The Just So society have already made a bang in St Andrews this semester with their production of Anything Goes, so what’s next? I sat down with the crew of their latest venture, BARE.
Linus Erbach (director), Addie Gray (Assistant Director) and Millie Postle (Producer) all blow me away with their enthusiasm for BARE, and it’s easy to see why. The show follows a series of students in a Catholic boarding school struggling to reconcile exploration of their sexuality with their faith. Framed around a school production of Romeo and Juliet, the show explores issues touching many teenagers today, including substance abuse, teenage pregnancy and self-acceptance. With such serious and heart-wrenching themes and a cast I am assured are wonderful, Millie confides in me that the she cried whilst watching their first run through. The three speak so passionately about their project because they all believe in the important messages it holds.
When I ask them why they decided to put on BARE, the reasons are unanimous. The music is compellingly different from most post-2000 musicals, a melting pot of different styles, branding itself a rock-opera. Linus warns me that this is not a feel good show (athough it has its funny moments, including a nun singing with gospel back up dancers), but that this is what makes it so special. Everyone, he tells me, can find some character that they’re able to relate to. There is no chorus as such, but lots of named characters, meaning everyone has a chance to develop their own characters and their own identity.
All three of the production team have had copious experience in musical theatre, with Addie having directed theatre at high-school and in St Andrews. Millie raised almost a thousand pounds for charity by putting on a production of Into The Woods with her musical theatre group at home. Though Linus has no previous directorial experience, having acted in a number of Just So productions, including Bonnie and Clyde last semester, he is in the perfect position to bring his on stage expertise behind the scenes.
I’m incredibly excited to see what this production will be like, and am positive it will be ground-breaking. I leave you with a line from the character Sister Chantelle which really upholds the message of the show; “If you hide from yourself, be someone else for someone else’s sake, that would be the greatest mistake.”
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