With the Arts Richmond Swan Awards ceremony only two weeks away, we caught up with nominee

Finn Bralow played the Genie

Finn Bralow to ask him about his nomination.

This is not the first time you’ve participated in the Arts Richmond Swan Awards.  Can you tell us about your previous experience?

Last time I was lucky enough to win in 2017 and was nominated for Best Boy Actor in the borough (under 14).

Congratulations for receiving another nomination.  Which role have you been nominated for and in which production?

I have been nominated for the role of the Genie in Aladdin.

Tell us why you wanted the part?

Because he is a funny part and gets to speak to the audience. 

How did you prepare for the role?

I practised my lines and thought about how I would say them.

What did you love the most about your character?

It’s such a great character because he gets to have more fun. 

What was the biggest challenge you faced when developing the role?

Developing the character in the play in a way that worked with other cast members and that I enjoyed doing. 

What techniques did you use to learn your lines?

I rehearsed them and understood them to the best of my ability.

How did you feel on the first night?

Very excited and very nervous. 

How has this role compared to other parts you’ve played at Dramacube?

First of all, I’m not called Michael as I have been for the first two plays I did with Dramacube – that was the name of my roles, and secondly because the Genie has a funny character and is fun to work with. 

We’d like to take this opportunity to congratulate Finn on his achievement and wish him every success at the awards ceremony.

Initial Set Design Ideas from Christine Osborne

With our first rehearsal just 20 days away, our creative team have been working hard behind the scenes to make sure everything is ready for our actors.

Using the Front Tabs

The set is an integral part of the production process, with both designer and directors needing to be happy with the final design before the first blocking can be set.

By having the set design agreed, our young performers in Hampton Hill and Twickenham casts will be able to block their respective shows, with a firm idea of how the set will look and what stage space they have to move around in.

You will see from the initial sketches that the design team are contemplating using the front tabs for the opening scene, then opening them to create a reveal for the land of Oz.

Once the design has been agreed by directors and set designer, a meeting is held with the technical manager at Hampton Hill Theatre to ensure that all aspects of the set will work in the space and comply with industry safety regulations.

Initial Concept for Design

This very thorough process helps to iron out any possible challenges which may arise during production week and ensures our cast and crew remain safe at all times.

Over the next three weeks, the design will be developed and a set model box will be made as a working model to test the design.

We’ll be posting regular costume and set design updates so watch this space!

With the Arts Richmond Swan Awards ceremony only two weeks away, we caught up with nominee

Adam Gaunt played Edmund

Adam Gaunt to ask him about his nomination.

What role have you been nominated for and in which production?

Edmund Pevensie in The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe

Tell us about your audition and what did you do to get the part?

Having already had a minor role in the previous production of ‘Alice in Wonderland’ I had a vague idea of what to expect in the auditions. I had to improvise a conflict situation, read from the script and sing. The key, I think, is to just throw yourself into it.

How did you prepare for the role?

I was familiar with the book and the movie and spent time trying to think in the same fashion as my character.

What did you love the most about your character?

I loved that Edmund was a complex character who evolved emotionally from a self-centred troublemaker to feeling remorse over his actions. It’s also more fun to play a baddie.

What was the biggest challenge you faced when developing the role?

I didn’t want my character to be two dimensional, I didn’t want him to be sly for sly’s sake. I wanted the audience to understand his envy of his ‘perfect’ siblings so they felt a degree of empathy for him.

What techniques did you use to learn your lines?

Rather than learning my lines in isolation I had my parents and friends help me act out the scenes. I prefer to learn my lines in context with the understanding and queues which help me remember my lines a lot easier under pressure. The downside is, they know when I’ve got it wrong onstage.

How did you feel on the first night?

Excited yet nervous. It helped to know that everyone else was feeling the same way and that we were working as a team.

What was your favourite part about performing the show?

It was our Christmas production and the set was amazing which made it feel really special. The feeling of elation when it was over  knowing our hard work had paid off was indescribable.

We’d like to take this opportunity to congratulate Adam on his achievement and wish him every success at the awards ceremony.

We are delighted to share the fantastic production photos from our recent performances of Aladdin Jr. at Hampton Hill Theatre.

Please click here to view.

To order photos please contact Bomi Cooper by emailing bomicooperphotography@yahoo.com with the file numbers you would like to order.

Digital copies are priced at £4.

Character Descriptions – Wizard of Oz

Dorothy Gale (Kansas and Oz): A sweet, innocent young lady with a streak of boldness, outspoken and headstrong, who dearly loves her family, friends and dog, Toto; Lives on a farm in Kansas with her Aunt Em & Uncle Henry, but dreams of escaping to a far-off place where she will not get into trouble. (Strong vocalist and dancer required.)

Aunt Em Gale: A typical, hard-working farmer’s wife who is firm & no-nonsense but also warm and caring.

Uncle Henry Gale: Farmer whose wife, Em, runs things; Adoring uncle to Dorothy; Non-singing role.

Hunk: Clumsy farmhand on the family’s Kansas farm; talks about being smart and having a brain. Good body control needed.

Scarecrow: Friend to Dorothy, clumsy, good body control, good pitch and musical rhythm.

Hickory: Kind, sweet and nurturing farmhand;

Tin Man: Has no heart but isvery caring. Good body control and pleasant singing voice.

Zeke: Farmhand who lacks courage. Non-singing part.

Lion: Acts tough, but fearful self comes out in any scary situation. Good comedic timing and strong character voice needed.

Miss Gulch: Well-off, cold-hearted Gale neighbor who hates Toto. Non-singing.

Wicked Witch of the West: Wants revenge on Dorothy. Non-singing but flair for the dramatic and able to cackle.

Toto: Dorothy’s beloved dog. Energetic role and able to bark with expression.

Professor Marvel: Traveling salesman who lives by telling fortunes; a con-man but with a good heart.

Wizard (Oz’s voice): Strong commanding voice with lots of dialogue.

Glinda: Good Witch of the North who is the mother figure for Munchkins and Dorothy whom she guides through Oz; delicate and graceful. Lovely singing voice required.

Munchkins: Little people who live in Munchkinland where Dorothy’s house lands after the cyclone; enthusiastic and joyful

Mayor, Coroner, Barrister and City Father: Munchkins with solo singing parts.

Apple Trees: Angry trees. Speaking only part.

Jitterbugs: Forest creatures who serve the Wicked Witch. Dancing part.

Doorman & Guard: Comical characters in Emerald City.

The Ozians: Citizens of Emerald City with group song and dance.

Flying Monkeys: The Wicked Witch’s menacing animal army. No lines or singing.

Nikko: Leader of the Flying Monkeys with a few lines.

Winkie Guards: The Wicked Witch’s enslaved guards. Some singing.

Leader of the Winkies: The leader of the Wicked Witch’s guards. No solo singing.

The Wizard of Oz (YPE) Confirmed! 

We are delighted to confirm that we have secured the performing rights for The Wizard of Oz as our autumn term production.

The Wizard of Oz

Based on the beloved novel by L. Frank Baum and the award-winning MGM film, The Wizard of Oz is an exciting musical about the Kansas farm girl who travels ‘Somewhere Over the Rainbow’ to the magical land of Oz.

This adaptation includes all of the iconic, larger-than-life characters and classic songs such as “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” and “We’re Off to See the Wizard”.  So for young performers who love to act, sing and dance, don’t ‘look any further’ as this is sure to fulfil their ‘hearts’ desire’!

This magical musical will go into rehearsal in late September with performances in December 2019 on the main stage at Hampton Hill Theatre. Auditions for children aged 7-14yrs will take place on the 15th of September for Twickenham and Hampton Hill casts.

All of the team at Dramacube are professional performers so we know how scary musical theatre auditions can be but you really don’t need to worry. We run workshop auditions which are great fun and give you an opportunity to express yourself freely as we work on some songs, basic dance routines and scenes from well-known West End musicals. You will work with 15-20 other like-minded performers aged 7-14yrs and throughout the audition, you’ll get to know everyone really well.

In addition, our workshop-auditions are a great opportunity for you to learn a little more about our company. There will be lots of staff on hand to answer any questions you have and help you at the audition. There is no need to prepare anything as we’ll provide you with a good variety of musical numbers and scenes to work with.

Even if you are unsuccessful on this occasion, you can always try again later in the year. But who knows, you could end up playing the lead!

To register for the workshop-audition on Sunday 15th September please complete an application for our autumn term project.

We look forward to meeting you!

Dramacube Student lands West End Role

It was less than six months ago that Dramacube student, Jack Reynolds was playing Aladdin at Hampton Hill Theatre.

Jack Reynolds as Aladdin

Tomorrow he’ll step out on stage at the Gillian Lynne Theatre for his West End debut in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s smash hit musical School of Rock.

Jack has performed in numerous Dramacube productions, most recently as Rooster Hannigan in Annie Jr. and then Aladdin in Aladdin Jr. both at Hampton Hill Theatre.

It was during our summer term project, Revolting Children, that Jack got the call to audition for School of Rock and it was not long before he landed the role of James in the show.

We’d like to congratulate Jack on his amazing achievement and wish him the very best of luck with the run and we look forward to seeing him in the show very soon.  We are currently in the process of organizing a group booking to see Jack in the show so watch this space for further information.

Break a leg Jack!

 

With the Arts Richmond Swan Awards ceremony only two weeks away, we caught up with nominee

Daisy Allen to ask her about her nomination.

Swan Award Nominee Daisy Allen

 

Which role have you been nominated for and in which production?

I have been nominated for the role of The White Witch in The Lion , The Witch and The Wardrobe. 

Tell us about your audition and what you did to get the part?

I auditioned for the part of Lucy Pevensey and The White Witch. I was asked to recite part of the White Witch’s monologue and sing one of her songs and then perform them to the rest of the cast. 

How did you prepare for the role?

I had read the book of The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe , which I loved, so I had an idea of how to portray the White Witch. And I had seen the film which helped me imagine her. 

What did you love the most about your character?

I loved her costume and makeup. Her songs were very sassy and it was a lot of fun to sing them. The Witch was so evil and different to any role I had ever played. I got to learn stage fighting. 

What was the biggest challenge you faced when developing the role?

I was quite small and young when I played the part, so I had to find a way to build up the power of The Witch to make me seem very evil and more confident than I felt.

What techniques did you use to learn your lines?

I’d say the lines over and over again- so much that I knew everyone else’s lines between mine! I would rehearse with Matt the Director, and go through scenes with my mum at home. 

How did you feel on the first night?

I was trembling with nerves on the first night, as I’d never done anything as big as this before , but at the same time I was overflowing with adrenaline, delight and excitement to perform in front of a live audience. 

What was your favourite part about performing the show?

I loved all of it! It’s so hard to pick a favourite part. But I really enjoyed performing the Witch’s songs with the rest of the cast, particularly The White Witch of Narnia  Rules OK!

We’d like to take this opportunity to congratulate Daisy on her achievement and wish her every success at the awards ceremony.

The Wizard of Oz Costume Designs

Dorothy and Friends

With auditions and rehearsals for The Wizard of Oz fast approaching, our back stage team have been busy in pre-production developing set and costume ideas.

In this post, designer Christine Osborne shares her initial costume designs for some of the

Crow & Winged Monkeys

central characters in The Wizard of Oz.

All designs will be discussed with production directors Matthew Bunn and Stephen Leslie, then developed over the next four weeks in preparation for the sourcing and making process.

Emerald City Costumes

Our young actors will have an opportunity to try on their costume during our Sunday rehearsals in December.

Once our actors have tried on, and rehearsed in their costumes, Christine and her team will make any required alterations in advance of the second Dress rehearsal at Hampton Hill Theatre during production week.

This process ensures our casts have sufficient time to get use to their costumes and provides our back stage team with time make any changes needed before the performances.

2018-2019 Arts Richmond Swan Award Nominations

We are delighted to confirm that we have received an incredible five nominations in the 2018 – 19 Arts Richmond Swan Awards.

Best Youth Production 

Twickenham Green Cast

The Lion, the Witch & the Wardrobe directed by Matthew Bunn. Hampton Hill Theatre, December 2018.

We first staged The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe in December 2015 at Hampton Hill Theatre.

Always a popular choice for a Christmas show, we decided to apply for the performance rights again when writer Irita Kutchmy kindly granted us permission to edit the show, making it more suitable for a large cast.

 

Congratulations to all of our casts in Twickenham and Hampton Hill.  We are delighted your hard work, commitment and talent has been recognized with this nomination.

Best Girl Performer Aged 14 or Under –

Daisy Allen for the role of The White Witch in The Lion, the Witch & the Wardrobe. Hampton Hill Theatre, December 2018.

Daisy Allen as the White Witch

This was Daisy’s debut production with Dramacube Twickenham, having only auditioned a few months earlier.  The White Witch is a huge role, central to the plot and carries lots of responsibility for the actor playing the part.

 

Daisy did exceptionally well to land the role, particularly as she was up against many other actors with considerably more experience.

She gave an excellent performance and we are delighted that her efforts have been recognized with this nomination.

Adam Gaunt as Edmund

Best Boy Performer Aged 14 or Under –

Adam Gaunt for the role of Edmund in The Lion, the Witch & the Wardrobe. Hampton Hill Theatre, December 2018

In taking on the role of Edmund, Adam was challenged with a character whose actions are pivotal to the plot and represent god verses evil as he changes from greedy to brave, the central theme of the story.

This was a huge role which Adam fully understood and gave a fine performance, initially as the selfish boy who betrays his siblings, then the contrasting hero demonstrating bravery.

We are delighted Adam’s achievement with this role has been recognized with a Swan Award nomination.

 

 

Finn Bralow for the role of the Genie in Aladdin Jr. Hampton Hill Theatre, March 2019

With Hollywood names such as Robin Williams and Will Smith associated with this role, there can be no doubt of the talent required to

Finn Bralow playing the Genie

carry it off and Finn, with his charismatic portrayal of this iconic character proved to everyone that he is a true all-rounder, highly capable of playing such a leading role.

His performance was both entertaining and authentic and we are delighted that the Swan Judges have recognized his talents again.

 

Ethan O’Keeffe as Sultan

Ethan O’Keeffe for the role of Sultan in Aladdin Jr. Hampton Hill Theatre, March 2019

The Sultan is Princess Jasmine’s father and the pompous but kind ruler of Agrabah.

It is believed that some characteristics of this role were inspired by the Wizard of Oz (Our next production!), to create a bumbling authority figure and Ethan demonstrated these traits perfectly as he struggled to rule not only his kingdom but his feisty daughter Jasmine.

As an older character, this is a particularly challenging role for a young actor to play and we are delighted Ethan has been nominated for an award.

 

The Swan Award judges watch around 240 productions each year and see many, many youth actors so to receive a nomination is a tremendous achievement and we congratulate our talented young performers on receiving this recognition.

The award ceremony will take place on Sunday 15th September at the Landmark Arts Centre in Teddington and we wish all of our nominees the very best of luck.