Special Feature: Chat with Musicality

For this interview, I am delighted to be sharing the company of members from University of Nottingham’s Musical Theatre Society, Musicality. Kate and Claire have very kindly agreed to explain their role with the society and their upcoming show, Fame.

Names: Kate Shields and Claire Wimbush


Kate:   Philosophy

Claire: History and East European studies


Kate: 3rd Year

Claire: 1st Year

What is your role in Musicality?

Kate: I am currently a Co-Director for the upcoming show, Fame.

Claire: I’m an actor, playing the role of Carmen in the show Fame

What is the audition process like for your roles?

Kate: Each year, various teams audition and propose their chosen musical. The winners from the previous year choose which team and which musical to showcase. This year we were fortunate enough to be chosen for both our choice of musical and our team. Our team also agreed on the idea of me taking on the role of Co-Director for our show.

Claire: The audition process was right at the beginning of term and I got a call back a week later. Ever since then I have been attending rehearsals during the week.

What first interested you in taking up a position with Musical Theatre at Nottingham?

Claire: I have always been involved in musical theatre in some form or another. I participated in amateur productions and stage coach. It’s something that I have always wanted to be involved in as it’s such great fun. Musicality is different form school productions because the entire society is run by students from the university, the society really stresses the value and importance of teamwork for success.

Kate: Pretty much the same thing as Claire. I have loved performing ever since I was young. I used to dance and in sixth form I participated as a cast member for theatre productions. This time I wanted to try something different so I got involved with the crew as a Co-Director. That doesn’t mean that I don’t get the odd pang of jealousy when I see all those lovely costumes though!

Your roles with Musicality seem like such fun, how do you manage to maintain a balance with your studies?

Kate: Being in 3rd year is scary but you just manage to somehow pull through it. For me, a key aspect is that I don’t view being involved in the production as a chore. It’s something that I genuinely love doing in my free time. Having an incredibly supportive team does help though! For example, if one person has an essay due in one week then another person takes over and vice versa. Also, the weekend rehearsals are just a great time to socialise and get to know everybody.

Claire:  For me, it’s different being a fresher compared to Kate, being a 3rd year. I have to say that attending rehearsals three times a week does seem overwhelming at first but it has been a massive part of my first term and I wouldn’t change it for the world. To manage the work/life balance I would say that organisation is the biggest thing. The best thing to do is to buy a diary and write down your daily schedule.

Does your role with Musicality reflect your career goals?

Claire: I did seriously consider musical theatre as a focus for my main career goal, coincidentally around the same time as exams, but I’ve changed my mind since then. However, it'll always be something that I want to do solely for enjoyment and pushing myself to be out of my comfort zone every once in a while.

Kate: I have a similar answer to Claire. When I was choosing a university for further study I was really in two minds. But I reached a conclusion that I wanted a degree under my belt before I consider anything further. It’s also a very vigorous industry, you have to be very mentally strong to survive and I don’t think I was quite ready at the time. However, it really is something that once you’ve had a taste you can’t quite stop taking part.

Do you have any last tips for any students wishing to take part with musicality next year?

Kate: Just give it a go. That’s what I did and it’s the best decision I made.

Claire: Also, go on socials because it’s the best way to meet people and integrate yourself into the society.

Well I thank you both very much for taking the time out to conduct this interview. It has certainly given us an insight into how fun musical theatre can be. Make sure you check out Musicality’s upcoming show, Fame, at the Nottingham Arts Theatre, George Street which is easily accessible via the 34 bus route. The show will be performed from the 15th till the 18th of February at 7:30pm and 2:30pm for the Saturday matinee.  

Make sure to check out Musicality at :

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/musicalitynottingham

Website: www.urn1350.net

Twitter: https://twitter.com/MusicalityNotts

Instagram: http://instagram.com/musicalitynotts

Edited by Jenine Tudtud