’10am. Sunday morning. Porter’s. A group of twenty or so artists gather in the chilly dimly lit pub theatre, and an excitedly nervous hubbub pervades the air. In approximately 8 hours, this group of talented and vastly unique collaborators will be sharing their work to a sold out audience at The Other Room; and it’s a thrilling atmosphere.
The final day of 10 Minute Musicals ran with each of our groups one by one spending some time in the space to make final changes, work on final moments, and preparing for the showing.
One of the greatest things about the 10 Minute Musicals project is the broadly ranging experience on offer in every collaborative group; there is a small handful of writers and composers who are somewhat established, and used to an environment in which their work is shared with an audience, but even more excitingly, some groups have individuals completely new to writing, and this whole process has been new to them.
From an Emerging Director’s perspective, the final day was largely one of the most helpful as a facilitator; utilising my skills of offering feedback and help without Directing, in order to ensure this remains an Artist and collaborator-led project, one of the most unique things about the 10 Minute Musicals project.
The final showing received an overwhelmingly positive response, being completely sold out, and with an extremely enthusiastic audience. Again, one of the most prominent things during the showing was the variety on offer, and the different approaches each collaborative had taken to create their final 10 Minute Musicals. And that, truly, is what the project is about. Some groups will leave having experimented with completely new writing styles, whilst others will have advanced their own refined skills, and whatever the individuals take from the project, I can certainly say that all groups have collaborated in new exciting ways, to create five unique stand alone pieces of musical theatre, some of which are sure to develop into further realised project in the near future, and hopefully these collaborations can continue outside of the organised environment that we’ve created as part of 10 Minute Musicals for the last 3 weeks.
To conclude, I’ve had a joyous time as part of the 10 Minute Musicals team; some beneficial skills of my own have been tested, and I’ve had the unrivalled opportunity to witness a collaborative environment like no other, which will hopefully start to put the necessary wheels in motion to creating a grassroots level Musical Theatre scene in Cardiff.
If you’ve got the itch to stretch your writing and collaborative muscles, and any reservations about doing so, Leeway’s 10 Minute Musicals project is an ideal way to experience writing with like-minded individuals, in an exploratory and collaborative manner. It’s been a great three weeks, and I hope that this is just the beginning of a wider scene of new Musical Theatre in Cardiff.