I’m Amy and I run a musical production company with my friend Becky, called Ruby Red. We’re producing Rock of Ages at the Maltings in Ely this July. This is our blog. Follow us on Facebook or buy show tickets here.
What do you think of when you hear the words ‘amateur theatre’? I’ve heard all sorts over the years. Amateur (of course). A bit naff. Average? I guess in the past amateur theatre might not have had a great reputation; dodgy costumes, less than slick scene changes, and more than anything… mediocre acting. I’ve definitely been to see some not-so-great shows. However, in recent years the bar has definitely been set a lot higher. So what do I think when I hear the words ‘amateur theatre’? I think passion. Commitment. Talent.
When I was setting up a few things for Ruby Red recently I had to decide whether to class what we do as amateur or professional. I said “define amateur”. They said “for the love; that you are running your production for the sheer love of performance, to give non-professionals the chance to perform in local productions which will entertain the community”. Tick tick tick. That is exactly what we are about.
Becky and I LOVE theatre. We work and perform across multiple local groups, have lifelong friends we’ve made through our pursuits and we literally dedicate hours and hours… and hours of our lives to it, as do countless others. The majority of those people may not get paid a single bean for giving up month after month of their lives to entertain countless audience members. They do it because they love it. As do we.
What is so great about amateur theatre these days is the caliber out there. You’d be astounded how good some of these shows are. The performing talent has gone through the roof in the last few years with people who spend their working week as teachers/social health workers/postmen treading the boards on a regular basis. These people have talent, and it’s a pleasure to watch. It’s an honour to go along and support these people, whether you know them or not. And it’s far from “amateur”.
But it doesn’t stop there. The endless people behind the scenes strive just as hard to give the audience as slick a show as possible. Of course there are limits. Money is never plentiful and there is always something you wish you could have done better if your budget (and time) wasn’t so limited, but we work with what we have and we feel proud with what we achieve. It’s lot of work. But, we love it.
Because we love it so much we wanted to show you what it’s all about, which is why we’re giving you an Access All Areas pass to look behind the curtain of Ruby Red and really see how we do things. Every week from now until Rock of Ages we’ll give you a little insight into what we’ve been doing and each time we’ll focus around a particular topic.
I’ll be back soon to talk about one of the most important areas of producing a theatre show; PLANNING.
Until then… keep rockin’!