart set on, you may get the other part. You’ll be disappointed for a time, but at least you have a part in the show.

Those are our top five tips, but if you fail despite these words of wisdom, there’s bound to be a place for you in the chorus. No show is a great show without a great chorus.¬†Even when the principals are excellent, a poor chorus performance can ruin the atmosphere. So be a part of that well-oiled machine that is a great musical production – you’ll still have a wonderful time.

Top Hat! What an absolutely fantastic week we all had!

Top Hat, the stunning 2013 Olivier Award winner for ‘Best New Musical’ – Tue 23 to Sat 27 October 2018.

What can we say, except to thank all our audience for supporting us and making their appreciation so evident. The laughter was in all the right places, your applause was more than enthusiastic, and even your wolf whistles for Signor Beddini’s striptease were welcomed. We had a brilliant week, enjoying every minute of performing this show, and it’s so pleasing to know that our audience enjoyed it just as much.

To refresh your memory if you were able to join us, or to take a glimpse at what you missed, check out the gallery on our Flickr site here.