The New Alexandra Theatre is delighted to present its annual Stage Experience production for 2016, Grease The Musical. The show features all of the iconic songs from the universally adored 1978 motion picture that starred John Travolta and Olivia Newton John including; Grease Lightnin’, We Go Together, You’re The One That I Want and many more. Dazzling choreography, stunning costume and set pieces will light up the New Alex stage when the musical opens on Wednesday 17 August.
Now in its record-breaking 13th year, the New Alexandra Theatre’s Stage Experience production will see a cast of over one hundred local 9 – 24 year olds mount a full-scale production of the much loved movie classic, in just two weeks!
Having auditioned in May this year, participants are being put through their paces, learning intense choreography and dance routines as well as their lines. However it’s not just those in the spotlight who get the opportunity to shine at the 115-year old Station Street venue. Young people with an interest in the backstage elements of theatre turn their hands to operating lighting, sound and co-ordinating scene changes.
Speaking on the first day of rehearsals, Stage Experience producer Becky Charles said:
"Audiences have always been thoroughly surprised and impressed by the quality of previous productions and commitment from the cast.” Putting the entire show together has its challenges said Becky “For our director, Pollyann Tanner, choreographing 127 people on stage in a single moment is no easy task and she [Pollyann] will always make sure everyone gets the chance to be centre stage”.
Playing love birds Danny and Sandy are Jordan Ricketts, 18 from Telford and Georgia Anderson, 20 who both took a well-earned break from rehearsals for a milkshake at Ed’s Easy Diner in Birmingham’s Grand Central this week. “Performing such an iconic musical on the New Alexandra stage in front of a massive audience will definitely be my highlight of this entire experience! I have never faced the challenge of creating and performing a show in less than two weeks… I think I’ll learn a lot from the experience” said Jordan. Georgia added, “It is so great to be back! I had the best time in 2014 doing Footloose. It has helped me with building up my confidence, the creative team are incredible and always want to push you to the best of your ability. I have made friends for life.”
Stage Experience has provided a platform for a number of the industries finest to kick-start their career and gain invaluable performing experience. Birmingham comedian Joe Lycett whose credits include Live at the Apollo and 8 out of 10 Cats does Countdown appeared in the New Alexandra Theatre’s Stage Experience productions on two occasions, before returning to the venue in July this year to conclude his first UK tour ‘That’s The Way A-Ha A-Ha, Joe Lycett’ which played to a sold-out audience.
Robert Knight, 27 who originally hails from Halesowen has recently made his West End debut in the smash-hit musical Mamma Mia. After Stage Experience, Robert went on to train at Arts Educational School in London before landing roles in the UK Tour of GHOST The Musical which he is now also associate choreographer for. “Stage Experience gave me an insight into the real world of theatre, through a rigorous but fun rehearsal period. I would recommend it to anyone who is pursuing a career as in the arts.” said Robert.
The New Alexandra Theatre also announced the return of Stage Experience in 2017. “We’re incredibly excited to announce one of the greatest musicals of all time, West Side Story will be performed at the theatre next year” said Becky Charles, before adding “In May, we’ll be holding auditions at the theatre and we’ll be announcing further details on the Stage Experience Facebook page soon.”
To keep up to date with the latest news from the New Alexandra Theatre Stage Experience and find out how you can audition for next year’s production of West Side Story, visit: facebook.com/stageexperiencebirmingham.
Tickets for West Side Story go onsale Mon 15 Aug.
Book tickets for Grease, by visiting www.atgtickets.com/birmingham.
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