In rehearsal

The making of the Duelling Cavalier - Singin' in the Rain

The cast of Singin' in the Rain endured the rain on Good Friday to film the silent movie sequences that feature in the show.

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Action shots and behind the scene images

Luke Sayers talks about his first lead role with BATS

It’s the film that gave Kevin Bacon one of the most iconic roles of the ‘80’s.

Footloose follows teenage rebel Ren McCormack, who fights to bring rock music and
dancing back to the small town that’s banned them.

Luke Sayers - Palying Ren McCormack

Luke Sayers - Palying Ren McCormack

Now Footloose – the Musical is heading to the Haymarket in Basingstoke for the first time ever - and the performer inheriting Kevin Bacon’s attitude, dance moves and white vest/jeans combo is 19-year- old Luke Sayers from Oakley. But he’s got a confession.

“I never saw the whole film before auditioning! I think I watched maybe half of it before, but I didn’t really know it at all. I was persuaded to audition and I thought, “Oh well, I’ve got nothing to lose” – and here I am playing my first lead role for BATS!”

Since being cast Luke’s had to get up to speed fast!

“Ren is a troubled young man. His dad walked out so his mum has moved them from Chicago to this town in the middle of nowhere. He hates it as there’s no excitement and dancing is a crime! But he’s got a lot of passion, he’s very driven, and that causes conflict – especially with the priest who sees him as a big threat.”

With blistering dance routines, big songs and intense dramatic scenes, the energy on stage
doesn’t let up. But Luke says he’s prepared.

“I’ve been dancing ever since I joined the Basingstoke Tappers aged 4! I went on to other
local dance schools, before studying performing arts at Queen Mary’s College. I’ve just
started a foundation course at Kingsclere Performing Arts College, so at the moment my life
revolves around singing, dancing and acting!”

Luke says fans of Footloose the film won’t be disappointed. “I’m really excited to see the
audience reaction when we perform songs like Holding Out for A Hero, Let’s Hear It For The
Boy and Footloose of course. I hope they’ll be up and dancing!”

Luke Sayers in full swing during a rehearsal

Luke Sayers in full swing during a rehearsal

Sounds like the perfect feelgood night out? “It is! The whole company are working really
hard to make this a great show. We’re loving it – and I know audiences will too!”

Footloose is at the Haymarket, Basingstoke from Wednesday 15th-Saturday 25th
November. Performances at 7.30pm with extra 2.30pm shows on Saturday 18th & 25th.


Tickets: £18.50-£23.50 (adults) £15 (16s and under) - with concessions for students, over-
65s and groups. All prices include a booking fee.

Buy tickets: www.anvilarts.org.uk Call 01256 844244 or visit the Anvil Arts box office.

Colin Flaherty talks to us about his role of King Arthur in our latest production of 'Spamalot, the Musical'.

“He’s an absolute buffoon – just like I am really!” laughs Colin Flaherty, who plays the hapless King Arthur in the musical Monty Python’s Spamalot at the Haymarket in Basingstoke this May. 

“I’ve never seen the show on stage, but I researched it on YouTube and just fell in love with the nonsense of it all!  You’ve got a killer rabbit, grown men galloping along on pretend horses, and of course the Black Knight who has his arms and legs chopped off before singing ‘Always Look on the Bright Side of Life’!”

Colin is very familiar with Britain’s favourite comedy song in his real-life role as a funeral celebrant. “A surprising number of people choose it to be played at their funeral – it sort of embodies the British spirit doesn’t it?”  

What would you say to people who feel Monty Python isn’t for them? 

“Well if you like musicals you’ll love Spamalot, because it spoofs a whole range of other shows – and to be honest from the first scene you just embrace the silliness of it and enjoy each surprise as it comes along!” 

“It does remind me of being in a panto – an adult panto that is - but the trick is to play the part absolutely straight – which makes the ridiculous situations even funnier!”

Colin has been also taking sword fighting lessons and looks forward to impressing the audience with his physical prowess. “Yes it is quite a physical part for me, I’m delighted to be doing it!”

He’s full of praise for his fellow performers too. “The singing is fantastic! Everyone suits their parts so well too.  I can promise you’ll have a fantastic night at the theatre!”

Monty Python’s Spamalot runs at the Haymarket, Basingstoke from Tuesday 16-Saturday 20 May. Performances at 7.30pm plus a 2.30pm show on the Saturday.

Tickets at: www.anvilarts.org.uk or 01256 844244

Spamalot Cast Interview with Kirsty Kingham, Playing The Lady of the Lake.

"She's a complete Diva - and I'm absolutely loving it!"

Kirsty Kingham’s infectious giggle is never far away when talking about her role as The Lady of the Lake in the musical Monty Python’s Spamalot.

“She’s the main female part and being surrounded by all that testosterone makes me really happy! Hahaha!” 

To say Kirsty is relishing the role would be a massive understatement.  It’s been on her bucket list for years – and follows her recent performances as Tracy in Hairspray and Elsa in The Sound of Music.

The Lady of the Lake sends King Arthur on his quest to find the Grail, and pops up throughout the show in a variety of guises.  

“It’s hugely vocally challenging – and because the show sends up lots of different musicals, I get to sing a lot of different styles.  There’s jazz, pop ballads, soul, opera and even scatting – that’s probably the biggest test for me!” 

So how would Kirsty describe Monty Python’s Spamalot?

“Well I must admit I didn’t know what Monty Python was!  I didn’t know about the TV show or films.  So I’m just judging from what’s in the script and what we’re doing in rehearsals, and I have to say it’s absolutely hilarious!  It’s mad, silly, immature and pant-wettingly funny – you can’t quite believe what’s coming next!  You’re certainly guaranteed a good laugh at the theatre that night!”

So a welcome distraction from her offstage roles as mum and full-time primary school teacher?  “Yes!  Life is just so busy at the moment, but it’s great to sweep into rehearsal and unleash this fabulous prima donna!”

“It’s also wonderful to see what the rest of the cast are creating – the quality of the singing is amazing.  And did I mention it’s just really, really funny?!”

Yes, you did Kirsty!   

Monty Python’s Spamalot runs at the Haymarket, Basingstoke from Tuesday 16-Saturday 20 May. Performances at 7.30pm plus a 2.30pm show on the Saturday.

Tickets at: www.anvilarts.org.uk or 01256 844244

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