Updated: Feb 7
It’s been two years since the feet of York Light Opera Company touched the stage at York Theatre Royal. We asked new member David Copley-Martin what it’s been like for him to be in the rehearsal room and back on stage, for the company of EVITA.
Were you in the middle of performing or rehearsing a show when the pandemic hit?
I was about 3 weeks into the rehearsals for Hello Dolly with YMTC (also based in York).
Is Evita your first time returning to the stage since the pandemic?
Evita is the first time back on stage since the pandemic. I was fortunate to be able to be involved in some online concerts during the pandemic but filming yourself singing and sending across the video to be collated into a concert is just not the same as performing in front of a live audience.
You are playing Magaldi on the Yellow Team, what were your first thoughts when you found out you got the part?
I was overjoyed. I had literally just returned from my honeymoon, had the opportunity to audition and as they say the rest is history!
To be back doing what I love and performing alongside other like-minded people once again was amazing and with such talented people too, is an honour.
Had you seen Evita before being in the show?
I had never seen Evita performed on stage. I had only ever seen the movie. I’ve always loved the music and the depth of the characters and it has been interesting to see the differences between stage and screen adaptations.
How does it feel to be rehearsing and performing again?
Simply put, it is magic. So much hard work and dedication goes into a show but when you feel that electric buzz from the cast and the same electric response from an audience there is nothing that can compare.
What challenges have you faced in the rehearsal room?
It has been difficult to manage the logistics of two principal casts which has resulted in slightly less rehearsal time as it was split between the two of us. The older I’m getting, the longer dance moves take to stick and so it took a while for my feet to do what my head thought they were doing, but I got there! Having two casts has given more members the opportunity to shine which has been fabulous.
What does it mean to you to be returning to the stage?
It has been tremendous and at times very emotional. I have been performing since I was 9 years old and then to suddenly stop was very hard. I have been welcomed with open arms into this wonderful company which has made this comeback experience even more special.
What are the challenges performing such an iconic musical?
The music itself is challenging and intricate. There are some big, well known songs and you want to do them well and make sure you do the characters justice, not just to them as real people but for those who have made these roles their own in previous professional productions.
What’s been your favourite thing about being able to rehearse and perform again?
Being with people again and sharing a mutual love for theatre and the arts.
Even though you are only on stage for a short time you have some fun songs to sing. Which is your favourite?
I could list every song in the show but if I were to narrow it down, I do love singing On This Night of a Thousand Stars as it allows me to interact to those around me on stage and also the audience. It’s also great performing Peron’s Latest Flame too and the sheer power anthem of A New Argentina, for me, is a great ending to Act 1.
EVITA is on until Saturday 19th February at York Theatre Royal so there’s still time to get some tickets. You can see David and the rest of the yellow team perform on Tue 15th, Thu 17th at 7.30pm and Sat 19th at 2.30pm.