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This month, host Martin Ballard spends time in rehearsals for the Made at Curve Christmas production of A Chorus Line, speaking to Director Nikolai Foster, performers Adam Cooper, Beth Hinton-Lever, Kanako Nakano and Chloe Saunders, as well as Musical Supervisor David Shrubsole.
The smash-hit musical masterpiece A Chorus Line follows 17 hopeful performers as they audition for a new production on Broadway. The audition takes an unexpected turn for the auditionees when Director Zach, played by world-famous dancer Adam Cooper, invites the performers to open-up about their lives and what brought them into theatre.
Speaking about his role, Adam (who is acclaimed for creating the lead role of the Swan/Stranger in Matthew Bourne’s production of Swan Lake – a role he also performed in the 2000 film Billy Elliot as the adult Billy) explains, “I’ve had the insight as a performer in musicals but also as a director and choreographer – so I actually know the job!”
Adam also talks about being part of A Chorus Line this Christmas, after the devastating impact of the pandemic on all those in the theatre industry. “It’s a precarious life, the life of a dancer or a musical theatre performer”, says Adam, “because you’re self-employed, and what Covid certainly taught us is how precarious it was”, adding “to be able to do this at the end of it gives it an even bigger impact.”
The show’s Director, Nikolai Foster, says “A Chorus Line delivers that ecstasy and exhilaration that only musical theatre can”. He goes on to describe the creative approach to this new production and what audiences are in store for, telling Martin, “if you know A Chorus Line, yes, you’re going to be delivered probably the most famous finale in musical theatre history…but you’re also going to get a really different look at this play. We’re really looking at it with fresh brave eyes for the 21st century.”
For several performers, A Chorus Line marks a return to Curve. Beth Hinton-Lever was previously seen on-stage at Curve as Anybodys in the 2019 Made at Curve production of West Side Story, which was also directed by Nikolai and choreographed by Ellen Kane. “It feels like coming home”, Beth says about performing again at the theatre, “it feels so right to be back, opening A Chorus Line at Curve – and I’ve missed Leicester, I’ve missed going downstairs and everyone knowing your name.”
The Made at Curve production of A Chorus Line runs this Christmas at Curve from 3 to 31 December and tickets are on sale now. To find out more and book now, visit www.curveonline.co.uk