On Sunday 8th September 2013 our summer Phantom of the Opera cast received a very special guest at the Adam Smith Theatre. Ciaran Sneddon, a YMTS participant studying for an HND in Practical Journalism at Fife College, went along to report on the event. He had the article below published in the Courier, so we’ll leave all explanations to the expert himself:
He’s here, the Phantom of the Opera
A real-life “Phantom of the Opera” came to the Adam Smith Theatre on Sunday to offer a masterclass to the cast who performed the hit show in Kirkcaldy this summer.
Jim (James) Patterson, who was in the original West End cast, gave the young performers advice on how to add more detail and depth to their performance of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s long-running musical in a 6-hour workshop.
Jim performed as Don Attilio and Passarino in the original cast 27 years ago and then went on to play Monsieur André and the Phantom himself. He also directed productions of the show. Jim spoke with passion about the young cast and relished every moment he spent working with the group.
“All I can say to you is that I am enjoying working with you an awful lot. You’re all so responsive. I love it, so thank you very much.”
Jim, who went to school in Fife, described how amazed he had been by the skills displayed by the ON at Fife Youth Music Theatre cast.
“I am overwhelmed because they perform with such enthusiasm, talent and commitment. That is overwhelming.
“It has been such a long time since I have done Phantom and the memories are flooding back. Thank you for taking me back 27 years.”
The cast, ranging in age from 11 to 21, performed four shows of Phantom of the Opera in July to rave reviews and are now looking to build on the production that they put together in just 3 weeks of rehearsals.
Janet Robertson, director of ON at Fife Youth Music Theatre’s production, and Creative Director of Youth Music Theatre Scotland, said she was glad to be able to go back over the show with a fine tooth comb.
“The idea of being able to work into the detail that we don’t always get helps add a gloss finish. Having the opportunity to have Jim give his perspective is fantastic.”
Aimee Izatt, 17, described how important the masterclass was to her.
“I can’t believe he’s here! I have been dreaming of this my whole life so actually meeting someone from the original cast is fantastic. He’s an inspirational person.”
Hannah Wilson, 19, agreed, adding that meeting somebody who had made it in the industry she hopes to join was very exciting.
“That’s where we want to be. He is who we want to be in so many years’ time. For him to come see an amateur group is very generous.”
Alastair More, who played Monsieur André at the Adam Smith, also enjoyed meeting a man who had performed in his role on the West End production.
“It is brilliant getting to work with an actual professional. He is amazing and helps you improve your own performance skills.”
Asked if Phantom would be making a return to the Adam Smith, Janet replied: “You never know, he’s always here.