Friday, June 14Royal Holloway's offical student publication, est. 1986

Tag: Musical Theatre

What’s So Bad About Bootlegs?
Culture & Literature, Theatre & Performance

What’s So Bad About Bootlegs?

When it comes to bootleg musicals, conflicting opinions abound. Sure, they’re technically illegal, but isn’t it a victimless crime? Or are they doing damage to the art that writers, actors, and many more have put painstaking effort into creating? Do they wrongly cheapen what should be a top-drawer experience, or do they better the theatre industry by making it more accessible to the masses? Bootlegs are illegal recordings of musicals or shows made by people in the audience and distributed, often via YouTube, for people online to see. Nowadays, they’re usually taken on smartphones and the quality tends to be awful. Yet these recordings often fetch tens, even hundreds of thousands of views, despite normally being taken down after only a few weeks due to copyright laws. As a form of pirac...
The Man Who Reinvented the Musical: A Note on Stephen Sondheim
Culture & Literature, Literature, Theatre & Performance

The Man Who Reinvented the Musical: A Note on Stephen Sondheim

Perhaps the most renowned musical theatre composer and lyricist of the 20th century passed away on the 26th November, aged ninety-one. Stephen Sondheim began his career writing the lyrics to West Side Story (1975) – recently adapted by Spielberg into a dazzling Hollywood movie starring Rachel Zelger and Ansel Elgort – and went on to write the music and lyrics for Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (1979) and Into the Woods (1987) as well as Broadway classics such as Company (1970), Follies (1971), and Merrily We Roll Along (1981). The musical theatre mogul received significant acclaim for his work, winning eight Tonys, eight Grammys, an Oscar, and a Presidential Medal of Freedom to name but a few awards. Not one, but two theatres were named after him – one on Broadway, one in ...
“A Delightful Evening of Delights”
Culture & Literature, Theatre & Performance

“A Delightful Evening of Delights”

This weekend sees Musical Theatre Society’s (MTS) final performance of this academic year, a fun show that stretches each member’s creativity and shows us the vast expanse of Musical Theatre. There are 23 numbers, of varying types, from a wide variety of musicals and it was, as Musical Director and Compere Flynn Sturgeon states, "a delightful evening of delights". The entire show was a spectacle, with loud and enthusiastic accompaniment from the band seated at the front of the SU Main Hall and bright flashing lights all around us. Act 1 begins with a rendition of Joyful Joyful from Sister Act 2, with people coming from every corner and interacting with the audience and amping them up for the rest of the show. Connor Wood and Robbie Carprari-Sharpe, both incoming committee members for MT...
Les Miserables…Today!
Culture & Literature, Theatre & Performance

Les Miserables…Today!

Les Miserables...Today!   (‘…Ι give you back to god!’)   It’s unbelievable how one book can change your life with the magical quality that only literature has. Especially when that book is also a well-known musical! Les Miserables, from the great novelist Victor Hugo, was first published in 1862, and was followed by many re-publications and big screen adaptations. In 1980, it was first presented as a musical, with the music composed by Claude-Michel Schonberg, with French and English lyrics-libretto written by Alain Boublin, Jean Marc Natel and Herbert Kretzmer respectively. Since then, this musical phenomenon was presented to over 75 million people in 42 different countries worldwide, a truly special honor for the book, which is an achievement in modern literature...
MTS Lives Below the Line
Sports & Socs

MTS Lives Below the Line

What is Live Below the Line? ‘Live Below the Line’ is a challenge we’re putting forward to anyone who wants to take part. The challenge is to buy all your food for five days on only £10. That means all meals, snacks etc must come out of this budget whereas drinks and social don’t. How is MTS getting involved and who is it for? In the past MTS has run a November campaign called ‘No Shoes November’ in aid of War on Want which has been very successful but we felt it was time for a change, which is where ‘Live Below the Line’ comes in. This campaign is in aid of The Trussell Trust and the Runnymede Food Bank, with the aim of raising awareness surrounding extreme poverty in the UK and the hardships many people face every day just trying to get their basic needs. How have you been ge...
Sports & Socs

An Interview with… MTS & Women’s Rugby!

I'm sat in Founders south quad on a gorgeous summer day. Across from me are Lewis Mullins, Pippa Gentry and Matt Abrams from the Musical Theatre Society. Lewis is the President, Pippa, President-Elect, and Matt has been Musical Director of various productions including Little Shop of Horrors and Summer Cabaret last year. I feel awkward to have propositioned these people that I barely know to interview them about their past achievements of the year. And what achievements they are. Lewis dives straight in with the statistics I suspect he’s quoted many times before. Three productions, and the intensive weekend show with twenty musical numbers. Not always easy to remember, Matt cuts in. Imaginably so. Volunteering has been a massive part of the year, with shows entertaining Melwood Old P...