Swaffham Bulbeck Summer Theatre cast and crew are not a cliquey bunch, we're always on the look out for new people to come along and be a part of our productions. What are you waiting for? Get involved.
Although many cast members have been involved with SBST for a long time, new members are always welcome.
No prior experience is necessary and no audition is required for the chorus. An ability to read music is very helpful, but is not essential.
There is no membership subscription as such but due to the high cost of insurance recently we do ask cast members to make a contribution towards this, which is usually about £10.
Auditions for principal roles are held in late November of the preceding year, and involve both singing and reading libretto. Audition details will be posted on this website each autumn.
SBST is very fortunate to have the support of a loyal group of talented musicians who readily offer their services to accompany the performances. Due mainly to space, the orchestra is comprised of woodwind, brass, percussion and a double bass, the higher string parts being covered by the piano. This combination is very successful in giving both the colour provided by a good range of instruments for the overture, other instrumental interludes and accompaniments and also to give balanced support to the artists on stage.
Rehearsals for the cast start at the beginning of February each year and we are delighted to welcome several new members this year. We are accompanied for all rehearsals by one of our two excellent repetiteurs, Emma Andrews and Geoffrey Datson. The first session in 2012 was a social sing-through over a glass or two of wine, to remind those of us who have taken part in Iolanthe before how it sounds (SBST last staged it in 2000) and to introduce those who've not performed it before to the music, if not to the interesting plot! We rehearse in the village primary school during the cold weather, initially with dedicated music rehearsals and later with floor rehearsals. After about Easter, in the fond hope of some warmer evenings, we transfer to the barn where we have a permanent stage, and at this stage the production starts to take real physical shape. Rehearsals are generally on Mondays and Thursdays, usually with one rehearsal for principals and one for chorus members.
During the few weeks before the show there may be two rehearsals a week for everyone and during show week there is a technical rehearsal with the orchestra on the Monday and a full dress rehearsal on the Tuesday. As many people as possible also come to the barn on the Sunday before show week to set everything up and turn an agricultural barn into a cosy and inviting theatre; the following Sunday everything is taken down again and the barn reverts to its workday appearance. Add to this the cast party after the Saturday night show and it is a very full week! A week or so later there is a DVD evening and buffet at a member's house where we relax and watch our performance, often seeing things which the audience saw but which we missed at the time by having to wait in the wings.
If you are not interested in performing but would still like to be involved, there are usually vacancies for back-stage help. Leading up to the shows there is often construction work required to modify the stage area, and the week before the shows a team is required to erect the scenery. During the shows, back-stage helpers include a stage manager, scenery changers, a props supervisor and a make-up team; and 'out front' a prompter and a team of stewards are required. For further details please contact us.