After success with Kiss Me Kate, the University of Chichester’s musical theatre students are back on Bognor’s Alexandra Theatre stage for the second half of their double bill of Cole Porter classics.
Anything Goes will be at the venue on Thursday, November 22 and every evening at 7.30pm until Saturday, November 24, with a 2.30pm matinee on the Saturday, with tickets available from the Regis Centre box office on 01243 861010.
Ellie Kingdon will be playing Reno, a dream part for her in her home-town theatre.
“I was about four when I started performing,” Ellie says. “I come from Bognor Regis.
“It is my home town, and it is lovely that this is my home theatre.
“I went to Art of Dance and Fitness and there was an amateur dramatic company called Rainbow. I did that, and it was amazing. It pointed me towards performing. I loved it.
“I auditioned for a London degree and I got a place, but my housing fell through, and so I ended up coming to Chichester which has been the best decision I have ever made.
“It has been great. I think the London places could be quite competitive, but with this we are like one big family.
“When you audition here, you have got to audition properly, but there is just so much support. Obviously, I don’t know what the London places would be like, but here everyone is so supportive in every way.”
Ellie lives at home: “Last year when everybody was in halls, I had an escape and could go home and have me time and come back refreshed.
“ In the first term, I found it difficult to make friends because everybody had their house mates and I didn’t know anyone, but that was only at the beginning. It just meant that it took a little longer to get to know people, but I am quite a home bird anyway!
“I am now in my second year, and I think Chichester is so underestimated.
“The teachers are incredible. The facilities are great and the grounds are so beautiful and we have good links with Chichester Festival Theatre and we have good performance venues. It really does feel like we have got one foot in the door.”
Capping it all is being back at the Regis Centre: “I grew up at the Regis Centre. My first show was there.
“And I have already done Anything Goes. My sister had the lead role. That was at the Regis Centre as well, and I was one of the main dancers. Since then I have always wanted to do the lead role, and now I have got the lead.”
She is back on the same stage in the role she wanted, Reno: “She is great. She is quite vulnerable, but it is hidden.
“She is a performer and she is very brash, but you get to see three or four glimpses of her vulnerability. She is very me.
“I feel very at home playing her. She is very brash and I feel I am quite brash. I am not very good at the lovey-dovey songs. I like the big songs that you belt out! That’s the kind of thing I love!”
The performances of the company will be assessed: “It is a double module.
It is a big module to do, and I think we get a mark from the musical director, a mark from the director and a mark from the choreographer which is averaged out, but I think it is also on the whole process, on the whole way we have worked.”