The fabulous traditional Christmas panto once again returns to the Byre, this time taking on the classic tale of Snow White. I sat down with Lindsey Miller, a St Andrews graduate who is now a professional musical director and arranger, and programmer of this show, to discuss the fresh take on a classic tale.
‘It’s really a brilliant show. Panto is great because you can enjoy the fun side of songs and the fun side of theatre, particularly in scenes which might otherwise be quite serious.’ Lindsey was particularly proud of the way in which the show incorporates two casts of children who play supporting roles, all from the St Andrews area, many of them affiliated with the Byre Youth Theatre and other drama societies in town, feeling that this maintains the fun philosophy of pantomime.‘There are twenty-four children in all, so we are certainly kept on our toes. It is very exciting for the children to be involved in such a big show and they seem to be getting a lot out of the experience.’
The principal cast has been rehearsing in Glasgow for the past fortnight and relocated to St Andrews for the two weeks leading up to opening night, integrating with the young cast. ‘They’re really great,’ Miller says of her cast of six professional actors and she is relishing her role in this production. ‘Composing the score and being involved since the very beginning is a great job because you are present for the birth of the concept and are involved in every aspect of the creative process, particularly the casting. I’ve been at every rehearsal, working with the actors, having a chat with the writers and so on.’
Being present at every rehearsal involved returning to St Andrews after three years and unsurprisingly, she has found the Bubble almost entirely unchanged. ‘I love it. I spent four years here, not to mention summers, so it is great to be back. I’ve been to a few of my old haunts, the Rule and the Union and such.’ When I asked her what the first thing she did upon arrival was she replied ‘Fisher and Donaldson. I’ve been deprived of their carrot cake for too long.’
Labeled as ‘one of the future writers of British Musical Theatre’, Miller has inarguably been busy since her graduation with new material recently performed at London’s Battersea Barge but working on Snow White has been filled with new experiences. ‘Composing for a show can take all sorts of different forms. Usually I’m with a band and live musicians; I’ve not worked on a show that’s been recorded before. Productions can range from having a massive orchestra to what we have here with me composing and recording directly onto a track.’
Snow White opens on Friday the 29th and attendance is highly recommended, not only to support one of our own, but to experience what promises to be a charming and dynamic show.