The auditions garnered huge interest with a large number of hopefuls gathering at EHOS HQ.
It was noted that the quality of auditions was extremely high and the audition panel had some tough choices to make when it came to selecting the principle roles.
After many hours of deliberating, most of the roles had been cast, with the exception of homosexual, drum playing transvestite “Angel” – This was always going to be a difficult part to fill…The lure of an Am dram company putting on a fresh and Modern musical brought a great number of new members into the EHOS family (plus a few old familiar faces making a return!)
In order to develop the amazing sound for the big, emotional numbers in the show, director Matt Hudson wanted a larger than normal chorus than you would have for RENT.
And so almost all who attended the auditions were drafted into the large throng of Bohemians, tramps and junkies. Amongst these chorus members, the principle dancers were selected for Kylie Hollingsworth to whip into shape!
An Angel was eventually found and rehearsals began with eagerly learning the words of the songs and developing the harmonies for the large numbers before turning onto the blocking of the show.
Rehearsals were put on hold for a few weeks as cast and production team had to cope with a sad event, which reminded all involved in the show just how precious, but fragile life is.
The themes of RENT tragically echoed the outside world and when the team finally looked to that old theatre cliché of “The show must go on”, it seemed to add extra emotion to the big, swelling ballads of the show.
Tickets were slow in booking and a large effort was made to sell the show via social media, word of mouth, radio spots, flyers, Elaine Paige and even a Flash Mob at the Brookfield Tesco (A first for EHOS!).
The combined publicity certainly got the message out there and audiences rose to wonderfully large numbers, often delaying the start of the show due to a queue at the box office!
A large thanks should be given to Craig Gray, who, due to an unfortunate turn of events had an incredibly short amount of time to take over the role of that challenging “Angel” part for the last two nights of the run.
He grasped the role that he had been reluctant to take on during the casting stages with gusto and confidence and earned that special Am-dram medal for saving a show!
The emotional rollercoaster was gratefully received with rave reviews from audience members who, whilst confused over the story, were blown away by the powerful performances from the cast.