The CUMTS Gala Night 2022: I Got Rhythm was brilliant vibrant, and electric. It was a one-hour show all-singing, all-dancing celebration of musical theatre with a cast who should be equally celebrated. TCS interviewed Dominic Carrington, Zachary Green and Tom Hayes from the cast about why it was so special to them, too.
Dominic Carrington, who sang I Got Rhythm, Officer Krupke, I Don’t Dance, Wait for me, Blow Gabriel Blow, Cece’s Lament, Once We Were Kings and Love Thy Neighbour, particularly enjoyed “being part of the cold open and playing the piano on stage in I Got Rhythm.” He also described his “personal affection for the comedic numbers such as Krupke and Love Thy Neighbour, particularly the more physical-centric comedy of Krupke which allowed [him] to circumvent the need to do any complex dance routines (yay).” He was also honoured to preform “Cece’s Lament, written by the amazing Gabrielle James” and is certain “the Edinburgh Fringe will love Living With Sin, the original musical from which the song is taken, as much as the audience did.” Zachary Green, who described Gala as “bold, intense and thrilling,” said his favourite song was to perform was “Love Thy Neighbour, but also really enjoyed performing Blow Gabriel Blow as a company with everyone.” Tom Hayes’ main song was Stop from Mean Girls, but he also enjoyed performing Officer Krupke, claiming “it’s an easy life being a human chair.”
Dominic also stated that he had “always been interested in doing Gala, but in the past years ha[s] been scared off by the quality of dancing that was seemingly required to be involved.” However, he explained that this year “Gala was branded as being more focused on putting on a dramatic performance rather than a display of elaborate precision,” so Dominic “felt like [he] could take a risk!” Zachary also explained that, for him, “Gala is a crazy and wonderful night of songs from old theatre classics to brand new hit musicals,” and would go as far as to say that “Gala is one of the biggest theatrical highlights of the year at the ADC.” He is also interested in Gala “unique ‘event’ status – it’s on for one night only and attracts a great array of talent, from freshers to seasoned ADC performers.” Tom also had his anxieties about “hacking the choreography.” He explained that “CUMTS were running the same singing audition for both Gala and 24 Hour Musical, so [he] initially wasn’t intending to audition for Gala,” but is “so glad the prod team asked if I’d consider it, and, even though [he] was morbidly sleep deprived and hungover from a get out the night before, somehow survived it!”
Dominic also loved that “no other show offers Gala’s level of energy; compacted into such a short space of time, and you can’t help but be sucked up into the passion of it all.” He also commented that “just as the audience feed off the rapturous realisation of our commitment, we feed off their raucous, and largely drunken, shouts of love and support, which are on occasion so loud that even the band struggle to compete.” Zachary concurred, claiming that the best thing about performing on the right is “the atmosphere created by the audience who make it feel like you are performing at a rock concert!” Tom also said that he had “never seen a more hyped audience, so the energy from them gave us such a lift.”
Although I thought they all nailed it, it seems like the dancing really did come as a challenge to them all. Dominic even claimed that “there were certain songs I would stay up at night worrying about.” He also said that, since he’s “quite tall and seemingly have no joints anywhere in my body, it makes me look a bit like an inflatable balloon man blowing in the wind whenever I attempt to dance, or “move with purpose” as I more accurately describe my attempts.” Tom also highlighted that there was a “tap break in [his] solo number, and [he’d] never seen a tap show until a few weeks before the show.” Zachary also exclaimed “dancing does NOT come naturally to me!” They were all, however, very grateful for the directors and choreographers who Dominic commented were “fantastic at breaking everything down and offering 1 to 1 sessions, transforming me into someone who” said with trepidation, “can now dance…” Tom also emphasised that he would “never have managed it without Fifion who was teaching me the steps on Zoom while I had covid!”
Dominic couldn’t believe “that they got so much talent into one room,” and neither could I. Tom also added that since it was such “a unique experience which required so much time and effort, it was such a shame for it to all be over in one night!” I wish I could insert a link here and tell everyone to get tickets, but since I can’t, here’s to next years Gala!