The hills are alive in Honiton as The Sound of Music comes to the stage

PUBLISHED: 07:00 30 June 2019 | UPDATED: 09:39 01 July 2019

The Von Trapp family in Honiton Community Theatre Company's production of The Sound of Music. Picture: Lewis Law

The Von Trapp family in Honiton Community Theatre Company's production of The Sound of Music. Picture: Lewis Law

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Honiton Community Theatre Company will be performing The Sound of Music during the summer. The Resident spoke to director Amelia Kyriacou.

Maria and the children in Honiton Communtiy Theatre Company's production of The Sound of Music. Picture: Lewis LawMaria and the children in Honiton Communtiy Theatre Company's production of The Sound of Music. Picture: Lewis Law

Please introduce yourself

My name's Amelia Kyriacou, I'm 17 and I'm currently studying Art & Design at Exeter College.

Ultimately, I want to be an illustrator, especially for children's books.

I also really enjoy studying set design, especially the way different artists can transform a bare stage.

Amelia Kyriacou is directing Honiton Community Theatre Company's production of The Sound of Music. Picture: Lewis LawAmelia Kyriacou is directing Honiton Community Theatre Company's production of The Sound of Music. Picture: Lewis Law

As well as performing - which I have done in some way since the age of two - I occasionally make jewellery out of recycled electrical wire.

When did you join Honiton Community Theatre Company and why?

I joined HCTC in 2015 for The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.

Mother Superior in Honiton Community Theatre Company's production of The Sound of Music. Picture: Lewis LawMother Superior in Honiton Community Theatre Company's production of The Sound of Music. Picture: Lewis Law

Before that, I was a member of the Honiton Youth Players, a group which merged with HCTC for that particular show.

On joining HCTC, I immediately felt a sense of inclusion and belonging, and I knew these were people I wanted to be around.

Being on stage has helped me hugely with confidence, and I have learnt lots about performing and all the different skills it takes to make a show happen.

Since joining four years ago, I've been in eight of the thirteen productions, served as a committee member for just over two years, and have been lucky enough to have assisted with the direction on our last pantomime, Cinderella.

What led to you becoming the director for The Sound of Music?

A few months ago, some of us were out in Honiton handing out leaflets for Cinderella, and we decided we deserved a coffee as a reward for standing out in the cold!

Chatting in the coffee shop about past, present and future shows led us to wonder whether we could put ourselves forward as a team to produce The Sound of Music, with each of us taking on a particular role.

After a good deal more discussion, pondering and planning, we contacted the committee with our proposals and they asked us to give a presentation at a meeting.

Well, we must have impressed them at least a little bit because here we are!

Explain the key roles in the creative team

So, I'm directing The Sound of Music with the help of two assistant directors: Jake Bonetta and Matt Harvey-Ingram.

Together, we make sure the members of the cast know entrances and exits, stage positions and movement, and we guide them through the text to bring the story to life.

The musical director is Ian Crew, and he works with the cast to make the show sound fabulous!

Our producer is Amelia Hibbert. She coordinates pretty much everything, then makes sure every task is actually done!

Choreographing the show are Kayley Docherty and Alexie Kyriacou (my sister); they set movement and dance to the music to make it exciting to watch.

The final member of the team is Ryan Hutter, who is actually playing Rolf, but he also works super hard behind the scenes too!

Why did the society choose to produce this show?

It's one of those shows that people think they know from watching the film.

OK, the film is pretty accurate, but there are some interesting differences in the original stage show, and watching it live gives you a fresh perspective on the story.

All the familiar songs are in it, though, and they're fun, funny and beautiful.

This is the first time you have directed a musical - what have been the challenges for you?

One thing that comes to mind straight away is not having the space to build and paint our set!

Settling for a temporary marquee in somebody's driveway is definitely not ideal!

In rehearsal, it can be very tricky guessing how long a scene will take to block!

Sometimes it's really easy to visualise how it should play out and, when people start performing it, you instantly know what to change.

At other times it can be a bit of a puzzle; when the cast begin work, it looks completely different from how you imagined it!

What have been the most rewarding things about directing this show?

One of my favourite things is seeing all the separate elements come together when we run a scene; it puts everyone's work into context and you see how it fits into the show as a whole.

Sometimes it's even better than you had imagined! Whether I'm acting, directing or working backstage, that's what I find the most exciting.

What's next for you?

A break! Actually no, I'm joking - no rest for the wicked.

My third and final year at college starts in September, so lots of exciting things there I hope.

I'll also be supporting HCTC's future productions, whatever my involvement in them may be.

What's next for HCTC?

HCTC will be performing its first ever junior production - The Dracula Spectacula - on November 1 and 2 of this year.

Sally Cregan and Katie Haywood will be directing, with assistance from Jack Price, NODA Youth Councillor.

Both Sally and Katie have been involved with the company for quite a while, and between them have acted, sung, directed, chaperoned...you name it!

It's going to be a really fun show with lots of talented young people getting involved!

What would you say to someone thinking of buying a ticket for the show?

Go for it! It's going to be a great show and we'd love to see you there.

We'll be having fun, and we're sure you will too!

The Sound of Music, by Honiton Community Theatre Company, will be staged at The Beehive, Dowell Street, Honiton, from Wednesday, July 31, to Saturday, August 3, at 7pm, with a matinee on the Saturday, at 2pm. Call the box office on 01404 384050

To read more features from East Devon Resident, click here.

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