Backstage – a countdown diary in the run up to ‘How to Succeed in Business’ play

KMT in costume
How do you succeed in business without really trying? | Roar News

MONDAY 24th November: T-minus 9 days to go

We only have three rehearsals left before we move into the Greenwood Theatre, and it’s fair to say tensions are arising. I’m still learning my lines at the side of the stage just before I walk on.

Our choreographer, Jordan, is doing a fantastic job constantly shouting at us to focus on our “SPACING! WHERE’S YOUR SPACING?!”, as we dance frantically around the stage. The main piece of advice given to us all at tonight’s rehearsal is to act “a bit less camp” – wise words from our director, Naomi.

But a spark has been flickered. There’s now a buzz, an energy of excitement around the cast, knowing how near it is before the curtain raises. One of our leads got so excited he burst into singing ‘This is the Moment’ from ‘Jekyll & Hyde’. Bless…

Wednesday 26th November: T-minus 7 days to go

I sat down with our two leads, Rohan and Olivia, as well as Naomi, for an interview on my show, ‘Showstoppers’, on KCL Radio. Olivia smiled and acted calm, delivering all the details with true professionalism.

Rohan, on the other hand, seemed to be practicing his Oscars speech and thanked all of his family and fans for their support leading up to his big moment. I asked them hard-hitting, deep, meaningful questions, such as, “What is your favourite song from How to Succeed?” and “What was your favourite moment in rehearsals?”

A tear or two may have been shed in the studio as we looked back at our process leading up to now. Excuse me while I get ready for the launch party tonight…

KMT preparing the show
Rehearsals for the winter musical | Roar News

Thursday 27th November: T-minus 6 days to go

Teapots. So many teapots were drunk away last night at our launch party. There’s not one person currently in the rehearsal room who doesn’t have a sore head, including myself especially.

This evening is spent drilling and running through weaker songs from the show. Despite our headaches, the cast have really pulled together.

By the end of the rehearsal, my head was hurting from the amount of pirouettes I was doing rather than the amount of G+T that was drunk the night before.

Walking down the corridors of the Strand campus and seeing all the posters makes it seem all the more real that we’ll be going on stage in less than a week…

Sunday 30th November: T-minus 3 days to go

Sitzprobe day! Or as I like to call it, ‘BEST REHEARSAL DAY EVER’. In the 2 months that we’ve been practising all of the music from the show, you could say it’s been ‘the soundtrack to our lives’.

Bit OTT, but this is theatre after all, darling. Hearing the music being performed by a big band is the most electrifying feeling, knowing how huge the sound is going to be at the Greenwood.

I think I spotted one cast member fanning himself after hearing the saxophones blasting in his face. One highlight for me was rehearsing the showstopper of How to Succeed, ‘Brotherhood of Man’.

Seeing all the cast members dance around the band whilst taking snapchats of themselves was something to be remembered. I warn you, there may have been some twerking involved.

As ever, our choreographer was still judging us. I’m not sure if I’ll be able to sleep tonight, knowing that we’ll be moving into the Greenwood tomorrow…

The empty stage before the show
Showtime! | Roar News

Monday 1st December: T-minus 2 days to go

If you’re wondering why I’ve got a spring in my step around campus today, this is for 2 reasons. Firstly, I have just bought my advent calendar and started to listen to Bublé’s Christmas album on repeat.

But secondly, and more importantly, it is our first day in the Greenwood for our tech run. Whilst we were busy again drilling through some of the key songs from the show, some of us were regularly called on to help stage some of the main scenes as the technical team plotted the lighting cues on the stage.

I imagine this was a real moment for our director, Naomi, to see her full vision of the show finally come to life after planning it for so long since the beginning of this year.

Wednesday 3rd December: T-minus 1 hour to go

I’m writing quickly as I’m panicking about the show which starts in under an hour. I repeat, AN HOUR. To my left, I see some of the men applying their stage makeup with intricacy, and to my right I see one of the producers coming back with a tonne of McDonald’s bags in his hands.

Standard build up to a KMT show. As I begin to remember all of my lines and cues on when to come on stage, I also remind myself of how amazing this process has been, how wonderful the cast are, how the creative team have given me so much support….oh….wait….na sorry, cut all this clichéd, emotional stuff.

I’m being called on stage. Wish me luck!

Do you agree? Leave a comment