Or should I say musicals? Yes, I have performed in Oliver and Boogie Nights at the Sunderland Empire Theatre.
It was part of a project called The Stage Experience, Boogie Nights came first and then the next year was Oliver.
I can’t remember how I came across it but I remember there was an audition process, at the time I was studying Drama and Dance at school so I wanted to get into theatreland.
Trouble was I had never auditioned so I had no idea what to do or what to wear, from what I remember I wore black outfit was comfortable to sing and dance in. We were given a song to and dance to practice and then audition too.
The song was a song from the musical and we had to line up in rows on the stage and sing as best we could. I can’t sing for toffee but I did sing out loud and I acted as I was singing.
We were also taught a dance routine and I remember the dance being taught to us so quickly that I made friends with another girl and she helped me get through it and remember it. To be honest the audition is all a blur as it happened many years ago but I must have done well as I got through to both musicals.
I did not get the main part, I was just the chorus but I loved as it meant that I could learn all the songs and be in all the routines. The rehearsals were long days but we did get lunch breaks so I got to experience what Sunderland was like, as this was before university I had never been before.
I also got to experience what the Sunderland Empire was like as well, it is a beautiful theatre and I was overwhelmed with how big it was. There were so many rooms and I was amazed by the decoration of the walls and the carpets.
Our dressing rooms were up many stairs if you drive passed the theatre on the roundabout and see where they advertise the shows. Behind there are the stairs towards the dressing rooms. Each of the dressing rooms was named and I think I was in Greenwich for Oliver but I forget what it was for Boogie Nights.
We had to do our own makeup and hair but we were given costumes, for Boogie Nights I was in some sort of floral get-up and for Oliver I actually played a boy. I in a cap, waistcoat and trousers get up. Which I rather enjoyed as it was something different and I felt I could play a lamplighter better than a lively lady with my stature.
From rehearsal to the main performances and what a show it was. In both Oliver and Boogie Nights, I got such a thrill. I loved standing on the stage and taking a bow and looking at the audience stand up and applaud us, I felt like a pro then. It was the best buzz ever.
The Experience was out of this world, I made friends, performed on a stage and it is a part of life that I will always remember because I don’t think I will ever get to perform in a theatre ever again.