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Back To The Future – The Musical

Rosanna Hyland, Lorraine Baines, Back to the Future – The Musical, Adelphi Theatre

When did you catch the acting bug?

I think I was born with it. Yeah, I’ve had it since I can remember, you know just from a young school age, I always wanted to sing and dance and put on little productions in my living room.

What’s the best thing about your job?

Getting to escape into Hill Valley and make people laugh and sing my face off every day with some incredibly talented people. It’s a dream.

Have you always liked musicals?

Yeah, always love musicals since I can remember it’s just a magical combination of music and dance and heightened emotions.

What was the journey like for you from theatres closing to reopening?

Well we were running Back to the Future the Musical in Manchester when Covid hit and we had to shut down the day after we opened which was pretty devastating for all of us. We didn’t know at that time that we’d get to come back into the West End so it just felt after years of working on the show felt heartbreaking. So, it was a long year of waiting and crossing fingers that we get to comeback and when we did it just was even more satisfying and sweet and exciting than ever.

What is it like being back in theatres?

So thrilling, just so exciting to get in front of an audience again. It seems as though audiences are just so hungry for some live entertainment again and to be together again, to hear live music again and all of that, so it’s just been incredibly, incredibly satisfying and exciting.

What’s the thing you missed the most about live performance?

The camaraderie, the sense of community, being with my quote-unquote tribe, my people and just getting to be creative in that way. Getting to create the thing I love, do the thing I love.

Cedric Neal, Goldie Wilson, Back to the Future – The Musical, Adelphi Theatre

When did you catch the acting bug?

I got the acting bug when I realised that it could get me out of trouble as a kid! But no, I went to a performing arts high school in Texas. I went to performing arts high school to study classical vocal – which was opera-based – which led to musical theatre because one of my favourite teachers at the school was the musical Dean of the musical theatre department. She’s still one of the most important people in my life so I transitioned to musical theatre around 2001 and haven’t looked back.

What’s the best thing about your job?

The best thing about my job is knowing that I bring a smile to somebody’s face every night. Currently one of the best things about my job is that I’m contributing to the finances in my household again. My husband has been very patient with me the last 18 months but I’m a believer and I think that the gift of entertainment is divine and to deliver that gift nightly, it’s a blessing.

What was your journey like from theatres closing to reopening?

We had just opened Back To The Future The Musical in Manchester on the 14th [March 2020] and then the theatres were shut down on the 16th. I was one of the people who was fortunate to work during most of the pandemic in 2020. I did the first show back in London, [which was the] production of Jesus Christ Superstar at Regent’s Park Open-Air Theatre and then I did the production of Songs For A New World at the Palladium and then I did the Christmas Carol at the Dominion Theatre, so I was working consistently during 2020. But when 2021 came around everything shut down, literally everything shut down… I think I went through a major depression then. I didn’t identify it as a depression, but when they sent the call about Back To The Future, it brightened my spirits. So yeah, it was difficult because a lot of my identity is in what I do, so to not be able to do that… I was lost. But we’re back!

What was it like to return to theatres?

It was like a rebirth, a revival, it was like the world started spinning again. It was like my purpose could be fulfilled again, I know that sounds dramatic but that’s what it felt like to me. It felt like go, go, just go again and to be returning to the theatre world with my family that I had developed in Back To The Future, because we are a family, I couldn’t ask for a more joyous experience to get this theatre world spinning. It was reviving.

What was the number one thing you missed about live performance?

The number one thing I missed about live performance and on certain level I still miss it is the human contact because we’re being so careful with Covid restrictions. I like to touch people and smile and hug, I miss that. But to be in the theatre and like I said, to see the smiles on people’s faces from ages eight to eighty as we’re delivering this show, that’s what I missed. And the pay check!

Gaz Wall, Stage Manager, Back to the Future – The Musical, Adelphi Theatre

How did you get into your line of work?

So, I started off as a scenic carpenter and a painter and toured a lot of large venue concerts and large musicals around the UK and then internationally and then I moved to the West End in 2009 and then worked on numerous musicals. Then I was retraining in stage management, so I started off as an assistant and then worked my way up to stage manager where I am now, and that’s been what 17 years now.

Have you always been into theatre?

Not always. I left school and was in the military for four years and then once I finished I went into theatre. I had an interest in theatre as a kid. My dad worked in theatre so he was a fireman but all the firemen used to work in the theatres in the evening, so I used to go as a kid and sort of be around all that stuff so I did have an interest in it but it wasn’t my first sort of career path immediately.

What was your journey like from theatres closing to reopening?

So I was handing a show over on Broadway and then I kind of got rushed back and then the lockdowns happened and originally we cancelled six weeks of the job I was doing and then we were due to fly to Japan and then that got cancelled. And then yeah, that was it kind of just, all the work went away. I got some filming jobs once things started happening again so I was doing a lot of filming for a dance company so I had little bits and bobs but it was very sporadic so it’s a lot of time at home and a lot of you know, like everyone else, it was like battening down the hatches almost.

What’s it like to be back?

Great, nice, nuts. It’s gone from like nothing to 100 mile an hour really quickly and just getting that groove back and getting into the whole process of putting on a show really quickly and the pressure that brings, that stayed the same. so it does come flooding back pretty quick yeah.

What’s the number one thing you missed about live performance?

I think for me I missed the people the most [in lockdown], I think you can be doing the biggest show in the world or the smallest show in the world – if you’ve got amazing people around you then that’s what this job’s all about for me. Obviously [to] do a performance night after night and delivering that to the best of your abilities is the main thing but yeah, it’s all about the people who you work with. And so to not have that environment for nearly 18 months was tough so that’s what I’ve missed the most I think, so it’s nice to have that back.

What is your favourite thing about your job?

Yeah, I’d love to say the pay packet but I’m not going to say that. [laughs] I think just the excitement of it and the pressure of it every night. And again, the people that I work with you know, I take massive reward from that. You know, my job role is making sure they can, you know, do their jobs.