It seems like only yesterday that Fiona and I had a chat over a coffee in the CS Cafe Bar,
but I was immediately struck by her enthusiasm and the buzz in the air at Centrestage. Little did I know the busy but hugely enjoyable journey that lay ahead. There’s little time to reflect in the busy hubbub of life at CS, so I’m taking this opportunity during a week’s leave to do just that!
My year began, with a hefty delve right into the deep end (surely the best way to find your feet in a new job) as I took up the helm co-directing a summer youth camp production of the hit Lloyd Webber musical ‘Phantom of the Opera‘ Phantom no less (!), I thought I’d died and gone to heaven… it’s probably my most favourite musical of all time! Following a 3 week rehearsal period, my inaugural production at CS concluded with standing ovations for this exceptional young company and rave reviews from the packed houses. My CS journey had begun in the best possible way.
During the subsequent 12 month period, I’ve enjoyed similarly successful and enjoyable projects including productions of Sunshine on Leith, Legally Blonde, Hairspray Jnr and most recently the enormously successful Priscilla Queen of the Desert in which I not only directed, but also played one of the leads, Bernadette. Another new experience, but again hugely rewarding.
As well as lead director on these projects, I’ve assisted or overseen various other in-house productions including Cinderella Kids, Magic of the Musicals, Generation MT Showcase, Into The Woods, Mamma Mia Sing-a-long and assisted with the revamp of the 4-7 Wee Stars Musical Theatre production from showcase to mini-musical format, with the help from former CS student and successful Stagecoach business owner, Laura Blackmore and of course, the fantastic Wee Stars Teaching Team. I’ve also enjoyed outreach experiences in the CS Communities and engaged with Old Vic Theatre London in the Stage Business Partnership Program.
Work on 2017/2018 Season is already well underway and will include productions of The Beautiful Game, Rent, Whistle Down The Wind and an original piece based on the movie Maleficent. And next year….well, details of the season are still in discussion and top secret, but there is much to look forward to!
In addition to all of this, it’s been a joy to watch the teaching team grow and develop and watch Centrestage continue to spread it’s wings across Ayrshire. There are exciting plans afoot to move to a new site and my first year even concluded with a Royal visit from HRH Prince Edward. I’m delighted to say that the year has concluded as it started out, with another packed out show receiving rave reviews….Priscilla has definitely been one of the year’s highlights!
I’d like to thank both Fiona & Paul for their advice and support over the year, the hard working team of staff, parents and of course our wonderful audiences for their support (and applause!)
Here’s to the next year ahead at Centrestage….and many more standing ovations in our ‘Wee Theatre’. Thank you…for the music!