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A Dream Come True

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At the start of 2015 I made a decision that this would be the year I played 12002111_907192222664107_4263312022641316992_nCathy in “The Last Five Years”. It’s hard to believe that it’s all over, and that we actually did it on Friday 11th and Saturday 12th September at Belvoir Players Studio in Belfast!

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It was a new experience putting on a show with such a small team. Gary the director spent all of the Thursday working with the technician to rig and programme the lights. When I arrived that evening I found myself sweeping the stage and pre-setting props before the dress rehearsal, while Margaret our wardrobe mistress was pre-setting all the costumes for onstage changes. The band was sound-checked during the run and the lights were only half plotted by the time we went home. As is often the case in theatre it was right down to the wire! Gary and James pulled out all the stops on the Friday to get the lighting plot finished for start time on the Friday night and when the lights came up for the performance the stage looked great.

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I was so excited just to be in the theatre. The dressing room was very quiet with just two of us backstage! Jordan Humphries brought a little glamour to the dressing room as she did our make-up for the show. I got some lovely opening night flowers and cards from friends and family.

As I waited in the wings for my cue to go on stage at the start of the show I worked hard to subdue my excitement and get into the right head space for Cathy’s first number as she is heart broken and I had to cry. Stepping onto the stage, playing in the round was even more intimate than anticipated with people (lots of them people I know!) surrounding the stage. It was a challenge to stay in character and not react to making eye contact with the audience (and very different to playing out into the black space of the Grand Opera House auditorium). I loved performing in the round though; the action felt natural and in the end I enjoyed the connection with the audience.

Playing with the full live band, under Ryan’s leadership, was fantastic and gave12002964_907192135997449_4147021036407043136_n the show a new energy. Some of my favourite moments were the duets with Adam, particularly the final “Goodbye Until Tomorrow” – Jason Robert Brown’s music is just beautiful in those moments. I think “Summer In Ohio” was one of my favourite solo sings, not least because of the fab rehearsal skirt Margaret made for me!

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After the show on the Friday the team headed out for a late night dinner and on the Saturday we had a bit of an after party to celebrate our achievement. I am so proud of the whole team for putting together such a quality production on a tiny budget and a lot of passion and commitment.

We had a nice audience of nearly 100 each night and the warm applause, congratulations and indeed standing ovation from the audience was wonderful. (Anyone who performs and says they don’t love the applause is lying!) More than anything it was such a thrill to finally bring the character of Cathy to the stage and to share the moment with family, friends and fans. It was a real dream come true.

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