The closure of theatres has been tough for everyone in the industry, but it surely must have hit even harder for the new work that was aiming to take the leap to the stage, a stage that for the time being no longer exists. New British dance musical, Wait For Me was in early stages of development, but that didn’t stop its creators quickly adapting to transform it in to a sumptuously cinematic piece of online theatre.
Sam Cassidy is the writer behind this heavenly new musical, which blends dance and music in to an utterly alluring world of fantasy. Joined by director and choreographer, Ainsley Rickett the pair have created
Told almost entirely without words, two angels are separated from each other and each carry one half of a soul with them to earth, only when they have found two mortals in which each half of the soul can combine, can they too become whole again. This fifty minute musical therefore tells the story of a whole lifetime, as soul mates Jack and Emma are brought together to experience the ups and downs of a tumultuous life, while being watched over by their angels.
Jaih Betote and Chrissy Brooke dance the parts of Jack and Emma, while Ainsley Ricketts and Clarice Lanta-Lilly take on the roles of the angels. It’s beautifully done, Ricketts’ choreography is fresh and invigorating, while not overshadowing the unfolding story. The movement in Wait For Me really accentuates the emotional aspects of the piece and draws the audience in to this ethereal world.
Where words are required, Bluey Robinson and Eloise Davies add their voices to Cassidy’s music, and it is the music of this piece which really grabs your attention. From the opening bars it is clear that this will be something quite special, a musical delicacy to transform your living room in to the stalls of The Royal Opera House.
Wait For Me was filmed in lockdown, but the entire cast were placed in a bubble and isolated for three weeks. That means there’s no camera trickery required to make it look like the characters are touching, they really are! It must have taken some dedication to pull it off, but the rewards are plain to see.
Blending musical theatre and dance extends to the very format, the theatrical experience given a cinematic twist to give the audience something that they could never really acquire in a theatre. Cinematographer, Nick Ross brings us sweeping wide shots which flow in to more intimate close ups, again allowing for the true emotion (and there’s plenty of it) to be fully realised.
Wait For Me is something of a revelation, demonstrating that musical theatre and dance can coexist, just as the line between stage and screen becomes more blurred. The cast are truly wonderful, but it is Sam Cassidy’s music and Ainsley Ricketts choreography which makes this a must-see production.