East Midlands community asked to star in theatre music video

Nottingham Playhouse is set to create a music video that will help to raise spirits across the East Midlands – and it wants hundreds of people to get involved.

The project, named The Big Distan-Sing, was launched today on BBC Radio Nottingham and comes off the back of theatre’s success in going digital after Covid-19 forced its doors to close in March 2020.

Nottingham Playhouse’s recent singing tutorials have already been viewed over 2,500 times. However, the Playhouse has decided to take this an ambitious step further in asking everyone – regardless of age, ability and experience – to sing for a community music video, and donate to its new Curtain Up fundraising appeal.

The song – You Can’t Stop the Beat from the musical Hairspray – was chosen via a poll on social media. People will now be able to record themselves singing the song at home and send their videos to the Playhouse to be included.

The resulting music video will be shared far and wide to raise awareness of the Curtain Up Appeal which was launched to help ensure that the theatre can open its doors once again, and continue to make thrilling productions as well as reviving its range of classes, courses and theatre groups.

Martin Berry, Head of Participation for Nottingham Playhouse, said: “This is another lovely example of how we are reaching out to people during this difficult time and we’re thrilled to have BBC Radio Nottingham involved to showcase the project. With some wonderful musicals now appearing on our stage, and choir each week, singing and music are playing an increasing role in the life of the Playhouse, and The Big Distan-Sing is especially exciting and great fun.”

 Alex Patterson, Nottingham Cathedral’s Music Director and Conductor of the Nottingham Playhouse choir, added: “The Nottingham Playhouse Choir has been a wonderful chance to engage people with the joy of singing; when people walk through the door they have been able to escape the everyday and just take time to be creative. Despite Coronavirus, it’s been great to reach out to people digitally and encourage them to sing in the face of hard times. I can’t wait to hear how people are getting on.”

 Mark Dennison of BBC Radio Nottingham, said: “We regularly feature people who are in choirs or singing groups and we’re often blown away by what they tell us about how singing helps with mental and physical health. Last year, BBC Radio Nottingham put on Mark’s Big Sing and lots of people have asked if we can do it again. Obviously, the pandemic has changed the way we live but we still need music and singing in our lives….maybe more than ever. I can’t wait to get started.”

 To make things as simple as possible, Nottingham Playhouse choir Conductor Alex Patterson has created a rehearsal video to teach entrants the song alongside a step-by-step guide of how to record an entry.

The deadline to get involved is Monday 1 June and full details of how to submit a video can be found at www.nottinghamplayhouse.co.uk.

The outbreak of Covid-19 in the UK has led to show postponements and the halting of many events and classes at the Playhouse. Other content released includes dance tutorials, story-telling, special episodes of its podcast. Videos have been uploaded to Nottingham Playhouse’s Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

The latest news regarding Nottingham Playhouse and its reaction to Covid-19 can be found at: nottinghamplayhouse.co.uk/.  Donations to the Curtain Up Appeal can be made via nottinghamplayhouse.co.uk/support/curtain-up-appeal/.

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