This week, we’re dedicating our blog to the lovely Annie Stedman, and her work with the RNCM Young Company. As well as having lessons at The Music Place, we’re lucky enough to have Annie behind the welcome desk on a Saturday, and she’s the best darn Saturday girl we could ask for! With her God-given rapport with the card machine and natural talent on the telephone, you might assume that receptionist work were her true calling, BUT, if that’s the case, you mustn’t have seen her act…or sing. This week, Annie has been involved in the RNCM Young Company’s production of ‘Sweet Charity’ so we thought we’d ask her to tell us a bit about the experience and how you can get involved…
” The Royal Northern College of Music Young Company was formed in 2008 and is an open access Musical Theatre Group for 13-20 year olds from all over Greater Manchester. I joined three years ago and have made friends from Wigan, Bolton, Sale, Altrincham, well basically all over!
There is no entrance audition and currently no charge thanks to the generous support of amazing sponsors. The Company has a structure that is unique amongst UK conservatoires. It is run by a team of professionals from the world of Musical Theatre and Opera who mentor RNCM students as they work alongside them during rehearsals. Thus we get the opportunity to work with established professionals. There are weekly sessions on a Wednesday (6.30-9) where we are trained in singing, dancing and acting. There are often special guests who provide specialised training arranged in things as diverse as circus skills and stage fighting. Theatre trips are also arranged.
Then there are the shows, usually one big and one small per year. Anyone can participate in them but all principal parts are auditioned for and there is usually a high turnout. Sweet Charity which I have just completed was my fourth show with The Young Company (also performed in Singin In the Rain, Rent and West Side Story) and they just keep getting bigger and better. You get to perform on one of the biggest stages in Manchester and to a 27 piece orchestra. Sweet Charity had an amazing creative team led by Joseph Houston the Director who is the co founder of the Hope Mill Theatre.
I have loved being part of the Young Company and every minute of the rehearsal process for Sweet Charity where I played Helene a dance hall hostess. Working on such massive (and iconic) numbers Hey Big Spender, Rhythm of Life and Something Better than this was definitely challenging but so rewarding especially when you see everything come together on opening night. Choreographer Mariyka Bolubasz certainly kept us on our toes! Working on a production with such professional production values is simply amazing. The concept of this show was to engage the sixties vibe and the designer PJ McEvoy was inspired by the pop art of Lichtenstein which he incorporated by the innovative use of video projection onto a steel framed set.
I would definitely urge to join The Young Company and if you would like any further information please ask me or contact Fiona Stuart, firstname.lastname@example.org.”
We have it on excellent authority that Annie was amazing in Sweet Charity, congratulations on a great show!
Have a lovely week everyone!