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Miscast – Making The Most Of It (May/June 2020)

Social media has been a strong and connecting force during the worldwide lockdown, from the Lord of The Rings cast on Zoom to streaming older theatre plays to pub quizzes on Facebook. During this time, Williams Creatives have also been continuing to create content for our audiences and to give our performers opportunities to try new things. Thus, ‘Miscast #MakingtheMostofIt’ was born. 27 Musical classics, all ‘miscast’ with some of our returning performers and all done remotely under the guidance of our own Deputy Creative Director, Sharon Brown, who also did her fair share of crooning, especially knocking it out of the park with ‘The Walls in my Head’ from ‘Everybody’s talking about Jamie.’ Sharon took the challenge head on; 

“#MTMOI has been a labour of love. A love for performing, for entertaining and for bringing people together. There have been new songs, old favourites, funny moments, vocal challenges, and heartfelt performances among the 32 songs we’ve presented along our journey through lockdown. Beginning with nearly 80 song suggestions, managing a project like this has certainly had some frustrations and has been hard work at times but it has also been very humbling to think that each of the 17 performers as well as those behind the scenes who have sourced backing tracks, lyrics, mentored others, arranged scores, edited and magically made the videos appear have all freely given their time in such difficult circumstances and have done so with passion. We’re truly blessed to have such an amazing group of people in our Williams Creatives family and pulling together in times of uncertainty like these has only made that bond even stronger.” 

The challenges involved in remote harmonizing were obliterated by the sheer talent of our Miscasters and we at Williams Creatives are so proud of the hard work they put in over the lockdown summer. But this wasn’t just for us and our audiences, every video on social media had an option to donate to the ‘Leicester Hospitals Charity’ which support patients, their carers, and the NHS staff who look after them in Leicester, Leicestershire, Rutland and beyond. As of the 21st June 2020, Miscast #MakingtheMostofIt has raised £130 for the charity and the option to donate is still open on our social media, or head directly to their website where you can to their emergency Covid-19 Response Fund. Thank you to everyone who has donated to this wonderful cause.  

The Miscasters have had a blast making these musical videos for you, Hannah Castledine from ‘Miscast: The Musical Cabaret’ said; 

“My Favourite Part of doing Miscast #Mtmoi was getting together with the Team again and being welcomed back into the family to do this challenge. My favourite song was obviously SIX. Yass!” 

Cristina Ruiz, who appeared in our ‘Miscast: At the Movies’ in March also had a great experience. 

“Taking part in “Miscast: Making the most of it” has been a great experience. With the lockdown, most of my singing activities had to be cancelled, so this little project gave me something to look forward to in my own time and at my own pace. At first, filming myself singing made me feel self-conscious, but it also helped me improve my performances, and I prefer it over live streaming. I really enjoyed collaborating with people, particularly in the ensemble songs, and learning new songs that I wouldn’t have performed otherwise. My favourite songs are “Ex-Wives” from “Six the Musical” and “You Will Be Found” from “Dear Evan Hansen.” 

Whilst fellow ‘Miscast: at the Movies’ alumnus Sue Green had a very emotional time with the Project: 

“I thoroughly enjoyed #MakingtheMostofIt, this project kept me going through the bad moments and gave me something to focus on without having to think about what was going on in the outside world. My Favourite (and hardest) song was our finale ‘You Will Be Found’ as it really resonated with me. A poignant song and I got to be with my Williams Creatives family again albeit remotely.” 

It’s clear for our wonderful cast that ‘You will be Found’ was the song that really struck a chord within themselves. The feeling that we will all come together again soon could be heard in the fantastic vocal work.  

Overseeing the whole project and actively taking part was our Namesake Creative Director, Joshua Ashton Williams, who could hardly hold in his pride for our Miscasters. 

“One of the things that has been really difficult during the current situation has been losing the physical links to people that I have spent so much time with over the past couple of years who are really important to me. Anyone who does performing arts will understand the bonds created between an ensemble during rehearsals is so strong and hard enough to let go after the conclusion of a performance when it reaches its natural end, losing that so suddenly and completely with no warning has been a really tough pill to swallow. Miscast #MTMOI has given us an avenue to come together again and although it has had its challenges, it has been a really amazing way to connect with everyone that I have missed so much. Having fun recording songs like Not Getting Married or the SIX numbers enabled us to get lost in what we really love for a moment and that has been something that I have personally needed on so many levels. I am always proud of my phenomenal team, but I have never been prouder than I am now, keeping the spirit of Williams Creatives going in a such a different way to how we normally work has been so challenging but they never, ever give up. Words can never express my gratitude to them. Recording ‘You Will Be Found’ was particularly bittersweet for me in this time of major uncertainty, but as I watch the now finished product with us all singing united together it solidifies and renews my resolve. We will be together again, the unbridled joy of theatre and live performance will be found again and Williams Creatives will continue to be a driving force, a place to find and develop your talent and passions, to create something beautiful and inspiring. But above all of this and everything else we will always be a Family.” 

So the project is finished, and we continue on our journey towards returning the stage (and praying there isn’t another wave.) But, I think, this will be one heart-warming project that none of us are ever going to forget.