Behind The Scenes of Drowsy: A Choreographer Perspective
The production team is at the heart of every Glasgow Music Theatre production ensuring everything goes off smoothly behind the scenes . In this blog we talk to first time Choreographer Nic Drummond about her transition from onstage performer to production team member and get her choreographer's take on all things Drowsy.
This is your first time on a GMT production team?Yes it is. I have been propping up the GMT ensemble however for 5 years taking part in 6 productions beginning with How to Succeed back in 2013 and most recently On The Town 2017. I have worked with Director Jen and MD Barrie before and they have a wealth of experience to keep me right as the newbie on the team.
Do you have a highlight from your GMT performances onstage? I have many! Too many to list! My most enjoyable was Should Have Been Loved (Sunshine on Leith, 2016), there was mop-graphy and I had a fabulous time working with Melissa, Serena,Lynne and of course the fabulous Nikki Who plays our Drowsy. A very close second was getting to play Roxie Hart in Both Reached for The Gun (On Another Boat, 2014) which was a dream number for me as a dancer.
What is it that you love about GMT which brings you back to auditions show after show? I have always been astounded by the talent within GMT casts and frequently scratch my head as to how i snuck in amongst them so many times. Regularly I have been onstage performing alongside training or trained industry professionals as well as people from all walks of life who just love theatre and are utterly fantastic at what they do. It took me 3 shows to get the courage to audition for GMT and I am so glad I finally did.
And what inspired you to take the leap into the production team? I'm 32 this year and realising that i am not going to be a high kicking chorus girl for many more years I decided to branch out. I taught dance for a number of years and have dabbled with choreography here and there the last 18 so was delighted when I got the call from the GMT artistic directors to take on this show. I am also an organisational demon so relished the challenge of doubling up Choreographer with Producer for this production.
Tell Us a Bit about the Dance Within The Show? The show is set in the 1920's so is predominately influenced by the Charleston and the loosey- goosey feeling of that era but in 90 mins packs in a fair dance punch with a dream ballet, tap dancing, circus tricks and much more!! It's not a standard "dancey" show with big set piece dance numbers but everyone gets to dance and does so with enthusiasm at some point in the show.
What has been your highlight sofar in the rehearsal process? For me it's seeing the cast form their characters and build them up. I am very lucky that we have some wonderfully creative people in the cast who give lots of ideas and input and my role can be framing and shaping what they look great doing. It's fantastic when someone takes your choreography, plays with it a bit and makes it even better.
Do you have a favourite dance number in the show? For me it has to be cold feet. This is a wonderful tap duet which we have built from scratch with two non tap dancers who have been wonderful and taken everything I have thrown at them in the short rehearsal window. And I think they have the tap dancing bug now which is great. Every show should have a tap number!
And you are also producing the show? Yes, I am loving the producing part too it's all odd jobs here and there and making sure we maximise the audiences who get to see the fantastic show we have created. I love a good list and a spreadsheet to work through. We have a real wealth of talent in Glasgow Music Theatre not appearing onstage for this show and it's making sure we make best use of talents of our full GMT family from costumiery and photography to film and graphic design.
And what do you do when not doing all this choreographing/ producing? I am the Senior Finance Manager for the T26 Global Combat Ship Build Programme which is a multi billion contract to manage and keeps me very busy. I am married to the lovely Mark and we love travelling the world and going to festivals. I love to cook (and eat) so spending time cooking and eating with family and friends is one of my main hobbies outwith the theatre.
Finally tell us what you are most looking forward to about show week? Being in the Scottish Youth Theatre again and seeing the show being brought to life there. It's a fantastic venue and facility for a show which I have loved both performing in and choreographing for. Plus it's in the merchant city so has loads of fantastic bars, cafes and restaurants within minutes so looking forward to many quick pre and post show catch ups with all my wonderful friends who are coming to see the show.
The Drowsy Chaperone will be held at The Brian Cox Studio @ The Scottish Youth Theatre from 8th to 12th May with performances at 8pm (additional Saturday Matinee at 3pm). Tickets are available through the Glasgow Music Theatre Box Office.