Last night was the big Joseph intro/audition night. Always a strange one as some people get excited about “going after” a specific part, others try to shrink back into the depths of the chorus (you can almost hear the cry of “don’t pick me”) and others are just there for a laugh. It is one of those nights that can go one of two ways. After a rather rubbish day, it felt as if everything that could go wrong was going to go wrong. Ok, so that is a bit over-dramatic but everyone knows I am a bit of a diva. Let’s just say it didn’t quite start off as planned.
The first problem was the distinct lack of an electrical cable which made connecting the iPod to the speakers to play out some music as part of the introduction totally impossible. After some effort and much hassle we managed to dig out the old CD player and find a CD to play. In the words of someone else: “I think we got away with it”.
Then, between us and the cold weather, we managed to break not one Church photocopier but two and then didn’t have enough time to work through all the pages of script I’d stayed up until 11.30pm on a school night to prepare. Joseph doesn’t have script so this had been a bit of a mission. Thankfully I had squirreled away a copy of the Dramatised Bible that at least split the lines down but it took a lot of cutting to get all the parts covered off. The later pages of script were packed with emotion and dialogue that I was really excited about exploring but time and breakdowns got the better of the best laid plans. Plenty of time for exploration of all sorts over the coming months.
Then there was the absence of the Musical Director. This could not have been helped: when work calls, it calls and it did. It could have been a major disaster. Thankfully, it turned into something altogether more wonderful as our company Doctor stepped up into the role and did a fantastic job in teaching a ridiculously large cast of very cold, tired people (did I mention the heating didn’t kick in until about half way through the evening?) lots of gorgeous harmonies on a completely out-of-tune piano. And we even got to sing Christmas songs as the warm-up. I love a good rendition of “Jingle Bells”.
This is where everything started changing. There is something supremely special about hearing a cast of well over thirty people belting out big, fat harmonies on a cold night just before Christmas. When those same people defy all known local history and manage to clap in time with both each other and the music it is nothing short of a miracle. I am sure I am not the only one who recalls the struggles had with this very same piece some 10 years ago.
And then they danced. I knew we had a big cast but seeing them all stood there in two lines taking up the entire length of the hall (and the stage is not even half that size) I realised just how much of a challenge it will be to get them all up there and give them all their moment to shine. Note to self.
The real joy was seeing them all pick up the fast, punchy dance routine so quickly whilst singing out (sometimes in harmony, sometimes just belting out the tune, maybe sometimes not quite in key) and even managing the occasional smile. With a cast that talented and enthusiastic rehearsals are going to fly by.
This is a show that is all about energy, enthusiasm, singing, heart and hard work – if we nail that, we’ll nail it all. Oh, and did I mention fun? That’s got to be right at the heart of it all. It’s going to be fun with a capital F. As long as the photocopier behaves.