It’s that time of year again when the cast from the SUSU Showstoppers only find out what show they will be performing 24 hours before their first performance. This gives them just one day to learn their lines, songs and choreography and they still manage to put on a spectacular show, to raise money for charity. I caught up with the Director, Robyn Fryer.

24 2So, what is The 24?

The 24 is a full scale musical; rehearsed, dressed and put on the stage all within 24 hours. We start from scratch at 5pm on the Saturday, and the show opens at 5pm on the Sunday.

What does a successful 24 need?

Well, obviously a hugely talented cast! More importantly though, a tight-knit production team is essential. Between them, the team must plan the whole show; it’s schedule, props, set and costumes all before the show starts. They are also vital for keeping up the spirits of the cast and crew during the 24 hours itself, as it can get a bit frazzled!

How did you cast it?

The show is cast from one audition set. Each auditionee gets a singing, dancing and acting audition and then the production team deliberate. Everyone is cast on pure talent, so it doesn’t matter what society you belong to, it’s just good to give it a go!

How are you keeping everything a secret and why?

The show is kept a secret because it adds to the challenge, not giving any of the cast time to prepare. It also builds the excitement for both the cast, and the audience. It’s been tricky, but with the help of a few false rumours we have managed to keep it under wraps!

What will you need to do to get the show ready in 24 hours?

Wow. Well, there are a lot of things that need sorting! Costumes, props, staging, publicity, directorial plans, choreography and arranging the musical numbers need to be finished before the process starts. Once 5 o’clock hits, it’s just a case of all hands on deck helping to pull the show together!

How are you going to keep the cast motivated?

We have a few little plans. Firstly, it is important not to forget that we do this for fun and for charity. So when everyone gets tired and grumpy, remind them of that. Also, we’re planning on bringing a few little treats in for the cast every hour or so to lift the mood!

What charity have you picked and why?

This year, our charity is Solent Mind. Anyone who knows of the work they do around the Hampshire area will not need to ask why we’ve chosen them. They are invaluable to so many people who struggle with mental health issues every day.

Why have you chosen to take on such a crazy challenge?

I assistant directed the show last year and loved every minute, and therefore couldn’t wait to get cracking on a project of my own. It’s crazy and stressful and horrible at times, but looking back is one of my best times at uni! I can’t wait to get going on Saturday!

Thanks for chatting Robyn, good luck!

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The 24 Hour Show will be taking place at 5pm and 8pm on Sunday 7 June. Tickets cost £8 for adults, £6.50 for students and £5 for PA. Check out the Facebook event

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