An Interview with Holly Marsden

This week the EUSOG will be bringing H.M.S. Pinafore coming to Assembly Roxy. The Mumble managed to catch up with its director for a quick interview;

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THE MUMBLE : Hello Holly, so where ya from & where ya at,geographically speaking
HOLLY : I am from a village in Cambridgeshire and currently attend the University of Edinburgh, studying History of Art.

THE MUMBLE : You’ve had quite a busy time in your three years in Edinburgh : performing, directing and producing scores of productions. What is it about the theatre that you love
HOLLY : I have always been involved in theatre – I guess it’s my form of personal expression. Performing and watching theatre is escapism, during which the trials of life can be forgotten about. It is the whole process that I love though: collaborating with like-minded people to create something organic and original that reflects not only what you are performing, whether it is a musical, devised or whatever, but the relationships that have developed over the short period of rehearsal time. You have such a short and fleeting time to build friendships that everybody is instantly open and willing to show their whole selves. I feel I can be myself. I also love how theatrical works stand as a reflection of that historical period, how people felt at that time, and how relatable they are even in the modern context; Pinafore stands as a perfect example of this!



THE MUMBLE : Can you tell us how Spring Awakening went at last year’s Fringe
HOLLY : Spring Awakening was such a whirlwind. Containing such deep and emotional themes as the show does, the rehearsal and performance period was intense and emotionally challenging. I couldn’t quite believe how much of a success it was; we sold out every night and received many standing ovations. I knew it was a good show because of how it felt, and how talented the director Emily Aboud is, but selling so well was brilliantly shocking. The reviews topped it off as one of the best performance experiences I have had. I credit it to the talent and dedication of Emily and the rest of the production team as well as my fab fellow cast members.

THE MUMBLE : What does Holly Marsden like to do when she’s not immersing herself in the theatrical arts
HOLLY : When not being a drama kid, I work with children with additional needs at playscheme and at a nursery. I also work at a modern art gallery in New Town and as a student ambassador for Edinburgh College of Art. I have a passion for historical documentaries, pub quizzes, glitter and I love having obscure experiences (or exploring Edinburgh’s vegan eats) and laughing with pals. I also like finding excuses to travel as much as possible and pretend to study.

THE MUMBLE : You’re just about to put on H.M.S Pinafore along with the rest of the EUSOG. Why this choice
HOLLY : I have been a member of EUSOG since 2015 and am on the committee as a Fundraising Manager, so am aware of how they run as a society and I guess this meant I felt comfortable enough to propose my vision. EUSOG also has a great and well-established reputation that has been building since its establishment in 1961. Applying to direct a Gilbert and Sullivan, being so well known, felt right as this is my first musical directing experience.

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THE MUMBLE : How will you be presenting HMS Pinafore aesthetically
HOLLY : Aesthetically, this version of HMS Pinafore is set on board a present-day cruise ship so we are going for lots of fun colours and patterns. There are recognisably modern features – expect lots of inflatables, leis and sunglasses.

THE MUMBLE : How is Musical Director Sam Coade handling the band & the music
HOLLY : Sam Coade is wonderful, not only is he extremely talented but he makes me laugh constantly. I think it’s important to have a good relationship with your prod team to ensure things run smoothly. We have worked together to decide on the sound we want to create in order to fit the vision, and Sam has been great in arranging the music to align with this. We have just had the sitzprobe and the band sound amazing! It is going to be a very musically-pleasing show indeed.

THE MUMBLE : What does the rest of 2017 hold in store for Holly Marsden
HOLLY : Looking forward, I am taking a break from the high table and auditioning for Fringe shows (fingers crossed). I hope to visit friends abroad over summer and complete an internship. As for my final university year, I will hopefully be on a committee and start a pottery society and/or Louis Theroux society with my flatmates. But no set plans so I will just see what comes my way!



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