Millie Coppin, a Performance Politics and Society student, is part of the Goldsmiths Musical Theatre Society. Last year, she directed their rock musical production, RENT…
How are you involved with the Musical Theatre Society?
In my first year I was in their show Spring Awakening, so I performed in that, then I ran for Director in my second year and got picked! And now in my third year I’m the Women’s Rep.
Tell us about the show you were working on last year?
At the start of the year we asked all cast members of the society to vote on what show we should all work on. We gave everyone three options and a little preview of each musical beforehand - and they all voted for RENT. We spent most of the year preparing for the production. By the time you get into the nitty-gritty of a two-and-a-half hour show, you do end up spending a full six to eight months working on it. There’s choreography and music and harmonies... so it takes up quite a lot of time, but it’s good fun and everyone really enjoys it.
How often would you all meet?
Last year we’d meet up twice a week but not everybody in the society would be needed all that time. Once the cast has been sorted for the production and everyone knows who they’re playing in the show, we do say principal rehearsals on a Monday and then full cast rehearsals on a Thursday. Unless it was the show week... as that’sen everyone would be needed for a full Sunday rehearsal. These can sometimes last six to seven hours, as we’re tweaking everything and making it all look good!
Could anyone join the society?
Yes! Generally it tends to be students in the drama department but we’ve had students from all over. It’s quite broad. Some students joined us from the Criminology course last year and they were in our main cast and were all really, really good performers. We also had an MA student - he said he really enjoyed being a part of the society because he felt like he’d found a nice community and could go out for drinks with us and stuff…
So there’s a social aspect too?
We would try and hold socials after rehearsals, so it’s not like we were just directing everyone all the time. It’s good to let off steam!
Was the show a success?
We managed to get the show up and running and then unfortunately Covid-19 happened. We were literally a week away from the show date when we went into lockdown. I’ve basically directed a whole show, which is f**king sick, but no-one can see it! Hopefully we’ll be able to share some little numbers of the show at some point this year.
What has been your best moment of being a part of the Musical Theatre society so far?
Getting the role of director - although that’s probably really selfish of me! If not, when we were doing the run throughs of RENT when I could see everything coming together. We all really worked our socks off.
Has being a part of the society made you realise this is what you want to do in your future career?
I’ve always been interested in musical theatre but it’s made me realise that I actually really enjoy it too, and it’s made me want to direct more. I think because of the response I got from the cast... and the fact I won the SU Award for Society Leader of the Year, which I wasn’t expecting at all. I’ve also just had some really lovely responses from other students being receptive to me and listening to me, as a Director.
Why should new students at Goldsmiths get involved with the Musical Theatre Society?
It’s fun! I would also suggest to anyone who wants to be in the society to at least run for a committee role too. It’s nice being on the other side and to see how the roles work. It’s great because you can be in both the committee and the show at the same time.
To read more about all the societies, communities and clubs on offer at Goldsmiths, please check out our website.