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8 Shows A Week, What Do We Think About This?

Musical theatre

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#1 PriscillaCraze

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Posted 19 November 2013 - 10:23 AM

I am a huge fan of Priscilla, seen it in the West End, UK tour and now just come back from seeing it in Sweden. I am amazed they only do 4 shows a week in Sweden, whereas here in the UK they do 8 shows a week which is double the amount. When I spoke to the cast, they seem very relaxed and laid back, they seemed to enjoy life more and not pressurised by the theatre industry which was really lovely to see.

Those 4 shows include:

Thursday 7.30pm
Friday 7.30pm
Saturday 2.30pm & 7.30pm

Now the question is, do you think 8 shows a week is fair? As some of you may know, some performers do sometimes suffer from vocal problems and injuries which happens all the time but I think 8 shows a week is the cause of this? I think the performers do an excellent job every time but can you imagine the pressure and the strain that's being put on them?

Anyway just wanted to see what you guys had to say about this, and would be interested to hear your opinions, it's nothing negative, just an interesting subject to talk about.

Thanks :)

#2 xanderl

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Posted 19 November 2013 - 12:47 PM

Given the choice I'd rather work 3 days a week as well, but my employer has a different view :)
"witty ... both made me laugh but also gave me pause" - Mark Shenton, The Stage

#3 KevinUK

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Posted 19 November 2013 - 05:36 PM

I think full time employment is completely fair.
If I stay awake, it must be good.

#4 jaqs

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Posted 19 November 2013 - 06:26 PM

Given how often actors are out of work, working 6 nights a week seems okay when they're in a show.

#5 Catqc

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Posted 19 November 2013 - 09:16 PM

That's how its been for goodness knows how many years and almost everyone manages! With so many talented people who could manage 8 shows a week out there, I'm not sure someone who can't manage deserves become a leading actor... also for those roles where it really would harm the voice to do 8 shows a week, there are alternates who do 2 of them so it works!

#6 FireFingers

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Posted 20 November 2013 - 12:43 AM

Having worked 8 show weeks (and more, most I've done is 5 performances of a musical in 48 hours), it didn't really phase me much. You accept you leave a normal life at the door when you start working in theatre. The big sings use alternates, and understudies allow holidays. I never heard any company member asking for less shows. More shows = more money. And in theatre, your job is sadly almost never permanent.

#7 paplazaroo

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Posted 20 November 2013 - 10:40 AM

I don't think it's a big deal really as even the biggest role will only require one actor to be talking/speaking/singing for about an hour if you add up all of the minutes, maybe two at max so if you multiply that by 8 that's only 8 or 16 hours a week, I know they probably have to be hanging around the theatre for longer but it's not that exhuasting surely?

#8 alec_e10

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Posted 20 November 2013 - 11:13 AM

I would imagine it would not be finincally viable either for a show to only have 5 performances a week as shows would never be able to cover their costs

#9 jaqs

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Posted 20 November 2013 - 01:45 PM

We're lucky really that London has an audience for so many shows to run full time. And we have so many regional theatres that can take multi week runs of big shows.



#10 wetheatreboy

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Posted 20 November 2013 - 03:01 PM

View Postpaplazaroo, on 20 November 2013 - 10:40 AM, said:

I don't think it's a big deal really as even the biggest role will only require one actor to be talking/speaking/singing for about an hour if you add up all of the minutes, maybe two at max so if you multiply that by 8 that's only 8 or 16 hours a week, I know they probably have to be hanging around the theatre for longer but it's not that exhuasting surely?

I think people underestimate the kind of vocal stamina you need to sustain 8 shows a week. What an actor needs to do with their voice on stage isn't equivalent to 2 hours of regular speaking.

It makes me laugh when x factor judges suggest to contestants that they should consider the West End! The weak voices that those constants have wouldn't make it through a single show, let alone a week of performances.

You only have to look at people like Connie Fisher to see the effects of pushing too hard too fast.

However, 8 performances for most is just about right... Think of the poor souls on pantos this year... 2 or 3 shows a day!





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