I caught up with Craig Wiltshire, Director of CLOC's upcoming production of All Shook Up to get the low down on the auditions.
TP: What made you want to do the show in the first place?
CW: As soon as I experienced the orchestrations for the show I knew I wanted to do it. The finest thing about ‘All Shook Up’ is the music. They have taken these classic Elvis songs that everybody recognises and entirely re-orchestrated them from start to finish. Well known songs such as ‘Heartbreak Hotel’ and ‘Can’t Help Falling In Love With You’, which are traditionally sung solo, have now been written for 35 voices to sing. It sounds very impressive. The Act 1 finale will give you chills.
On top of that there are lots of hidden gems that are used to drive the story and shape the characters. The cast will love singing it and the audience will love watching it.
It’s also nice to be doing a show that hasn’t been picked up by a company before. In between the multiple productions of ‘Avenue Q’ and ‘Hairspray’ that are occurring this year, it’s motivating to have a show that is new for performers to be in and for the production team to put together.
TP: What's in it for the performers?
CW: A lot of people are under the impression that you have to be a dancer to audition for this show, but that’s not the case at all! Even though there is an enormous amount of choreography for the dancers to perform, we are also seeking a large and talented ensemble of singer/actors as well.
There is so much group singing in ‘All Shook Up’, more than your average musical. There are parts of the show that feature large-scale vocal numbers at the same time as the high energy dance routines. All you have to do is listen to the cast recording to see what I mean. It’s huge. We need to create an enormous vocal sound. On top of all that all scene transitions, crossovers and set changes will be choreographed with the singing ensemble moving throughout. The ensemble will be flat out.
The principal cast also need to be very strong vocally and have great comic timing. Each principal role gets to shine in a massive solo somewhere throughout the show …. and they are big songs. Sylvia’s Act 2 solo ‘There’s Always Me’ is a showstopper.
TP: It is meaty, or a fluffy jukebox show?
CW: One of the attractive aspects of ‘All Shook Up’ is that it isn’t a biographical musical of someone’s life. Shows such as ‘Shout’ and ‘Dusty’ are restricted to telling the actual events of a person’s life and career. Even though they are both great shows, ‘All Shook Up’ is different in that it focuses on a fictional story rather than telling the story of Elvis. It has lots of similarities with shows such as ‘Crazy For You’, ‘Mamma Mia’, ‘My One and Only’ and the current Broadway production of ‘Nice Work If You Can Get It’. All of these shows took famous songs from composers such a George and Ira Gershwin and ABBA and worked them into an upbeat, comedic story. ‘All Shook Up’ is very much in this style.
TP: Who do you have on board as the production team?
CW: As always, CLOC have put together a great team of people to produce the show. Apart from myself as Director and Choreographer, Danny Forward is our Musical Director and I’m very happy to have him on board. He has a lot of work in front of him with the amount of ensemble singing and all those dance breaks, but he’s going to do an amazing job.
Our Set Designer is John Shelbourn. He has been a regular designer on the straight play circuit around Melbourne for years. The set he has designed is spectacular. We are building an entire town on stage ……. and that’s just Act 1. Can’t give too much away of course but ‘All Shook Up’ will continue the CLOC tradition of HUGE sets with lots of moving parts. There are lots of surprises!!!
Victoria Horne is back as costume designer. We had been looking for a fun show to do together for a while and we are both excited CLOC decided to do this one. This will be our 6th collaboration together. No one designs a big flashy dance show like Victoria Horne. There are literally hundreds of costumes in this show and it’s going to look spectacular.
‘All Shook Up’ is not subtle in its lighting design. It’s more like a rock concert than a musical so of course, we have Brad Alcock is our Lighting Designer. He is a genius with moving lights. His previous lighting work at the Besen Centre has been some of the most memorable lighting in recent years. I can’t wait to see what he comes up with. It’s really a dream show in terms of lighting.
TP: What are you looking for in auditions?
CW: We want a high energy cast that will ‘blow the roof’ off the National Theatre! If you can act, sing or dance and have a lot of get-up-and-go, we want to see you! I’m hoping to replicate the same energy that the cast of ‘Shout’ had in CLOC’s May 2007 production.
I’m used to working with relatively small casts. Many of my previous shows such as PLOS’s ‘The Full Monty’ & ‘Cabaret’ were performed with 20 – 25 performers. CLOC’s ‘Hot Shoe Shuffle’ had 9 people in the cast. This show we are going for a larger cast, well over 30 performers. There is so much material for everyone to learn. The National is also a big stage and I want to fill it with lots of talented people. The set also has lots of levels, which need to be dressed with cast members.
TP: What tips do you have for the auditionees?
CW: Audition with songs that are fun, upbeat and show off your great voice and personality. This is not the type of show with ‘students on a barricade’ or ‘helicopter’ landing on stage. It’s all about high energy, comedy and over the top character acting. We want to see this throughout the auditions.
AUDITION BOOKINGS Open Friday June 1 2012, from 9.00am
PHONE : 1300 362 547
Vocal/Dialogue Auditions: Friday June 15 (Evening)
Vocal/Dialogue: Saturday June 16 (Afternoon)
Vocal/Dialogue: Sunday June 17 (Afternoon)
Dance Audition: Sunday June 17 (Evening)
Call Backs: Wednesday June 20 (Evening)Previous theatrepeople article on ‘All Shook Up’
Link to CLOC website (audition information)