A Chat with the Team: Theatre Special

We’ve all been talking about theatre for so much of the last two weeks that we thought we’d give you a bit of an insight into Fandom Wanderers HQ. So, without further ado, here’s a quick snapshot of some of our experiences of showbusiness.

Why do you think that the theatre is still popular in an age where we have alternatives such as television or the cinema?

Z McAspurren: Personally, I think it’s to do with the atmosphere. There’s something … compelling about a live performance that you can’t really get from television or cinema. Seeing the performers having to rely on their own talents to get the show across to you… it’s something that’s deeply enjoyable to see. There’s also something more real about a live performance, like the actors can’t quite hide their mistakes.

Roxanne Williams: I think there are several reasons. It feels more personal than seeing a film, because of the fact that the actors are right there. It feels more special to me as well – going to see a film can be special, but only if you make it so – going to the theatre I’ve always associated with an ‘evening out’.

Eleanor Musgrove: There’s a certain sense of ritual and ceremony to going to the cinema – you go somewhere else, you might get dressed up – you don’t get from TV. And it’s so immediate – you’re not watching a performance filmed on an empty set years ago, you’re there with the actors, in the moment. It’s interactive in ways that aren’t entirely tangible, and there’s a connection there that’s often something we fans seek in our fandoms and their stars.

Hannah Carter: There’s still a thrill – watching a live performance is a totally engaging experience which will only happen once in the form it appears to you. Although there will be other performances, they will never be exactly the same as the one you’re watching, and that makes it a unique experience every time.

What’s the most memorable performance you have ever attended?

Eleanor Musgrove: There’s one that immediately leaps to mind – at least as an audience member, the most memorable one was a trip I took with a class of high-school students in about 2006. We went to see The Woman in Black in London; it was both incredibly engrossing and utterly terrifying – I’ve never seen twenty-six teenagers try to hide behind each other all at once, before or since, and the teachers didn’t fare much better. It was spine-tingling and brilliant.

Red Hamilton: Apart from Coriolanus? I have to be greedy and say that there are two that will always stand out in my mind for very different reasons. Both were performances by student drama groups at university and both were absolutely excellent. The first was Shakespeare’s Othello as the actor playing Iago was simply superb. If his name doesn’t become renowned in acting in the next decade I will be surprised. The other was a performance of Dracula, it was in an old, disused church on a dark stormy night! They couldn’t have pre-ordered a more spooky atmosphere!

Hannah Carter: Wicked in the Victoria Theatre. Personally, I’ve never been so engaged in something where I’ve sat so far back in the theatre! 

If you could play a role in any play/musical what would it be and why?

Z McAspurren: Straight theatre? Beatrice from Much Ado About Nothing. Musical? Scaramouche from We Will Rock You.

Roxanne Williams: Elphaba from Wicked. The make-up would probably be a pain, but I’d get Not that Girl, Defying Gravity AND For Good.

Eleanor Musgrove: I’d love to play any role really – my love for performance has lasted too long for me to just choose one, and it’s the thrill of putting on the mask and bringing a great experience to an audience that really appeals to me. That said, I’ve long dreamt of playing Mrs Johnstone in Blood Brothers, and I’d do ridiculous things to get a chance at playing Elphaba in Wicked. However, I’m really more of a backstage player so I’d be happy in the shadows with a broom and a lighting board!

Red Hamilton: Lady Macbeth without a doubt. I’ve always found her to be a fascinating character, particularly as she moves from being murderously ambitious to being destroyed with guilt later. I would want a magnificent costume though!

Hannah Carter: Ohhh, that’s a question, isn’t it? If it wasn’t Elphaba from Wicked, it would be Tracy Turnblad from Hairspray. They’re both revolutionary in their own ways and the music is just fantastic!

The team were quizzed by Red Hamilton.

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