As Monash University’s Elite Student Performer Scheme (ESPS) student Scott England prepares to hit the stage once again next week, after almost a year of lockdowns, we caught up with him to chat about how he’s feeling being back in the spotlight and how his musical origins came to be.
Tell us a bit about your show coming up? What part do you play?
I’m featured in the show Priscilla Queen of the Desert. It’s an Australian classic, and we're all really excited to be a part of the re-emerging theatre scene after all the lockdowns. I'm mainly seen in the ensemble with small features here and there.
You’ve also been involved with some pretty awesome shows in the past – what has been your favourite part to play?
I would say my favourite was playing Robbie Hart in The Wedding Singer as it was an incredibly fun role! I also have really enjoyed being part of Les Miserables and Wicked with Stage School Australia and Mamma Mia with CLOC Musical Theatre.
How long have you been involved in theatre performance? What made you want to get started?
I've been involved in musical theatre since I was about four years old. I was actually living in England. I've always been involved in shows from school musicals to amateur and semi-professional productions.
I think for me it was always listening to music when I was growing up, not necessarily musical theatre but music my parents loved that slowly turned into a love for all music. The moment I started performing I loved the thrill of being on stage and that thrill still remains just as exciting to this day!
How was the theatre and performance industry impacted by COVID-19 last year?
COVID-19 impacted theatre dramatically. Because of the large numbers involved both for cast and crew and also of course the audience (which ideally would be filled), it meant that shows just couldn't go ahead as we weren't able to logistically organise it nor afford the losses that would incur from running a show with no tickets sold. I haven't been too impacted in this sense, but I know for some it has made the idea of going out on stage stressful, as they have had all this time in lockdowns where they haven't been practicing their art.
Are you back to normal or are there still limitations to what you can do? For example, number of people in theatres etc.
There are still factors we have to consider going forward for the safety of both our cast and crew as well as our audiences. Tracing and distancing are our best measures to ensure any signs of illness are treated seriously, protecting both our community and also the future of our show going ahead. And I believe there are some restrictions for numbers though they are more regulated by the venues than the theatre companies. I believe measures such as the first couple of rows being left empty, prevent people being too close to us performers singing on stage.
How has being a part of ESPS helped you in your theatre endeavours?
The ESPS team has been there to support me whenever I needed it. If a show season impacts me in a way that prevents attendance or my ability to complete assignments, I can apply for special consideration. This security to fall back on is great in case things get too stressful.
Come support Scott at his show Priscilla Queen of The Desert held at the National Theatre in St Kilda between the 30th April to the 22nd of May. You can buy tickets on CLOC Musical Theatre's website here!