Spotlight on Island Song’s Poppy Brooks

Poppy Brooks.JPGTell me about your background and performance history?

Well I did quite a lot of unpaid theatre work whilst at University and then went on to study a Professional Development course at Associated Studios in Musical Theatre. Since then I have been fortunate enough to perform in several concerts and shows including a charity tour in India with Toccata Musical Productions.

How did you come together as a company?

Once I asked Grace to come on board with the project as MD we started discussing more and more of the artistic and technical side of things until we realised we were collaborating on pretty much everything and it was working really well.

Island Song is a rewritten work by Sam Carner and Derek Gregor, what made you choose this unfamiliar production over something everyone knew?

I had had the opportunity to work with Sam and Derek on some of their music earlier in the year and fell in love with the comedy writing and melodies straight away. Once I discovered Island Song I was hooked! I knew it would be a fantastic opportunity to show more people what Carner & Gregor were writing and lucky for me they let me!

This is one-night show is produced by Polyphony Productions (Poppy Brooks and Grace McCabe). Any plans for longer running production in the future?

In the future we would love to have a longer running show definitely.

What have been the challenges with putting on the production around other commitments?

Definitely fitting rehearsals in around everyone’s schedules. 5 performers and 3 band members all who have other commitments equals a lot of calendar data collection!

You are performing at Chelsea Theatre? As a new company, did you struggle to find affordable spaces?

We had quite a tight budget so it was a combination of finding affordable performing spaces and them not already being booked when our performers were available!

Do you think the theatre community is doing enough to help new production companies or are you left to fend for yourself?

I do think it’s a case of if you know where to look and do lots of research it is a little easier, but I think it’s the same for all companies when you start out whether theatre or not. It’s a little of groping the wall in the dark until you find the light switch.

What character do you play and are you quite similar or different from them?

I play Jordan, a career driven bright young woman and in that way think we are quite similar (though I may flatter myself). I like to think I’m a little less black and white in my views of what fits in my life plan.

Island Song is on at Chelsea Theatre on 30 September Tickets can be purchased here

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