Lip Service – “The Picture of Doreen Gray” – Community Chorus callout
Award-winning Lip Service are regular visitors to Theatre Royal Margate with their often bizarre, and always comic, interpretations of classics. Now they’re turning their attention to Doreen – rather than Dorian – Gray! They’re looking for willing members of the community to perform live in this show. There will be 2 rehearsals prior to the performances to rehearse 4 musical numbers and scenes portraying Doreen’s old school friends, fairies animal welfare activists and many more.
You don’t have to audition to take part or have any previous theatre experience, just be willing to have fun.
The following is a list of questions which are often asked by potential members of our community chorus.
How many people are you looking for and what ages?
Between 20 and 25 would be ideal, and we’d like a mix of ages – so anyone from 8 to 80 would be perfect.
What are the rehearsal and performance dates?
The 2 rehearsal sessions are 11am – 5pm (an hour for lunch) on Sunday 19 April and Sunday 26 April
The 2 performances are at 7.30pm on Monday 27 and Tuesday 28 April.
All rehearsals and performances are in the Theatre Royal Margate.
What do the community chorus do?
The Community chorus appear onstage with Lip Service’ Maggie Fox and Sue Ryding during the live performances of “The Picture of Doreen Gray”. There are 4 songs, some with simple dances, as well as a number of scenes in which you will be involved.
What Kind of show is it?
Lip Service is well known for madcap, comedic versions of classics such as long standing Withering Looks (a hilarious take on Wuthering Heights). Maggie and Sue often play several characters involving many wigs and fast costume changes. Their performances are funny and uplifting. “The Picture of Doreen Gray” is the second piece with a large community chorus following “Desperate To Be Doris” which toured between 2009-2011. They last visited Theatre Royal Margate with “Inspector Norse” in November 2013, when they yarn bombed the theatre!
Do I have to audition?
No. Lip Service welcomes anyone who wants to join in. You need to be available for all of the rehearsals and performances.
I can’t sing/dance/act but I’m interested. Can I still join?
It doesn’t matter. There will be people who are better singers than actors and better dancers than singers as well as people with no previous experience at all. The main thing is to be willing to have a go and enjoy yourself. Lip Service work is very comedic so the show should be fun and enjoyable. All of the elements (Music, moves and scenes) are relatively easy to learn and will be taught by a member of the Lip Service team.
I have a disability, learning difficulty or issues with mobility can I join?
Yes, please do. Please make us aware of any access, mobility or learning issues you have and we will do our best to ensure that your needs are met. If you find particular elements difficult it is possible to perform in some scenes or numbers and not in others.
Will I have to sing on my own?
All the songs and most of the scenes are performed altogether so you don’t have to worry about being singled out. In some scenes there are individual lines or actions which will be allocated during rehearsals, but you won’t have to do anything on your own if you don’t want to.
Do I have to do or learn anything in advance?
You don’t have to learn anything in advance but you may want to familiarise yourself with the music or lyrics and you will be able to this. Approximately 2 weeks before rehearsals start you should receive a newsletter (this is normally sent via email if you have provided an email address) this will contain information on the show, confirmed rehearsal times, details of costumes etc. and a link to online resources so you can familiarise yourself with songs or look at the lyrics before rehearsals start.
I don’t have internet, how will I get information?
Provide us with your telephone number and postal address. We should be able to post your newsletter to you or alternatively, you could collect it from the theatre or box office. If you would like music on CD, you should be able to collect this also. Just contact your chorus co-ordinator to make arrangements.
Do I have to wear a costume?
Yes, everyone in the chorus will need to provide 2 costumes but they will be ordinary, modern day wear that you should already have in your wardrobe. There should be no need to buy anything new (unless, of course, you want to!) Details of what to wear are in the newsletter and will be discussed further during rehearsals. Extra items like hats and special costume pieces are provided by the company.
How early will I need to be at the theatre for performances?
We normally ask that you arrive at 5pm on the first day of performance in order to familiarise yourselves with the set and backstage area and work through some of the numbers and scenes in the correct theatre lighting conditions before the show. For all subsequent performances, please plan to arrive 1 hour before the performance in order to warm up and get into costume. If, for any reason, you are not able to arrive at these times, please let the Stage Manager know. The Stage Manager will be at least one of your rehearsal sessions so you will know who she is.
Do I get paid?
No. Joining the community chorus is done on a voluntary basis and we do not offer payment or reimbursement for travel.
What if I don’t like it/don’t feel comfortable after the rehearsals have started? As you are giving us your time voluntarily, you are free to pull out at any point if you feel the performance is not for you or if, for example, you fall ill or have a family emergency. If you have trouble or concerns during the rehearsal process, please talk to your chorus co-ordinator or the Lip Service team member running rehearsals as they may be able to offer advice, support or extra resources if you need them.
Can I get cheap tickets for my friends and family?
There is a special discount for chorus members who can buy any number of tickets for just £10 each (normal price is Full: £16, Concs: £14, Friends £12). To get this special price all you need to do is call the Box Office on 01843 292795 and quote “I’m a friend of Doreen’s”.
Will you film the performance? Can I have a copy?
Filming requires getting permissions from all performers and people involved in creating the show (lighting and set designers etc.) as well as notifying members of the audience. This is a lot of work for every venue we tour to and so we don’t take video footage of our performances.
And finally a few comments from previous chorus members
“I was in the chorus in Nottingham and we all had a brilliant time Great fun & lots of laughs with wonderful new friends, all under the instruction of the joyful Leann, Maggie and Sue.”
“We had such fun and please don’t worry if you feel you can’t sing or dance. I can do neither but it really doesn’t matter.”
“Signing up to be in the chorus of ‘The Picture of Doreen Gray’ at the Stephen Joseph Theatre, Scarborough was one of the best decisions ever! I managed to rope in my neighbour too. Neither of us had done anything like this before so we were both quite nervous. We needn’t have been, Leanne, the stage manager taught us the songs and our moves and we enjoyed every minute. She was so encouraging and such an inspiration she made us all feel like professionals. We weren’t, and we would forget our words and our moves but all she said was ‘just enjoy yourselves’ – so we did! Maggie and Sue were just brilliant and the play was SO funny! We both had an absolute ball and we’ll definitely do it again if they’ll have us!”
“I had the best time and met some amazing people.xx ”
“Have had the most amazing week being onstage with you guys, I am going to miss you both and the rest of the gang,, enjoy the rest of the week and the rest of the tour, hope to join you at the Lowry. Nicole said she loved being a young Fairy.”
“Just a quick tweet to say how fabulous it is to be an ageing fairy standing steadfast and strong…”
“Last night of Doreen Gray. Loved being a badger. Oscar Wilde never thought up plots like this”
“Excited to perform with Lip Service on Monday! I’ve missed theatre!”
“Just a brief message to say a very big “Thank you!” for a brilliant week! It was a complete impulse to sign up for the workshop and I am so glad I did. To have the opportunity to participate with such a supportive and great range of people was wonderful and I enjoyed every minute. The last time I did anything on a stage was when I was a schoolgirl – which was trillions of years ago”