Backstage Pass: assistant-directing the school play

I’ve just completed a week as Assistant Director on the school play, this year the 40s/50s-set musical, ‘Guys and Dolls’.


In a theatre, this means taking extra rehearsals, doing the Director’s admin, corralling the cast and crew, and liaising with technical staff to work out how to both make this an excellent production and keep the director happy.

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Cover#4: Adelaide’s Pop Psychology from ‘Guys and Dolls’

Our school play (musical) is ‘Guys and Dolls’, which is a darling of a show with incredibly upbeat numbers and period styling as it’s set in the 50s, and is one I produced back at University … unfortunately in the days just before social media and digital cameras.
One of the two pairs of romantic leads is Adelaide, the ‘comedy’ female lead. She has a brilliant number called, rather unimaginitively, ‘Adelaide’s Lament’, where she is reading a pop psychology book that explains that her constant cold is actually a psychosomatic response to having been engaged for fourteen years but not actually getting anywhere near the altar. This is clearly a sore point for her, despite her comically chirpy outlook, as she’s already written to her mother about her five kids and her husband’s promotion. The lyrics are a delight: here’s a version of it (at 6.18) with the scene leading up to it beforehand…

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