Young People’s Theatre Newcastle

Spotlight On: Our Understudy Troupe

Understudy Troupe pictured with Jabberwock Set

Spotlight On: Our Understudy Troupe

3 minute read // Published by Young Peoples Theatre, January 2022
Written by Ollie Abel

The theatre world has always relied on swings and understudies but lately they have become the backbone of theatre. With so many people having to isolate at the last minute, having understudies available and willing to take the leap into any role is the only way to keep the show alive.

In our current production “Beware the Jabberwock” we have an Understudy Troupe consisting of Hypatia Alexander-Meylan, Mirrin Doyle, and Oliver McGrath. These children only started learning the script a few weeks before the show opened and have already shown their amazing ability to step into any character and perform amazingly, even having scripts out of their hands for some of the characters!!

Hypatia, one of our understudies who has filled in for a character at every rehearsal since being here says:

“I really love being an understudy for “Beware the Jabberwock” and learning multiple parts. It let me be in a play a little bit later and gave me a crash course on being in a production. I was a difficult but rewarding experience”

As well as the Understudy Troupe, we have had doubles, who are people that play the same character in a different cast, step forward and commit to doing every single rehearsal, after having a double who has gone into isolation, and absolutely nailing it every time no matter how tired they are.

We also asked Mirrin Doyle about her experience as an Understudy, after being thrown in to a rehearsal as one of the leading roles:

Regardless of whether you get on stage or not you learn a bunch, make new friends and have new experiences for the future.

Mirrin, we couldn’t agree more!

Both our doubles and understudies have shown so much commitment to this production and have given us a glimpse at just how important it is to have understudies in theatre, especially at a time like now. They are there all day everyday putting in twice as many hours to the rest of the cast and giving phenomenal performances. So we want to say a huge thank you to not just our understudies, but understudies everywhere, who are putting in incredible hours and hard work! Your effort does not go unnoticed. We appreciate you so much!

Title Picture: Our Understudy Troupe
Picture left of text: One of our understudies, Mirrin, covering the role of The Queen in a final Dress Rehearsal. 

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