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Bugsy Malone - A Backstage View

Written by Kathryn

Never work with children or animals. The eternal cry from those working in theatre - as directors, performers, stage management or musicians. 

This week I
m behind the scenes working as part of the crew on a youth production of Bugsy Malone, produced by Bedford Marianettes and my goodness is theatre in safe hands with this talented company!
Lets be honest, anyone who works on a youth production knows that they have their work cut out as youth performers dont always have much experience of a demanding rehearsing schedule, the required discipline for show etiquette (project on stage but not in the dressing rooms!), the understanding of how the tech side works and they will always be very excited when they finally hit the stage and need some calming downits all very tiring for the adults involved from the creatives to the tech team to the chaperones. 
However, I take my hat off to the young performers in this production. Ranging from about 6 years to 17 years, they have worked diligently to create production which has left the audience smiling from ear to ear and has the adults on the show working their socks off to give them the production they deserve - how can you not give the same enthusiasm as the youngsters? Add to this, they are some of the politest cast members Ive worked with in over 20 years and its turning out to be a rather special week for everyone. 
What has been incredibly clear this week too is that whilst the cast are loving getting splurged’ each performance, its not just about performing for them. The strong friendships that have been forged through this process is evident - I heard two parents saying on opening night that their children didnt know anyone when they started rehearsals, but you would never know that looking at the bonds onstage and offstage. 

As a drama coach, Ive really enjoyed watching the teamwork amongst the cast - the way they cheerlead for each other, help with costume changes and mic changes and the older ones are always keeping an eye on the littlest ones to check they make their entrances on cue. These skills are vital in theatre but they are also skills that will carry into school, college and eventually work - whether thats in the industry’ or not. 
If you are Bedford bound this week, do try and support this wonderful production and encourage the next generation of theatre makers - and good people!
Never work with children? Id work with this team any day! 

Bugsy Malone runs 25th - 28th October, 7pm nightly with 1.30pm Saturday matinee at Trinity Arts & Leisure Centre, Bedford. 
Tickets from £17 via ticket

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