InQuire sat down with Erina Farrant, director of MTS’s ‘You Wish! A Musical Theatre Showcase’, and discussed the much anticipated production, her role as a director, and the important themes it sheds light on.
Q1) Tell us about the show?
The storyline is based on a mystery man who hosts a radio competition and is able to make the winner’s dream become a reality. In order to have chance to win, people have to send a video of what they desire most, but this highlights many unexpected emotions and consequences of their desires. Usually a showcase is a collection of songs that correlate with one particular theme and do not follow a specific plot. However, we decided to incorporate a storyline as it would be nice to have some sort of underlying plot which would link the musical numbers more smoothly. I think it is important to note that the storyline does not try to pretend to be more than what it is, it is fairly simple and the events unfold in quite a predictable but proven-to-work kind of way. Our main priority was to make it a light-hearted, easy-to-follow plot, so that audiences could focus more on the showcase elements of the production. It also features classic hits from the West End musical Hamilton, High School Musical 3, and Cabaret!
Q2) How is it being a director?
It’s been really fun taking on this role. As a director there is a certain level of respect and responsibility that comes with the job. I am also so grateful to be working with a cast and crew who are all so involved and dedicated to their roles. They are constantly working hard and are essentially the reason behind me being able to witness my own ideas coming to life.
Q3) Is this your first time directing for MTS?
Yes, this is my first time. It was really nerve-wracking getting the job, but it was such a great feeling knowing that people believed in me enough to actually put me forward for the job. It is a very fulfilling position to be in. I have been a member of MTS since my first year at UKC, and have been involved in various productions that were held at either the Gulbenkain or in the Colyer-Fergusson Building. I am now in my final year, and to be actually directing a production feels like such an achievement. It’s amazing knowing that there is always room to make progress within MTS and hopefully I’m just one of many examples of how rewarding societies can be in terms of developing occupational skills.
Q4) How does being a director differ from your previous roles as an actor?
The best thing about being a director is having a creative say on things. Being able to express your opinion and for it to then be valued, listened to, and then even developed, is a great experience. Like I said before, it is also down to having the best cast and crew who are able to support me through my role. Whether it is an idea I have decided to alter, or been keen to further establish it, they have been by my side and gotten on board straight away. I’m just feeling very blessed!
Q5) Why do you think UKC students should come and see this production?
It is a very well-rounded showcase! I think the most important thing is that it is a very relatable storyline. There is literally something for everyone! Whilst it can be categorised as a generally light-hearted play, it should not overlook the fact that it still has alternative moments of comedy, darkness, and even tear-jerking laughter. It is basically a very watchable play and more importantly very accessible to all students as it is being shown on campus. We encourage everyone to come and support their friends and fellow peers. We are also approaching the holidays and so it would be a great event to attend with all of your housemates as the perfect ending to a great first term!
Q6) Are there any strikingly important themes in the play that stand out to you most?
I think the overall important theme is the different realms of desire that are explored throughout the production. It shows and also contrasts the different levels of desire for each character, something which is quite eye-opening in my opinion. Because in reality it is highly unlikely that a radio competition will be offering the opportunity to make our dreams come true, but the interesting thing is being able to see the consequences and unfolding of events when this does actually happen. The question of ‘what if’ is one which can trigger a lot of emotions within different individuals, and sparks ideas of love, betrayal, fame, and fortune. It also raises questions within audience members and makes them think about what their most important desire would be and what would be the reasons behind them. The showcase explores human reactions when they are put in extraordinary situations, and proves to create highly entertaining moments. If we think about popular films, books, and television shows, they offer some type of escapism for people’s realities. I think that the merging of everyday scenarios (that students can ultimately relate to) with unimaginable opportunities is what makes it so intriguing for audiences.
Q7) What else do we have to look forward to from MTS?
‘You Wish! A Musical Theatre Showcase’ will be shown on the both 1st& 2nd December 2018, at the Colyer-Fergusson Building, at 7:30pm. We then have another show called ‘Rent’ which will be held on the 1st& 2nd February 2019, at the Marlowe studio. But if you are more interested in getting involved in our shows, then we will be holding auditions for our upcoming spring shows on the 3rd& 4th December 2018. The first musical has been revealed as ‘Company’ and the second showcase is yet to be determined. But they are all very exciting events which we can look forward to seeing!
For more information of upcoming shows and how to get involved in MTS, visit their facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/ukcmts