We’re half way through rehearsals now and thought it was time to hear from the talented Director of All Shook Up, Sallie Warrington.
For those who are unfamiliar with All Shook up, could you tell us about it?
ALL SHOOK UP follows a Midwestern town that is thrown into a frenzy with the arrival of Chad a good looking roustabout who rides from town to town with his guitar, his blue suede shoes and song in his heart. Repressed by their conservative Mayoress the town starts to come to life. Lovers meet, woo and pursue and all in one night!!
It is based loosely on Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night, in which a girl disguises herself as a man to be near the man she adores only to be pursued by the woman he loves.
All set to the amazing music of Elvis.
What attracted you to directing this show with LODS?
I am a massive Elvis fan!!
I visited Graceland in the early 90’s, it was quite something to walk round his house and see his gravestone. I still firmly believe I would have been the next Mrs Presley!!!
The show is jam packed with the very best of his music and when I heard the soundtrack I loved the arrangements and the zany way they had written them into the show.
You’re Choreographing the show as well as Directing it! Did the original Broadway production influence your take on the staging? Is it a challenge to bring this musical to life?
I have to be honest and say no! I try not to watch anyone else’s productions before I start working on a show. After all, the society have employed me for my vision and not to reproduce somebody else’s.
This production is very much based around the choreography and I love this era so the music really inspires me. It also helps to have a Full Company that move and love to be challenged with new and adventurous choreography.
I always go to every rehearsal with the number completely set, with only two hours to get it done, there is no time for “workshopping”!! But sometimes what takes me two hours to set with the company may well have taken four hours to set at home!
What have been some of the biggest challenges during this process?
The biggest challenge has been the set. Fortunately, I have the amazing Sophie Cable and Glenn Oxenbury who really know their stuff! These days the trucks that are sent are big and cumbersome and leave little room for movement on the stage, so we work together to try and make sure we are still getting the effect we want without the hassle of noisy scene changes! I hate a Black out!!
How does Directing All Shook Up differ from previous productions you have worked on?
The script is totally crazy so with this one I have had to make sure that it doesn’t cross the line and become a pantomime. Act 2 is very fast paced, you can easily lose the audience. I have had to ensure that the direction is slick but clear.
Do you have a favourite song or bit of script from the show?
So many songs to choose from! “Can’t Help Falling In Love” is a lovely arrangement but I guess my all time favourite is “If I Can Dream” it is very personal to me and the words are very poignant.
What advice would you give to aspiring Directors?
Always go to every rehearsal prepared. You have to remember that you are the Director and not the performer, no matter how well you think you may play the part, the cast don’t want to see it. Structure of a rehearsal is vital.
Your company have to have faith and trust in what you are asking them to do so a respectful approach is paramount in achieving the very best you can out of them.
When I am setting I think of it from an audience perspective, what would I want to see?
Make sure that you know exactly how the show is going to work at the theatre, entrances and exits, lighting requirements and general logistics of how the set is going to work. There is only ever a very short amount time to Tech your show.
Finally, what should audiences expect when they come and see All Shook up and why do you think they should book their tickets asap?
The script is very funny and I have such fantastic Principals and Company that bring the whole show to life.
It will be an evening full of laughter, fast paced and energetic production numbers and fabulous music. Everyone should get there tickets asap so as not to be disappointed.
To see the finished product book your tickets below. We are at the Palace Theatre from 8th – 11th May 2019. Can’t wait to see you there!