Back in a Flash
In October of last year, a huge number of new performers were introduced to GMT when the company cast its winter show, Flashdance. With the dance-heavy hit over, five of the show’s new intake have returned for current show, The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas: Kevyn Connett. Richard Dalrymple, Julie Henery, Nicola Hunter and Sally Swanson. Now, the fabulous Flashdance five take us behind the doors of the best little rehearsal room in Glasgow.
Clockwise from left: Julie, Kevyn, Nicola, Richard and Sally
GMT: Hi folks, how’s it going?
Julie: I’ll start it off, then – it’s going great!
Sally: Yeah, great, thanks!
Richard: I’m going to have to go with ‘extra great’, since these guys have failed to grasp words.
GMT: So you all joined GMT for Flashdance, which ended back in January. What was that like for you?
Sally: I loved the experience. I’m mainly a singer so dancing was something I hadn’t done much of before, and I absolutely loved it.
Richard: It was a much ‘dancier’ show than any I’d ever done, so I loved the intensive workload for the ensemble. Having such a focused group around me drove me to work harder, and at the same time we had a great laugh doing it. The balance was perfect.
Nicola: I’d agree with Richard – the workload was a great challenge. For me, the attention to detail was pretty intense, and I really liked that. I thoroughly enjoyed and appreciated the professionalism of the production team. Most of our rehearsal time was focussed and productive.
Julie: I adored every minute, too. Everyone was so helpful and encouraging, from the cast to the production team. The whole thing just made me want to perform more.
Kevyn: Being new not only to GMT but the Glasgow theatre scene in general, I have to say it was very refreshing to see the effort everyone put in. There was no slacking. Made some great friends, too, which is… you know… nice.
Sally, Nicola and Julie at the Flashdance aftershow party
GMT: Knowing the experience would be so different this time with Whorehouse, what made you want to audition again?
Julie: The smaller-scale shows focus more on singing and acting, and they’re areas I wanted to improve in, so Whorehouse seemed like the perfect choice!
Sally: I was exactly the same. I wanted to do a show that was more focused on the music, and I love the Whorehouse soundtrack.
Nicola: Me too, I love the tunes in this show! For me, the heavy focus on singing and acting is a chance to challenge myself. I was keen to do another show with GMT, too, as I like the professionalism and the focus on delivering a high standard of show.
Richard: I really like the way things work at GMT too, so I was keen to carry on with them. Plus, I liked the sound of the show and I’m the same as Sally and Julie – I’m more used to singing.
Kevyn: I must confess I didn’t like the songs when I first heard them, but GMT’s ethic is one that resonates with me. I think it’s an insult that companies charge you to join, charge you to audition and then charge you to give up your time. The fact that GMT ask only that you make a small contribution and help to promote the show is commendable. Lucky for us they wanted us back. (laughs)
GMT: How do Whorehouse rehearsals differ so far from Flashdance ones? Are you glad you came back?
Nicola: Rehearsals are very different, but I’m delighted that I got the chance to come back.
Sally: So am I. I’d have really missed it if I hadn’t.
Nicola: The cast is bonding differently, as a whole group straight away rather than in smaller pockets – possibly due to the fact it’s a smaller group of people, and also perhaps due to the slightly older demography.
Julie: Yeah, there’s a completely different atmosphere in the Whorehouse rehearsals.
Nicola: We’re learning the songs very quickly, and that can feel a bit pressured sometimes, but I’m not worried. I know we’ll have plenty of time left to drill things.
Julie: It’s a lot of fun to just sit down for an hour or so and learn a song, though. It’s weirdly relaxing.
Kevyn: The brevity of the rehearsal period makes a difference, doing two and a half months instead of three or four like we had for Flashdance, but I love that intensity. Apart from that, it’s the same, really: rehearse, debrief (actor’s term for ‘drink’). Exactly as the process should be.
Richard and Kevyn with the men of Flashdance
GMT: What’s your favourite thing about the show so far?
Kevyn: After reading the script, I’m certainly looking forward to seeing how the opening scene takes shape. That looks like it’ll be a lot of fun.
Richard: It’s my first speaking part since I moved to Glasgow, so I love being able to work on a proper character. And the music.
Nicola: I’m loving the songs, too. It’s a pretty dark storyline, but the tunes make me smile.
Julie: Agreed with everyone on the songs, and there are some great one-liners. Plus there are some strong and complex female characters in Whorehouse and that’s really interesting to me.
Sally: My favourite part is repeatedly singing the words ‘loveless copulation’, simply because I never thought I’d sing those words onstage. Or off, actually.
GMT: What’s going to be the biggest challenge over the next ten weeks?
Richard: Hiding my character’s Communist affiliations from the general public. Does that count?
Sally: Gymming it every day in preparation for the ridiculous lingerie my character will probably be sporting.
Nicola: Yeah, I’m kinda worried about the costumes.
Julie: The accent can sometimes be a bit challenging too, but yeah, I’m with the girls. My gran will be coming to see this!
Nicola: It’s not so much the skimpy thing that worries me (I figured that might be a thing given the show), and the script mentions long dresses and sports gear. I just want to maximise the time I have to source.
Kevyn: Don’t know why you girls are worries. I for one am looking forward to that. What worries me is that CJ becomes a drooling mess.
GMT: We’ve just made you sheriff and given you a good ol’ horse. What are you naming it?
Richard: ‘Superhorse’. No, no, wait! ‘Superhorse 4: the Quest for Peace’.
Nicola: ‘Champion’! Maybe showing my age a bit there…
Julie: ‘The King of El Dorado.’
Sally: Yes, Julie!
Julie: …Is that what you’re calling your horse?
Sally: I’m going to call mine ‘Sundance’. Love that film. As much as ‘Yes, Julie’ is a wonderfully original horse name, I think I’ll stick with ‘Sundance’.
GMT: Finally, give us five words to describe the show.
Julie and Sally (simultaneously): “Loveless copulation goin’ on.”
GMT: That’s only four words.