On Saturday 18th July, I went to see an amateur production of Stephen Schwartz’s “Godspell” at a sweet little theatre in Leamington called ‘The Loft Theatre’. Now, you may be thinking “Em, what the heck were you doing watching amateur theatre, hours away from home?” Well, my friends, this just so happened to be a production in which Pete Bucknall, (aka YouTuber 'PetesJams'), was playing the role of Judas in! I saw a link to the theatre’s website on Twitter, and had a look - at this point, I didn’t even know where it was, so I was expecting to be disappointed, but once I got onto the right part of the website I noticed that the theatre was in Leamington… Which is about half an hour away from where my Godparents live! I spent the rest of that week convincing various members of my family that driving all the way to Warwickshire would be a FANTASTIC way to spend the first day of our summer holidays, and, miraculously, they all eventually agreed!
So a few weeks later, we headed off. We got to my Godparents' house, said our hellos (and goodbyes, to those who politely declined my offer of a night at the theatre and chose to do some DIY instead!). When we arrived at the theatre, I came to a realisation - I can SMELL amateur theatre! Hold on, let me explain! As I walked in, it smelt sort of familiar, and as we collected our tickets, I realised that it smelled EXACTLY the same as the theatre where I did Fiddler on the Roof last year!
The first thing I noticed when I walked into the auditorium was the stage (wow Em, nice detective skills) which had been painted with amazingly bright colours in a sort of "70's hippie" style pattern. The second thing I noticed, once I had sat down, was that the band were actually on the stage, in a little cage at the back. (not in an animal sense, they were just behind a few metal bars!)
The show soon started, and my mind was constantly saying "
whereispetewhereispetewhereisp ete" until, a few minutes in, he entered from the back, playing (of all things) a small trumpet (why not?)
I'll skip to my favourite parts of the show, as I'm sure you don't need a full detail description of every second! I already had a certain love for "We Beseech Thee" (some of the younger students at my dance school performed a modern routine to it in our 40th anniversary show) and I was pretty much waiting for it throughout the entire show! As soon as I heard the "dumdumdumdum dumdumdumdum bom FATHER HEAR THY CHILDREN CALLLLLLL" I was doing that little internal screaming thing where your brain is going "OMG EM THIS IS GREAT OMG THEATRE IS SO AMAZEBALLS OMGOMGOMGOMG" and so on and so forth, and I can safely say (now that I've stepped back and actually thought about the performance and not just my own adrenaline!) that it was one of the best songs of the whole show.
I'd like to take this opportunity to make a little side note - the first words in 'We Beseech Thee' are NOT, as I originally thought, "Father kill thy children"... Doesn't have quite the same ring to it either, does it?
Anyway, back on topic, I thought the cast had an incredible energy about them - the vast majority of the cast were onstage throughout the entire show, so to be onstage for such a long time must take a huge amount of oomph!
Overall the performance was shockingly good - having recently been in several amateur productions myself, I've realised we REALLY need to step up our game if we are going to come anywhere close to the standard of the Loft Theatre Company! I've got two short runs coming up - a week-long run of shows in November, and a 2 week run in December, so I'd better get my act together!