It's nearly time to 'attend the tale of Sweeney Todd' at the Old Fire Station; as such, we thought we'd pop into rehearsals to see how our fabulous young company are getting on!
Rehearsals were well underway in Marston when we arrived, and we were fortunate enough to catch a run of Act II - which, we're happy to report, had us totally enthralled.
One of the most thrilling (and at times gruesome) musicals ever written, Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street is Sondheim's gripping re-imagining of Christopher Bond's play. Fifteen years after being wrongfully imprisoned in an Australian penal colony, Sweeney Todd returns to London to find that Judge Turpin - the man who sentenced him - has abused his wife and adopted his only daughter. The resultant tale is a combination of bloody vengeance, deliciously dark humour, and spine-tingling music...
First performed in 1979, Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street has been awarded both Tony and Olivier Awards for Best Musical. Its memorable score and captivating plot makes it an eternal favourite with audiences and theatre groups alike.
Rehearsals are underway for our first ever London production, Into the Woods, which will be performed at the Stockwell Playhouse (formerly LOST Theatre) between 23rd - 26th August 2017 - so we had to stop by and say hello to our fabulous new team!
The sounds of fantastic singing and witty dialogue filled the air as we entered the Stockwell Playhouse's own studio earlier this week, where we found the company hard at work bashing through Act One. We even caught a sneak preview of the toe-tapping first act finale, 'Ever After', complete with stirring harmonies and deft dance moves.
In between songs and scenes, the young actors were hard at work with arts and crafts (I shall say no more - take a close look at the set when you come to see the show!). They even hit the streets of London to do a spot of flyering, hoping to tempt theatre-goers down to South London in a couple of weeks. Keep your eyes peeled if you're out and about in the big city - you might spot them on a high street near you!
Olly (director), Meredith (producer) and Finan (musical director) have a quick chinwag after a successful day of rehearsals.
If you want to help our hugely talented London team get the 'happily ever after' they deserve, don't forget to show your support by coming to see the show! With spine-tingling performances, sensational music and sharp dialogue, RicNic's unique production of Stephen Sondheim’s spellbinding musical will enchant you until the very end. To book tickets, visit the Stockwell Playhouse website or give them a call on 0207 622 9208.
Into the woods,
It's time to go.
I hate to leave,
I have to, though...
Once upon a time, there was a talented team of RicNic alumni who wished to put on a show. Instead of a fairy castle, they had the LOST Theatre in Vauxhall; and instead of the Brothers Grimm, they had the prodigious talents of Stephen Sondheim to draw on. The result? A new RicNic branch and an exciting new production of Into the Woods, to be performed in London between 23rd – 26th August!
Into the Woods begins with four wishes from four fabled characters: Cinderella, who wishes to attend the King’s festival; Jack, who wishes for his cow to produce milk; and the Baker and his wife, who long for a child. Sounds familiar, right? Wrong. Into the Woods may contain elements we’ve seen before – like golden slippers, red cloaks and magic beans –but it’s more than a simple fairytale: indeed, it’s an epic masterpiece, bursting with well-loved characters, toe-tapping numbers, and bags of wit. Stephen Sondheim’s carefully-composed tale won several Tony awards when it premiered in 1987, and has proved popular ever since: the musical has been revived countless times on stage and a Disney film adaptation – starring Meryl Streep and Johnny Depp, no less - was released in 2014 to great acclaim.
Come down to Vauxhall in August and let us whisk you away to an enchanted forest where all your wishes can come true!
Keen to get involved? Then we want to hear from you! Auditions will be held on Saturday 17th June at a central London venue - please contact the London team or check in with them on Facebook to book your slot.
‘Maria! I’ve just met a girl named Maria… and suddenly that name will never be the same to me.’
Hot on the heels of our RicNic Oxford show announcement last week, we’re now delighted to announce that RicNic Hampshire will be performing Leonard Bernstein’s masterpiece, West Side Story, in summer 2017.
The musical, which brings the themes of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet to 1950s New York, needs little introduction. The compelling story of a doomed romance blossoming against an urban backdrop of gang rivalry and ethnic tension is familiar, but always powerful. This year marks the sixtieth anniversary of the original production - yet the material is as relevant today as it was then.
Directed and choreographed by Jerome Robbins, with a book by Arthur Laurents and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim (marking his Broadway debut, no less), the original production of West Side Story was nominated for six Tony Awards, whilst the 1961 film was nominated for an amazing eleven Academy Awards (winning ten). Lauded for its sophisticated story, fantastic dance sequences, and memorable music, West Side Story has been performed internationally and revived on countless occasions, and is widely held to be one of the greatest musicals of all time.
With a host of amazing songs to sing along to (including ‘America’ ‘I Feel Pretty’ and ‘Tonight’), dance numbers to tap toes to, and dramatic moments to bite nails to, one thing is certain: RicNic Hampshire have an unforgettable treat in store for us this summer. Don’t miss it!
Want to learn more or fancy getting involved in this year's production? Please do get in touch with the Hampshire team or follow them on Facebook or Twitter for all the latest updates. We can’t wait to hear from you!
'Attend the tale of Sweeney Todd...'
After months of discussion and feverish planning, we're thrilled to announce that RicNic Oxford will be staging Steven Sondheim's Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street this summer. Yes, you read that right: this year, our ambitious participants will be tackling one of the most infamous fictional villains ever created, via one of the most dark and delightful musicals ever written - to say we're excited is an understatement!
Long before Steven Sondheim was composing avian-themed arias (see 'Green Finch and Linnet Bird'...!) or Johnny Depp was slinking about murderously on screen, the character of Sweeney Todd made his literary debut in The String of Pearls: A Romance (a Victorian penny dreadful). There wasn't much about the story that we'd think of as romantic, though - instead, the tale concerned the now-familiar scenario of a barber with a penchant for murdering his unsuspecting customers...
Over a hundred years - and several dramatisations - later, writer Christopher Bond turned this grisly tale into a play, with the aim of portraying a more sympathetic side to Todd. In this version, Todd is a barber who returns to London fifteen years after being wrongfully imprisoned in an Australian penal colony, only to find that Judge Turpin - the man who sentenced him - has abused his wife and adopted Todd's only daughter. It was this version of Sweeney Todd that caught the attention of Stephen Sondheim, who turned it into a thrilling musical. First performed in 1979, Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street has been awarded both Tony and Olivier Awards for Best Musical, and is beloved by audiences for its fantastic score and gripping plot.
We can't wait to see what RicNic Oxford does with it - we know it'll be one unmissable show!
If you'd like to know more about the show, or if you're interested in getting involved, we'd love to hear from you! Drop the RicNic Oxford team a line (email@example.com) or follow them on Facebook or Twitter. Or, if you'd just like to know more about RicNic and how you can support our talented young participants, don't hesitate to contact Development and Production Manager Alexandra Finlay (firstname.lastname@example.org).
The RicNic family continues to grow… quite literally! Now that the charity is in its fourteenth year, we have many plans for its expansion, and are very excited to share the details of a recent - and important - development: the launch of our third branch, which will be in London.
For the last few months we've been hard at work preparing for our first production, recruiting an experienced, expert team and finding a venue. Though the details/contracts are not yet finalised (more info when/if they are!), we're thrilled to be in serious talks with a venue that’s not only in a great location, but also works closely with the local youth community. This particular theatre could be an excellent fit for RicNic.
As mentioned, there's still much to be finalised, but we’re proud to have a wonderful team – many of whom have worked with RicNic before – on board to guide the fledgling branch to success. Please welcome our first ever RicNic London team!
Producers – Adela Rajnovic and George Lee
Director – Harry Pudwell
Musical Director – Finan Jones
Assistant Musical Director – Ed Liebrecht
Congratulations, Team London: we can't wait to see what fantastic things you have in store for us in the summer of 2017.
Keep up to date with our latest news – including updates on the London branch – by signing up to our mailing list or by following us on Facebook or Twitter. Alternatively, if you have any questions, feel free to contact our Development and Production Manager, Alexandra Finlay, or get in touch with the RicNic London team directly: email@example.com.
After a competitive application process, we're very pleased to announce that appointments for next year's production teams have now been made. Our new teams bring an exciting mix of talent, dedication and experience to their positions. We can't wait to work with them!
Producer - Elie Suter
Director - Chris Schweppe
Musical Director - Dexter Drown
Technical Director - India Marsden
Producers - Josie Hayden and Matthew McLaughlin
Director - Emily Pacey
Musical Director - Lottie Mitchell
Congratulations to all those appointed; and - as ever - we do hope that those who have been unsuccessful this time will keep taking part and apply for future RicNic roles.
Here's to another year of fantastic shows! Don't forget to like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter so that you can keep up to date with all our news.
2016 has been another superb year for RicNic, with the introduction of our first paid employee, Development and Production Manager Alexandra Finlay, the launch of our first donor scheme – ‘Friends’ of RicNic – and the production of two fantastic shows by RicNic Oxford and RicNic Hampshire.
Keen to build on this success, with exciting expansion plans in the pipeline, the existing RicNic trustees – Ben Nicholls, Nick Morris and Ed Goble – felt that it was time to bring some new talent on board – or rather, on Board! Following an open, transparent and comprehensive recruitment process, we’re very pleased to announce the appointment of three new trustees: Vicky Rees, Helen Dutta, and Sam Oladeinde.
With experience in a range of fields, from law to fundraising, all three trustees bring a wealth of knowledge and enthusiasm to the table.
'As RicNic grows, it felt important that the Board of Trustees – and the knowledge and expertise on it – grew too,’ says RicNic founder and chair, Ben Nicholls. ‘Ed, Nick and I are proud of what RicNic has achieved to date, but new perspectives are always important. All three of the new trustees share our feelings about what makes RicNic special, and our vision for future. We’re delighted to welcome them to the Board, and look forward to learning from them and making use of their very considerable talents!’
To learn more about our new trustees, please visit the ‘RicNic Team’ page.
Following a summer of superb shows, we're delighted to announce that applications are now open for RicNic 2017!
2017 promises to be another truly memorable year for RicNic, and we can't wait to see what's in store. First, we need to appoint our RicNic Hampshire and RicNic Oxford production teams: consisting of the director, producer, musical director, technical director and choreographer, these teams are responsible for all creative and organisational aspects of the show.
Some background details
RicNic is a youth theatre charity that is open to anyone between the ages of 16-21. Each year, we give our two branches - RicNic Hampshire and RicNic Oxford - the funding and support by which to put on a full-scale musical at a professional local theatre.
Whilst the central RicNic team are on hand to advise and guide our young companies, everything - from the tapping to the trumpet-playing to the ticket sales - is taken on by the participants themselves, without adult supervision. The end results are always fabulous: fantastic shows that play out to crowded houses, and friendships that are formed for life.
For many of our young participants, it's the biggest challenge they've ever faced - but it's also the most fun!
How to apply
We're looking for capable and enthusiastic individuals to head up the production teams at both branches. As ever, anyone between the ages of 16 - 21 can apply for the roles of director, producer, musical director, technical director and choreographer - all of which are exciting, challenging and rewarding positions. If you'd like to know more about what these roles entail, please view our online production team descriptions; alternatively, feel free to send an email to Development and Production Manager, Alexandra Finlay, via firstname.lastname@example.org. She will be very happy to answer any questions that you may have.
You can apply either as an individual or a group (with all roles filled, or some missing). All you need to do if you want to apply is email email@example.com with three simple things:
* A short paragraph explaining why you want the role and what you think you can bring to it
* A brief description of the experience which you think makes you right for the role (don't worry if there's not much - enthusiasm is more important!)
* Some factual details: full name, age on 1st August 2017, email address and phone number
Applications should be received by Monday 7th November 2016.
Well, that's about it from us for now: we're so excited to get planning for next year. Please don't hesitate to get in touch if you have any questions - and please don't hesitate to apply! We can't wait to hear from you.
Alex and the Trustees
We’ve been delighted to learn that tickets for both of this year’s shows – Guys and Dolls (RicNic Hampshire) and Thoroughly Modern Millie (RicNic Oxford) – are flying off the 'shelves', as it were.
Indeed, if you're coming to see one of our shows this week, we’re giving you an extra reason to celebrate: the chance to win a £50 gift voucher by connecting with us on social media after your trip to the theatre!
How to enter
To enter our special show week competition, simply like us on Facebook and/or follow us on Twitter; then post a message to our Facebook wall or tweet us letting us know your favourite thing about our productions of Guys and Dolls or Thoroughly Modern Millie. Be sure to use the hashtags #RicNicDolls or #RicNicMillie, too!
Closing date and terms
The competition runs until 29th August, and the winner of a £50 John Lewis voucher will be announced on the 30th – don’t forget to check our Facebook andTwitter pages for the results.
If you have any queries regarding the competition, please feel free to contact Development and Production Manager, Alex Finlay, by emailing: firstname.lastname@example.org. Full terms and conditions can be viewed on our competition rules page.
We hope you enjoy the shows and look forward to seeing you there!
The RicNic Team