Testimonials from some of the student cast and crew

Principal Cast

“I love musical theatre and being a transfer student here this year, everyone told me good things about the annual production and that it was really exciting to be a part of. I came to CCCU just to do the last year of my degree and I’ve absolutely loved it here. I’ve learnt a lot in a short space of time that I didn’t think I would and the musical has been a great way to round that off. Its been loads of fun. The intensive period of the musical really taught me a lot. It’s a great way to prepare for the industry as you get a lot done, but are only given a short space of time to do it, as you would in the real world. You take away so much repertoire and experience from the musical that is just so valuable if you are looking for a career on stage. After this I’m excited to be joining the West End cast of Hamilton to apply what i’ve learnt here.” – Nicole Botha (Morticia Addams)

 

 

“I was really interested in doing more performing and I’ve never done a musical before so I thought TheAddams Family would be a good experience for me. It has definitely given me more confidence in singing and I feel I’ve improved markedly from where I started so I’d like to take that forward in the future. I would most definitely do it again, its been great, but I think I would try a different kind of role, like possibly directorial, just to stretch that muscle and to gain that experience, being involved in different way.”

– Jack Galpin (Gomez Addams)

“I’ve never done a full musical before, but I did join the Musical Theatre society when I arrived (I’m an international student on an exchange year from Texas). I really enjoy the experience of performing, but I wanted to do more than Dance, which is my major, so I’m used to doing that on stage but not so much acting and singing so I figured it would be a nice way to get into that and I haven’t been proven wrong – it has been amazing. When I leave I will take with me a few things: always work as hard as you can, the way you practice is how you perform it so I’m glad I’ve been doing everything full out to the best of my ability because when the audience is in front of you and the lights are on you you rely on muscle memory for that and its important to push as hard as you can. I am so sad I won’t be here to be involved next year but I’d encourage anyone to do it – it’s a great introduction to the world of real performance, with intensive rehearsals that have hard long hours which replicates a professional experience.” – Chelsea Debonopaula (Wednesday Addams)

“This the first musical I’ve done at CCCU. I decided to get involved as I’m in my last year and wanted to go out with a bang. So what better way to celebrate. I started with an ensemble role then ended up taking on a principal role so that has changed my experience massively. Ensemble was more of a singing role, but moving to play Grandma has been great as its more acting focussed and that’s more of my strength and what I want to do in future so its worked out well. I’ve never played either an elderly role or a comedy role before so it was great to branch out and do that so its given me the skills and the confidence to know that I am capable of unfamiliar roles. This process can be a lot of stress but its so worth it and you make amazing friends. It’s a brilliant experience.” – Amy Morbin (Grandma Addams)

“I was involved in the musical in my first year, last year, I played Walter De Courcey in Chess, and I chose to do it again this year because its such a fun experience and nice getting to know more new people and working with the same friends again. Fester is so different for Walter so its great to learn a new way of acting. I’ve learnt I can do voices and accents and I can be far more versatile with my character choices than I thought and how I can portray them. I would definitely do it again and I would encourage others because while it is really hard work, if its an industry you want to get into its really great experience and a chance to get out there and do what you love.” –  Declan Mccoy (Fester Addams)

“I’ve been in the musicals for the past two years and they are just so much fun and I get to meet so many new people, especially mixing with those from other disciplines. Its such a great collaborative experience. You learn so much about yourself and about others during this kind of process. I’ve progressed, being an ensemble member in both Thoroughly Modern Millie and Chess, but with more lines and singing given to me each time, it has really enhanced my confidence and my ability in both vocals and acting that allowed me to go for a principal role. I will be doing the musical next year and id recommend it to anyone as its just such a handy tool for preparing for the industry, as you learn about the rehearsal process, work with directors, stage management and tech. It’s a welcome into the professional world without as much stress or pressure.” – Ben Clark (Pugsley Addams)

“I auditioned for Chess last year and I did get given a principal role, but sadly due to unforeseen circumstances I couldn’t participate. I was so disappointed to miss out, I was always going to come back to do it this year, especially with it being my last and i wanted to do something to end it properly and with my friends. I think one of the biggest ways I’ve improved is working with people. I normally work as a solo artist so its been great to work as a collaborative. I understand that environment now, have learnt the kinds of people I’d work with and how everything works. This is a great experience, a great way to make friends, to build your repertoire, and I’d encourage anyone to give it a go.” – Joe Whitbread (Mal Beineke)

 

“I decided to do the musical because its my favourite thing about being at this University, having done it last year. I played Florence in Chess and it was so much fun and its what i love to do so there was no way i wasn’t going to get involved this time round. I’ve learnt how to be professional, how to cope under pressure and its prepared me for what its going to be like in the industry, especially in terms of long working hours. The musical is what sold this University to me. When i came to view CCCU i watched Jesus Christ Superstar (2014) and it blew me away and that made my decision to come here. I would 100% tell any students that come here to do the musical because it will be one of the best experiences you have here.” – Mollie King (Alice Beineke)

“I’ve never been involved before due to other commitments and that was the main reason I wanted to be involved this year. So many of my friends on the course have done it before and spoke so highly of it, especially after Chess, and I thought it would be something interesting for me to do at the end of my final year. I’ve improved across the board but mainly its been on the dance side. I’ve never really got involved in any type of dance while I’ve been at Uni, which is a big regret for me now, as I’ve really enjoyed it. Working with Warrick and Shanice (choreographers) especially in the tango was such a highlight. Moving forward I’d like to take some dance workshops and see where it takes me. The musical is a great way to meet new people as well as network. There’s no better way to finish Uni for me.” – George White (Lucas Beineke)

 

“The musical is a brilliant way to get to know everyone in the School and its such a fun experience for the end of my university life. For me its so interesting to watch all the backstage stuff that’s going on, the whole process that goes into making something like this, which makes me admire everyone involved in all the different areas and I’ll definitely have a new outlook when I go to see shows in future knowing this. I’d love to become an onscreen actor in future and this experience will go towards helping me get there.” – Chris Ball (Lurch)


        Production Team

 

“I watched last year’s production of Chess and was so impressed. I didn’t expect it to be as good as it was or on such a large scale and then really wished I had got involved. It was such a professional production, I knew I couldn’t miss out this year. I think my confidence as a director has grown. You learn good techniques to take into the professional world with you. This is an amazing experience. I’ve met and worked with so many people, some who were in my year the whole time but I’d never come across. Its such a big team of people coming together to make something, its both a great learning experience and social experience.” – Izzy Galbraith (Associate Director)

“I’ve always had a passion for musicals, but never had the confidence to get involved. The musical at CCCU was a new process and challenge for me but one I am so glad I took on. Its my last year at Uni so I was already considering getting involved but my decision was made with the choice of show. I had seen The Addams Family before professionally, but the shows in previous years I was unfamiliar with. Having seen it, it gave me ideas to take forward and I felt I could bring a particular comedic aspect to our show and its been thoroughly enjoyable. I feel I have definitely grown as a director with this experience. I have directed before but not on this scale or in musicals. I have learnt to work in such large group here, with many different personalities and characters and learning how to handle each type of person. I’d recommend this to other people looking to direct because in the taught modules here we don’t really get another opportunity like it – while we do immersive theatre, object theatre – this is the chance to get experience in straight down the line musical theatre which there isn’t really the chance to do else where.” – Chris Case (Associate Director)


“When I found out this year’s musical would be The Addams Family, I thought yes I’ve got to be involved with this one. I have seen the show previously and loved it. The choice of show made a big difference to me. Also I feel like the publicity for the show was high this year, I knew when everything was happening and how to get involved. Being involved from the beginning really helped me grow as a stage manager. When we do it as a module, because its doing term time people have already done half the work we are supposed to do so we sort of come in half way through and feel like we’re swimming in deep water. Whereas this time I’ve been there from the start and I’ve been able to do things like schedules and getting the cast involved in things and checking they’re okay. I also now know what it takes to complete the full process of doing a musical like this from start to finish and stage management is what I want to do when I leave Uni. The musical is a good way to get to know people – there’s people involved that I’d never previously spoken to in my 3 years here and its such a fun experience, I’d encourage any one to get involved.”  – Jody Reid (Company Stage Manager)

“I have done musicals back in my own country (Slovakia) during my high school studies, but none at CCCU. This year at University I discovered that I want to have a career backstage and I knew that doing the musical would be a great experience for me, especially with the chance to be DSM and call the show. I learned how to listen, how to work as a team and be patient. I would definitely do it again next year as I loved working with such an amazing bunch of people and I really enjoyed the weeks working on this show…I’m slightly worried about it all finishing as I don’t know what to do with myself when I get up in the morning! I’ll be missing the experience and everyone involved.” – Dominika Novysedlak (Deputy Stage Manager)


“When I saw all the advertisements for the musical this year and found a lot of my friends were joining the cast, I wanted to get some experience with behind the scenes stuff, which I have never done before, so I interviewed for the design team. The idea of getting some experience in all fields (as I have previously been a performer) really appealed to me so that I would have a bit of everything to take with me when I leave Uni and try to get into the professional world. I understand the process of a production on this scale now, which I would never have done before. I never knew how many people are required to create something of this size and the hierarchy of those involved, which really helped to replicate a professional experience for me. I’d encourage anyone to get involved in future. Its such a great use of time – I had nothing to do when I finished Uni for the year after my exams and this not only consumed my time but did so with something that I love and I’ve just really enjoyed it. – Amy Chambers (Propmaster)


“This is my first and last time doing the musical, but I’m going on to study a PGCE so I really wanted an intense teaching environment for dance, with a large group to work in as I’ve only worked in small groups of younger age groups before. I really wanted that experience of working with people my age or older and on such a large production. This is the biggest thing I’ve done so far. I have learnt a lot about myself, that I am capable of taking charge of a large group of people and take that leadership role that id never really experienced so its great to know I can do that and I’ve had the chance to develop it too. The musical is a mountain to climb but its such a big relief when everything comes together and such a good feeling to see it all in front of you. Everyone pulls together even though people are from different departments theres not one person that hasn’t helped someone else and everyone chips in it’s a great environment to have worked in.” – Shanice Jones (Choreographer)


“I’ve been in all three musicals during my years here. In Thoroughly Modern Millie I was a performer, in Chess I was DSM and for The Addams Family, production manager. I have changed role every year in order to advance my skill set. I’ve learnt how to manage a large team of people across varying departments. In my previous roles you mostly focus on the cast, but this year its been taking care of absolutely every body. I would encourage anyone to get involved in the musicals as I’ve learnt a lot more on them than I feel I have in my lectures as this is first hand experience that you can apply in the real world.” – Fran Manktelow (Production Manager)

 

 


“I haven’t done any musicals at CCCU before but I decided to get involved because I’m really passionate about stage management and I just got a job in that field in the Marlowe Theatre so I thought that the musical would be great experience to help with that. From being involved in the musical I now understand how the process works, how intense rehearsals can be and whats expected from you. I have also learnt what to do when things go wrong so I feel I’m well prepared thanks to this experience. I’d love to get involved again, everyone is so nice and its brilliant industry experience.” – Charlotte Hall (ASM)

“I really wanted to get some experience in assistant stage managing because that’s what Id like to do for a career. Up until university I’d always been on stage instead of back stage but after studying stage management it made me realise it was something I’d like to do and with the opportunity of the musical coming up I was so pleased to take it on. Working on the musical you learn to work with laods of different types of people, learn to keep a level head and understand that tempers flare sometimes when everyone is working really hard and not to take it personally. I’ve learnt how to deal with performers getting ill during the show and how to keep the show moving even if things go wrong.  I’m glad when things don’t go smoothly and you can always learn from your mistakes. I’d definitely get involved in my final year; I’ve met so many great people from the years above and below and its sad because the ones who are leaving I wish I’d met a year ago. Its an experience I’ve never had before and I’m sad that its coming to an end. There really is nothing like it.” – Scarlett Millar-Chambers (ASM)

“I’ve been involved with musicals but never at CCCU and always on stage. But during University I’ve discovered that I would much rather have a career back stage. You’re involved but with less drama and you don’t miss out on any opportunities being in theatre. I thought why not make the most of the experiences offered at University, especially something as big as the musical. I wanted to do it last year but unfortunately the timings clashed with other things.  I’ve learnt the importance of working as a team, throughout all departments and learning  what each department does specifically. Being on stage you don’t get to work with as many people as I have this year, like the band and the producers, so you don’t always understand what their job roles are. So by doing this I get to understand everything.” – Charlotte Beeby (ASM)


Ensemble (Ancestors)

The Addams Family is one of my favourite musicals and I’ve been in the MPA music in all three years I’ve been at Uni. I’ve learnt how to be professional when working with different and difficult people, which I think is really useful. You learn how to push your own limits and what you’re really capable of, it gives you that boost and that confidence. I’d absolutely recommend this experience to anyone, its so fantastic and you meet so many great people. I’ve met the most chilled out, like minded people and you realise that as you go through the process how many students there are from other year groups that you otherwise don’t really get to interact with but now can. They get to ask us questions and we get to share our experiences and its great.” – Jessica Ratcliffe

“I wasn’t able to get involved last year, which was a shame, so I was absolutely determined to make sure I was available this year. Declan is my best friend and he played Walter in Chess (2017) and spoke so highly of the process I just didn’t want to miss out. Everything sounded and looked amazing. My communication skills have improved massively during the musical and it has really brought me out of my shell and I’m so grateful for that. This is the best experience I’ve had since being at Uni and I would love to take part again next year. I’ve worked with such incredible human beings and I would 100% recommend it.” – Amelia Hogben

 

“I got involved in the musical because this is my first year at uni and I haven’t performed since secondary school and I really miss it. Being involved has allowed me to get to know so many new people, especially outside of my year. When I found out there was so many people involved, I was anxious at first but so encouraging to see how many people were interested. I would recommend it to anyone who wants to put themselves out there and make new friends and have a lot of fun as well. I voted for Addams Family in the poll to choose this year’s musical so was really pleased with the result!” – Annie Fyfe

 

“I saw the UK tour of the show which I really liked and thought it would be great to be a part of here. I also saw it as an opportunity to get better at dancing by being in the ensemble and I feel I’ve done that. Ive learnt a lot more about how the process of a musical works, as although I’ve been involved in them before, its been more amateur and this is on a far larger scale. I’d definitely get involved again, although its been hard work and very tiring its been a lot of fun and doing the shows have been amazing.” – Fiona Donaldson.

“I wanted to try to get back into musical theatre as I have only been involved in one in the past, before I came to Uni. I love the combination of both singing and acting and I am trying to pursue that. I had never danced before being in The Addams Family and that is where I feel I have gained a new skill. I had no idea of the scale of this production before I joined, I did not realise how professional it was going to be.” – Anna Pavlikova

“I thought doing the musical would be a great experience and all my friends were doing it. From the experience I’ve learnt to pick things up quicker, especially dances and staged routines. I would get involved next year, but dependent on style. I voted this year and voted for Addams so if something similar comes up on the poll next year I’d definitely be doing it. I would encourage others to do it – its stressful, a rollercoaster and you’ll cry happy and sad tears during the process but its worth it.” – Helen Young

“I’ve always had a passion for musical theatre and I love the Addams family so being involved for me was never in doubt. i’m changing courses, from Policing to Performing Arts, so it was the right time for me to try something like this at this University. It was a great opportunity for me to not only learn how shows are composed, but also to meet the staff and students here and start making connections. I’ve learnt so much: professionalism, collaboration, my singing has improved drastically as well as my dancing and acting, absolutely everything. The musical improves your confidence and its like a family here. Everyone gets a long so well and its just so much fun.” – James Borg-Clancy

“Its my last year at Uni and I don’t study on a Performing Arts course and its been a few years since I’ve done any theatre externally so I thought it would be great to audition as its something I’m really passionate about. I came to this with fresh eyes compared to people with more experience who do study at MPA so I’ve learnt so much just being around those people. I think I’ve gained transferable skills from this experience even though I won’t be going into performing – a lot of self confidence and being around people who always build you up is so important. Its great to work with people who are all working together and pulling in the same direction. Its such an amazing experience. You meet so many different people and make such fast friends, its so lovely to meet people who are likeminded and share your passion.” – Jessie Leonard

“Last year I was too scared to audition because I was too nervous and I regretted not doing it, so this year I was adamant I wanted to be in it. I conquered the fear and went for it and I’m proud I managed to do that and I’m so pleased that I did. I’ve gained a higher level of professionalism from this, its hard work, long hours which requires a lot of concentration and love for what you’re doing. I would definitely do it again next year now that I’ve done this one and to continue my progress. If you love musical theatre, get involved. Don’t just do it because its fun but because its what you want to do, because its great experience but tough work.” – Maddy Mason

“I wasn’t able to be involved last year so I knew I wanted to be involved this year especially as its my last. Its great to work as a big team, its so important to respect everyone and their individual roles. Its such a fun experience, you get to make so many new friends and  its just so lovely to be able to go out there every night and perform and hear different audience reactions.” – Megan Burdett

“I’ve always been interested in taking part in musical theatre and just giving myself the opportunity to broaden my horizons and work with new people. My choreography skills have definitely improved from this experience. Even though I have danced a little before we are doing a different style of choreography in this production than I’m used to and so intensely. I would love to be involve again next year as I have really enjoyed the experience that this has given me, I’ve made a lot of new friends from it and I’ve built connections with people that I didn’t really know before. I’d like to build on this experience, from an ensemble role and see where it could take me in future.” – Natalie Moore

“I did Chess last year and it really pushed me to improve in all abilities, acting singing and dancing. I came to see the 2015 musical Cabaret, when I was in sixth form, and it was watching that show that made me want to come to Christ Church. This is my final year and there was no way I was going to miss out on doing the musical again and getting as much performance experience as I could. My vocals have improved massively as well as my confidence. In this show I’ve also taken on a Dance Captain role which has allowed me to help people in dance as well as dance myself and considering I would like to gain a teaching role after leaving Uni its been really beneficial. The musical pushes people further than they ever thought they could go and the community involved is just amazing. Everyone is so supportive and it would be a shame for anyone not to do it.” – Rosie Bright

“I was in Chess last year and I really enjoyed it. It was a long process and hard but its all worthwhile in the end because you spend a lot of time with good people who are all passionate about the same thing. It makes you feel like you’re one collective – it’s a good feeling. I definitely think working as a team to pull off a massive project is a great thing to learn and if I was to go into this field in the future it gives you a good idea of what it would be like in the industry.” – Hope Websdale


Musicians

“When I saw that the musical would be The Addams Family, which is one of my favourites so I was definitely going to go for it and its my final year at Christ Church so I wanted to do something I hadn’t done before. I’ve definitely gained some skills  from this experience, like improving my time keeping while i’m playing, not relying on watching the conductor for the beat. Its been an utter pleasure to improve my relationship with others in the school, not just in the band, in the cast and in stage management. I would definitely recommend the musical because it helps you gain an insight in what the industry is like to be a part of, although its not a professional production it absolutely replicates a professional experience.” – Will Marsh (Trombone)

“This is my first and last time doing the musical as its my last year here. I really wanted to branch out of the technique I’m usually used to – classically trained – but I’ve tried while at University to get into more commercial sides of music as well to broaden my skill so this was another opportunity to do that. The musical director Tim encouraged me to get involved and I was also familiar with the show. There’s not a lot like this show out there and I was interested to play in the pit band to see why its so unique and its given me a great insight into the musical itself and into the industry. I’ve gained an appreciation of different skills and talents by doing this as classical musicians don’t normally interact with actors and dancers very much and I feel like this musical has created a great inclusivity between the cast and the pit band. Its great to get an idea of the full company involved in a project like this and how important they all are. I would say to anyone thinking of doing it in future: even if the musical style isn’t your normal kind of scene, the camaraderie with the other musicians and the full cast makes it worthwhile regardless. You will gain so much appreciation for music in general and more inspiration for your instrument.” – James Lewis (Flute)

“Last year I was involved with Chess just in the band and this year I’ve taken on a bigger role as the assistantMD. As a result theres been a lot more music to learn and in a shorter space of time because I’ve helped with cast rehearsals as well but its really fun. Because I don’t have a specific role in music that I’m looking to go into in the future, these experiences have really helped to give me a broad portfolio to work from. There are so many chances to bond with this experience with other people in our School and I’m definitely going to come back as an alumni to watch the musical next year no matter what.” – Tim Whorlow (Piano / Musical Director)

“I have played with the musicians in this band before, when I was a student, and I really enjoyed in my third year being involved with Chess last year, so when I was offered the chance to come back as an alumni I couldn’t say no. Last year I played guitar and this year I’m playing bass, so it’s a nice change but its very different and difficult. You never stop learning and even having left this experience has improved my bass clef reading massively. I would more than happy to come back again in future years, but with the Broadstairs musicians coming over next year I am hoping their guitarists will be looking to get involved. Its such a different discipline and such a learning curve and it broadens your employability no end.” – Carl Emery (Bass guitar)

“I have never done the musical before and I chose to do it this year because I wanted to play more saxophone stuff and this score was a good opportunity to do that and I have an interest in musical theatre anyway. My sight reading has improved and so has my skill at transcribing, especially with programmes like Syballius. It’s a lot of trying to work out quite quickly where every part should be and pushing myself to do things I haven’t done before. I would get involved again next year because it’s a very nice atmosphere, everyones friendly and its just a great bit of fun at the end of the year. – Ellie Bartram (Saxophone)

“I wanted to be involved last year but unfortunately something came up in show week and I couldn’t so I was so pleased to do it this year. I’ve improved in a lot of ways, being able to quickly learn a score like this, expanding my repertoire, learning how my music fits in with other music parts involved. I would do it again next year as its excellent experience for me, as I am looking to go into playing in pit bands upon leaving University.” – Helen Bloom (Cello)

“I played in the band in last year’s performance of Chess and that was the reason I decided to get involved again this year because it was so good. My sight-reading has improved especially in terms of speed, musical memory has improved too. I would absolutely love to get involved again next year its just so much fun and I enjoy it so much.” – Josh Smith (Guitar)

“Tim (the assistant musical director) got in contact to let me know a drummer was needed so I thought I’d audition. I really like The Addams Family musical as well so it was a good opportunity, especially in my third term (at University of Kent) which is very quiet so its great to have something to focus on. Its been very nice to be here. I was a little bit nervous at the beginning but everyone has been so lovely. Its been great fun, making friends and getting to play, I’d be happy to come help out again next year.” – Rosa Gensale (Drum Kit)

“My friend Amelia was involved in the ensemble and she got incontact to let me know a percussionist was needed so I got in contact with the MD straight away. Its been a challenging experience as I’ve never done a musical before but apart from that its been amazing. I’ve enjoyed every minute. Working as one, in terms of timing and reading sheet music are all things I’ve learnt that will help me outside of this experience.” – Matt Button (Percussion)

 

 

 

“It’s my third musical and I have enjoyed it every year. Its challenging and has helped to improve my sight reading and counting. Its so much fun and something completely different to the rest of our course.” – Adam Buddell (Trumpet)