Light Theatre will soon stage its show Into the Woods at Aberdeen Arts Centre – marking a return of amateur theatre productions in the north-east.
The show’s director Bradley Phillips said it was “so good” to finally be able to rehearse again and be the first amateur company to put on a show for local audiences at the popular King Street venue.
“It’s been two years since I’ve been in a show and I know for some people it’s even been longer than that, so it’s very exciting to be able to rehearse again. We started planning the show around October and we never set a date for the show, we were just hoping for summer and things have really worked out for us,” said Bradley.
“It’s been a struggle at times and there were many obstacles to overcome, but we are just absolutely delighted and excited we are allowed to perform again.”
Tickets are now on sale for the show taking place from Thursday July 22 to Saturday July 24.
Light Theatre works magic for Into the Woods
Putting a modern musical twist on the beloved Brothers Grimm and Charles Perrault tales, Light Theatre’s Into the Woods tells the story of favourite fairytale characters making a wish, but once their wish comes true, they need to face their inner battles and decide if that’s really what their heart desires.
Bradley said: “We have Little Red Riding Hood, Jack and the Beanstalk and Cinderella… and they all get what they wish for at the end of act one, but in act two it goes further than that and it goes to show that what you wish isn’t always what you want.
“What we changed for our show – which is quite exciting – is that the narrator, usually played by someone who is of similar age to all the other characters, is played by a child.
“We thought it would be interesting if the classic stories of Brothers Grimm were told through child’s eyes.”
Light Theatre sourced their costumes from charity shops as well as online stores, however, Bradley said Aberdeen Youth Music Theatre was “absolutely fantastic” and let them borrow costumes.
He said: “I was a member when I was younger and they have been a great help.”
When performing live, the cast will also be accompanied by a small live orchestra.
From rehearsing on Zoom to using decking in assistant director’s garden as stage
The now Scottish-based theatre company originated in Aberdeen and with 18 cast members from all over Scotland – studying and living in different cities – the team started rehearsing on Zoom.
Bradley said: “We found it a bit challenging but when we were allowed to rehearse outdoors, that was exciting, definitely good to meet in person.
“We were actually rehearsing in the assistant director’s back garden – he has a really big garden so we could adhere to social distancing – and also a large decking which we used as our stage.”
Now that Covid-19 guidelines have changed, the company is currently rehearsing indoors in Bridge of Don.
Great to have creative outlet and make new friends
While the cast was excited to get together to put on a show because of their love for theatre, the rehearsals also became an escape from their everyday lives, with many excited to finally have a creative outlet again and to be able to make new friends.
Bradley, who currently studies musical theatre in Manchester, said a lot of the cast members are part of music and/or theatre societies and “knew of each other” before they were cast to star in Into the Woods.
He stated: “A lot of people know each other but for a lot of them it’s the first time actually working together, so it’s fantastic because new friendships are being made and there’s a great bond between the production team and the cast.”
The show’s musical director, Alex Brown, who is in his fourth year studying medicine at Aberdeen University, thinks it’s great to have a creative outlet.
He said: “Throughout school and university I’ve done a lot of musical things. My background is mainly in music but I recently started getting into musical theatre.
“I’ve been in a lot of bands and orchestras and a lot of the cast are the same – they study different things at uni and this is their hobby. It’s a good mix of people and the atmosphere is great.”