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As we prepare to present our next Made at Curve musical, The Wizard of Oz, De Montfort University Journalism student Courtney Stevens takes us behind-the-scenes with a look at how the show is shaping up in rehearsals.
I’ve never really stopped to think about all the work that goes into putting on a musical. Sure, I knew there would be rehearsals in the weeks leading up to the first curtain call, but I never realised just how hard the cast and crew worked to make the show as perfect as can be.
I’ve been lucky enough to get an exclusive look into the process of creating this year’s Christmas production at Curve, The Wizard of Oz. I will be sitting in on rehearsals every week, like a fly on the wall, and sharing this incredible experience with you.
I didn’t know what to expect, when I first stepped into the rehearsal room, but I was immediately struck by the infectious energy given off by every member of the cast and crew.
The air was filled with the sound of the piano, as George Dyer, the musical supervisor and musical director worked through the songs, whilst the director, Nikolai Foster was talking with the crew sharing ideas. The rest of the room was filled with members of the cast doing warm-ups and running through lines.
Having already had a full week of rehearsals, the group jumped straight into rehearsing one of the scenes from the show. Immediately I can see how collaborative the process is between the director and the cast.
Nikolai was open to all suggestions from the actors themselves and was really encouraging with everyone, which was really great to see. He was constantly thanking them for “bringing their imagination to the show” and told the actors to “bring what they want to it”.
Even though the pressure is on for both the cast and crew to get the show ready in time, they still made time to have fun with each other. In between run throughs, they would be catching up with each other about their weekends and it was easy to see that they all genuinely get on and enjoy each other’s company.
As the group worked through scenes from the show I noticed just how detail oriented the director, Nikolai is. Every small detail is thought of, from the staging of the characters and props, to how lines are delivered, nothing passes him by. It’s clear to see that every part of the show needs to be perfect.
One of the assistant stage managers, Naomi Ireland Jones, said it was nice to be in the room and see the show come together and that it’s really helpful working with such a switched on cast.
“It’s nice to be part of the creative process. All the moving pieces of the set need to be second nature to us by the time the show comes around. It’s like our body and brain already know it, which allows us to focus more on the welfare side of things when it comes to being in the wings during show night.”
The Wizard of Oz is a well-loved musical and this year’s talented cast and crew have put their own spin on it, making this a musical production that you do not want to miss this Christmas!