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One Week In Magaluf - ERA Productions Interview

After a successful Edinburgh Fringe where the show was described as "hilarious yet poignant" by All Edinburgh Theatre. ERA Production now presents the show at The Arden Theatre in Faversham where it plays on Wednesday 26th October 2022 at 7pm.

Ahead of the performance, I spoke to some of the creative team who are involved in this exciting new musical.

Producer Rachel Duncan began by explaining the show to me as "a new comedy musical with 00s tunes that everyone knows and loves!". Rachel further explained the origins of the piece "I approached Amy Nic in June 2021 to write a show for me to produce and take to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival 2022 with the Edinburgh Napier Musical Theatre Society, of which I was the President at the time. The brief was to create a show for a small, all-female cast, that was light-hearted, fun and enjoyable for the cast and audience. Amy came to me with some storyline ideas and we just had to go with the girl's holiday plotline!"

When writing a show about a girl's holiday do you reach into your own experience? Amy tells me "Does going on a holiday to Magaluf with my girlfriends when I was 19 count? If so, that research was invaluable! The research is experiences, lived experiences and this isn’t a show specifically about going to Magaluf, it’s a show about time with your friends and about how your friends are your friends but they all live different lives coming from a place where some of my friends are currently having children, some of my friends are getting married, and some of my friends haven’t gone to uni yet, but they are going soon and even though they’re my closest pals, our lives are at such different stages and how does that affect our friendship? How do we navigate life and adulthood? It’s just that general lived experience I see around me and obviously being in Magaluf when I was 19 years old!"

Those life experiences have clearly shaped the show as did their recent trip to the Edinburgh Fringe. Erin Munro, the show's musical director said "Fringe was so fun, felt like we had our own wee girls’ trip, can’t wait to do the same with a new cast as well". Rachel added "taking the show to Edinburgh Fringe was a hard-earned dream come true! Amy and I had begun working on the show over a year prior to the run so it's safe to say that it was a relief to finally make it to show week! The response we got from audience members was incredible. We had people we don't even know, recognising our team jumpers and raving about the show to us! A real pinch-me moment."

Writer Nic added "Edinburgh fringe was the best time of my life! I’m not from Edinburgh, I have just never been able to get there and this experience allowed me to go, so I’m very thankful. We were on for one week and what we discovered was that this is a show that people really can enjoy as an audience member. It’s a real ‘pick me up’ show, it's not a ‘thinker’, it’s just an entertaining piece and that’s what we really discovered! People love the soundtrack, people really relate to the narrative and audience members compared us to The Inbetweeners and Mamma Mia! As a society, we anticipated that our audiences would be mostly made up of family and friends but we found that attracted a whole range of people who thought the show was great fun! And that’s when we realised that this is a show for everyone."

It is clear from the team that performing at the Fringe has given them drive. Erin told me "After Edinburgh fringe we just didn’t want the hype we felt for the show to die so we jumped right in to finding other places to do it - we can’t wait to see it evolve further". Rachel added "Moving from a society cast to a cast of professional actors has allowed us to explore another level of the show. The characters are further developed in their traits and personalities and the Faversham performance will be an elevated version of the show we created this summer."

What does the team hope an audience will take away from seeing the show? Writer Amy said "Well ideally, I want the people at Jet 2 to come and then sponsor us! I can hope! I just want entertainment. Our review from Edinburgh said that this show hasn’t got a great message to impart, just that pals are pals and ever more shall be so, but there’s no harm in being reminded of that. If you can go away from the show and text your mate and say "I love you, shall we go for a bev soon" then that’s all I want, that will make my little heart very happy." Erin added "This show is pure nostalgia and escapism, we want the audience to walk out having had a laugh, maybe a wee cry and feeling the girl power this show has in bucketloads". With Rachel saying "All I want for this show is for it to make the audience smile and have fun bopping along to their favourite 00s tunes! It really is a feel-good musical for people of all generations and its only purpose is to make people feel good and appreciate their friends."

After the performance at The Arden Theatre, what is the future hope for the show? Amy hopes for a return to Edinburgh. "We want to go to Edinburgh Fringe again! We want to do it for longer, we want to market even more and we believe that this is a brilliant fringe piece! We also want to provide opportunities to women and female-identifying performers who haven’t yet had the chance to shine! I feel it’s so important to provide a platform for women in comedy and theatre." Erin tells me "We cannot wait to go back to Edinburgh fringe next year, ERA Productions have a few other things in the works but OWIM is 1000% coming back better than ever!". Producer Rachel added "This show lends itself really well to Fringe and we can't wait to bring it back to where it all began! Past that, we'd love to see the show grow and reach more audiences and for it to continue making people smile".

Our chat wrapped up on simply what does theatre mean to the team. Amy explained "I don’t think it’s ever been a day in my life where I haven’t thought about theatre or about what’s coming next or what am I going to do. It’s been my entire life, ever since I could walk, I could dance, ever since I could talk, I could sing. There’s never been a question about that! It’s a place where people can be anything but also people are entertained and for an hour or two their minds are taken away from the world they’re in and their own lives and they get to see the lives of other people and characters." Rachel wrapped up by saying "Theatre truly is my world and I can't wait to keep making theatre both as a Producer and Performer. It provides endless possibilities for defying the real world and allows us to escape our lives."

One Week In Magaluf comes to The Arden Theatre in Faversham on Wednesday 26th October 2022 at 7pm. Tickets are available here. You can follow ERA Productions on social media.

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