Musical Background - Sutton Theatre Company

When I moved to Surrey in 1992 it was one of my priorities, along with finishing an MSc. degree course, starting a new job and settling into a new area, to find and join a musical society. The first show I saw was Sutton Theatre Company's production of "Finian's Rainbow" and I auditioned for their next production. "Fiddler on the Roof". By coincidence, this had been my last production in Scotland, so I had a head start in knowing the music. I successfully auditioned for the part of Motel, and started to collect a string of principal roles during the following years. Unlike the societies in Scotland, those in the South East tended to be smaller in number and they performed more frequently, so this probably helped me in gaining those parts. Through various contacts, I started to perform with other societies as well and, being on my own, I had enough spare time to go out rehearsing as much as I liked. At one point, I was rehearsing for three different societies at the same time, leaving me only one 'free' night a week. I still regarded STC as my "home" society, and performed shows with them every year, many in principal roles.

STC, like all other societies, has its traditions, like the first night meal, coffee at someone's house after every performance, and the last night party. There is also an annual "STC Entertains" concert in May, where the members provide songs and sketches for their peers. The standard of performance has risen dramatically over the years, and many people bring their own backing tracks to sing to, rather than just use a piano accompaniment. I personally like to use this occasion to try out songs which I would otherwise not have the opportunity to sing and I also take advantage of my music software at home to prepare, and rehearse to, my own backing tracks.

I have now restricted my involvement in musical theatre to STC and have tried to take more of a "back seat" - in vain. In order to improve exposure of the Company I took up the challenge of designing their web site. and documenting all of their shows. I am also heavily involved in poster and programme production, and in front of house photography.

For more information, visit the Sutton Theatre Company web site.