After a great run at the 2012 Edinburgh Fringe Musicality’s Wild West End is coming home to the University of Nottingham’s New Theatre. Under the direction of James McAndrew and a stellar cast of Kat Tye, Sophie Tebbtt, Lawrence Haynes and Greg Link Wild West End promises to be one of Musicality’s most popular shows this season. Impact got together with them to find out a bit more about their journey from Edinburgh to Nottingham.
Tell us a bit about the play.
James: It’s a story loosely based on the Wizard of Oz and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory but you also encounter characters from the Lion King and Phantom of the Opera along the way. It’s a fun, clever and satirical comment on musical theatre culture.
Who is your favourite character?
Kat: I play Linda who is based on the character of Glinda from Wicked, but who just isn’t a very capable Fairy Godmother. She tries far too hard and never quite delivers in her duties. She’s a very funny character.
Lawrence: I play Jackie who is a budding young theatre writer who tends to fall short of all the expectations put upon him. He is a little geeky and self-conscious but he finds out who he is along the way.
Does it appeal to a wide audience?
Sophie: Definitely! In Edinburgh we had a lot of people who normally didn’t enjoy musical theatre tell us that they loved Wild West End. It has something for everyone.
What was the most difficult thing about taking the show to Edinburgh?
Lawrence: We had to condense lots of great material down to just a 55 minute time slot, so we had to be really critical of what worked and what didn’t. We couldn’t risk putting in scenes and jokes that may not get laughs.
Why bring Wild West End to Nottingham?
James: We wanted to bring it back to a home crowd because it’s the first production by Musicality that has been taken to the Fringe. People at university here may know the cast which is always funny. But it’s also acting as a fundraiser for Musicality’s production of Jekyll and Hyde this year.
Have you made any changes to the production a second time round?
James: No fundamental changes were made, but some of the jokes had to be updated. We had a gag about Amanda Holden being in everything, because around that time she was in Britain’s Got Talent and Shrek but that’s no longer true. And we also had a joke about Charlie Sheen, but he isn’t in the public eye as much anymore and so we decided to change it to Prince Harry because there’s more in the media about him at the moment.
Opening night is February 7th, are you feeling more or less pressure this time round?
Greg: Definitely more pressure. People have heard of the show and the buzz around it so we want to reach the expectations they have and not let them down.
Lawrence: It’s also the first show of the New Theatre season so we want it to be a successful opener for them too.
If you had to sum up why people should go and see Wild West End in one sentence, what would it be?
Sophie: Laugh out loud.
Lawrence: A silly, rude, cheesy musical and it goes places you don’t expect it to.
Sophie: You don’t leave without a smile on your face.
Interview by Lydia Hawthorn
Wild West End opens next Thursday 7th February at the New Theatre and runs until the 9th, check out the Nottingham New Theatre Website for more details.