Sarah Gough, Arts Editor, interviews the directors from Shotgun’s The Wild Party to find out what’s in store on stage this December.
The Wild Party is a musical with might: it’s eccentric, flamboyant and ambitious. You only need to listen to its most prominent track ‘Let’s Raise The Roof ’ to work that one out. Say the words ‘ambitious’ to Shotgun however, and you’re, well, shot down. Nothing is too ambitious. I chatted to Beth Cowley, second year Drama student, who is tasked with directing said wild party, intrigued as to how she’s planning on raising Roughborough’s roof come December.
Despite having never directed a musical before, it is clear that Beth is well qualified to do so. A member of Footlights, Sweet Nothings and Shotgun, she is a seasoned singer and has taken on the role of both director and vocal coach for The Wild Party. “There’s no bones about it, it’s a stressful job,” she admits, “but I feel so attached to the show. There’s nothing more rewarding than seeing a project through from beginning to end.”
With a cast of 15, The Wild Party includes a massive 40 musical numbers. “There’ve been a few hairy rehearsals, but it’s going well. Kate Lines, our choreographer, is great and the actors continue to impress me.”
The Wild Party’s action centres on a dysfunctional couple, Queenie and Burrs, who attempt to overcome their relationship issues by throwing one massive party. We’ve all been there, right? Well, maybe not, as it just so happens that all their invited friends are performers in 1920s Vaudeville. “It’s Gatsby!” Beth exclaims, “It all goes horribly wrong and you see their lives unravel before you. It’s dark, raunchy Gatsby.” To ensure those Vaudeville vibes, a live jazz band, not to mention the occasional distorted jazz hand, will accompany the show.
It’s not often that a wild party is elusive, however this one is. Boast- ing a successful Broadway run, The Wild Party is one of few musicals that has not been adopted into public consciousness. I wondered whether this has made Beth’s job more difficult. “Am I able to put my own stamp on it? Inevitably. There’s no film version so theres freedom. I think that the cast feel that as well, the characters are their own. It’ll be nice not having any audience expectation and surprising everyone!” It seems this wild party is fully under control and promises to be an evening of dramatic debauchery.
Shotgun will be bringing the party on 3, 4 and 5 December in Roughborough Studios. Tickets available here now.
Sarah Gough, Arts Editor