After immense success with their previous Mystery Musical fundraisers, Squabbalogic is gearing up for their fourth exciting mystery production. We were lucky enough to catch up with director Nicholas Hammond (The Sound of Music) to hear about what drew him to direct Mystery Musical #4 and to try and find out some clues.
Can you tell us about the concept behind the Mystery Musical?
Well, it’s a charity event to raise money for the theatre company, and also to springboard their larger and more long-form productions. The fun of it, of course, is that it being a mystery, people come into the theatre not knowing what show they’re about to see, but usually within the first few bars of the music the die hard music theatre fans know what show it is and the excitement builds from there. Inevitably, for half the audience, it’s going to be their favourite show so they’re going to be thrilled to see it, and this one is a big show. It has a big cast and a big ensemble so the songs sound fantastic. It’s a fun way for a lot of fun actors, dancers, musicians, to give their time and services to put on one of the great shows.
What drew you to directing a project such as Mystery Musical #4?
Well, I like to try and give back when I can. I happened to have a little window of time and Jay-James Moody (Squabbalogic’s Artistic Director) who had been in a production of She Loves Me that I directed approached me and asked if I was free to direct this production. I knew he had this company with a great reputation, and it just happened to be when I had this period of time available. I’ve also been able to use actors that I’ve worked with before and also meet a lot of new ones, which is terrific.
Has the preparation for this project been different to ones you have previously directed?
Well, I mean, it’s so quick. You only have four days to put the show together which means it requires incredibly intense work on the days you’re there, and I have to say, everybody has worked very hard. Of course, they still have their scripts in their hands. They’re not expected to be word perfect, but many of them are. The script is more like a little sort of safety net. They all know all the songs and it’s just trying to put together a little bit of choreography, for me to block the scenes, give the actors a bit of help in shaping the scenes. But, ultimately, the difference is time. The audience comes in knowing that all the actors have had such little time and that they are giving their services, so mostly, the audience sit there in amazement at how accomplished they are in such a short amount of time.
Without giving anything away, what can audiences expect from Mystery Musical #4?
They will know within the first eight bars of music what show it is and they will be hugely, happily surprised because it is a show with wonderful songs written by a very talented composer and somebody who is much loved by many people, with some wonderful characters. If people haven’t seen the musical before, they will at least know the story, and it’s a musical that was also a movie and so it has a very broad audience appeal. There’s romance in it, and a lot of comedy in it, and there’s just a lot of show business “razzamatazz.”
To book tickets for this special event playing only on the August 3rd head to http://www.squabbalogic.com.au