Exceptional theatre in exceptional times

We all love positive news and this week’s comes from a magnificent group of talented, ambitious and inspiring university students. The Drama Musical Theatre Society (DMTS) recently unveiled a link to purchase tickets for its upcoming production of the Tony-Award-winning musical, Spring Awakening. But hold your horses: this production will be unlike anything you’ve ever seen before. 

With rehearsals taking place entirely over Zoom, a remarkable team of producers and fellow cast members have been working tirelessly throughout lockdown to create a wonderful piece of musical theatre, despite being unable to rehearse in person. 

For director Charlie Bench, it has been a labour of love. “It was going to be a lot of work, but the theatre industry, all uni societies and general socialising had already taken such a hit that we knew we had to give it a shot, and I am so glad we did. The team on Spring Awakening are the most incredible, hard working people I have ever had the pleasure of working with.” 

So why Spring Awakening? “Even though it was written in the 19th century, its message and themes are still relevant. It tells of the importance of proper sex education and mental health support, it battles issues surrounding sexual consent and it follows characters working out their sexuality; we chose this show to give those themes and this journey a platform.”

The university’s production also comes with a twist. Not only will it be the first version ever created entirely over the internet, but it is also only the second filmed version of Spring Awakening since the show’s inception on Broadway. 

In the midst of a profoundly damaging global pandemic, with severe social and economic consequences particularly in the arts sector, DMTS shows that not even a global pandemic will get in the way of creating exceptionional theatre. In other words – the show must go on! 

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Sam Webb

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April 2021
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