October 30, 2023

I Have a Dream   

In this blog post by Kevin Dowsett, the realms of reality TV and musical theatre come together. The blog provides a exploration of the inner mechanisms of a reality show, the varied skills of its contestants, and the skill of establishing a connection with an audience through song and character. His distinctive viewpoints illuminate this considerate analysis. For the complete blog post, please click on the link either above or below in the bio. ☝️👇

We know how it works – weeks of whittling down some hopefuls until two are left and they get to become the leads in the West End show.

I must admit I’m not generally a fan of reality TV because I think a lot of it is fake reality. We know we are manipulated by the TV company’s set-up. We know we are going to hear some back stories and the moments that are held onto forever until they announce the result.  All that talking about triple threats, smashing it, and nailing it. A celebrity appears and they go all OMG goggle-eyed and open-mouthed and ready to swoon. And we are suckers for it all because we like to see people competing – we like to see what might be genuine support for each other or sometimes pretended friendship? It is a competition after all.

I mustn’t get cynical because they all seemed a decent enough bunch of wannabes with bags of enthusiasm. They were a mixture of trained and untrained voices; they could move and some of them can act as well. One contender didn’t look the part as they say but hey, she could sing soulfully, act and dance. Anyway, what is this “looking the part” thing – don’t we live in an age where things can be shaken up a bit? I‘d like to think so but I’m not holding my breath.

And the show reels us in, doesn’t it?  We start to follow the journey of each of them and we have our favourites or wonder how some of them came to be there – not so much here though. Some had beautiful voices and could hold our attention on the stage – genuine stage presence.

The backdrops of Corfu and the house were beautiful. The judges knew what they were talking about, and it all seemed fun, sunny, and summery.

When it comes down to it they all have to be able to sing, dance and act and very few performers can do all three equally well. When we saw the girls auditioning with scripts by the seashore you could see who could “own” those words naturally and who wasn’t ready and needed prompting. Becoming the character is harder than it looks.

You can take to the stage and give a song a blast but unless you can take us to the story inside the song and make it seem your story then what have you got?  It’s just karaoke. We know the songs; we know the original artists but somehow you must make it yours. Isn’t it strange that the best performers make that look so easy and natural? 

I have a theory of my own based on my years of working in this field – the performers who have that special connection with a part and can show us what they feel inside are often the most generous about other performers – they know how hard it is and they know when they are watching it done well because they feel the truth of it.

For once, they have me hooked and I’ll be looking in. I’ll also be rooting for Tobias who occasionally works at Sutton Theatretrain.

Theatretrain, a nationwide provider of weekend theatre schools for young people aged 4-18, specialises in weekly classes in acting, singing, and dancing. An emphasis is placed on learning valuable life skills such as confidence, empathy, courage, and resilience. If you know a child who loves to dance, act and sing or could do with a little confidence boost why not visit to find out what our performing arts classes can offer your child at one of our 80 locations across the UK.

Related Articles

Company Call

Last Sunday, Theatretrain held the company call for their 102nd large-scale show. Artistic Director Kevin Dowsett witnessed seven Theatretrain companies, who had been rehearsing since February, come together for the first time. In just three hours, they transformed a school theatre into a hive of creativity and talent, setting the stage for an unforgettable performance. Read the full blog to dive into the details of this extraordinary day!
Read more >

Sometimes We’re All Empty Vessels

Dive into the captivating world of human behaviour and self-perception with Kevin Dowsett, Artistic Director of Theatretrain. From actors' veiled insecurities to the art of projecting confidence, Kevin explores the intricacies of the human condition. Discover how the stage becomes a training ground for courage, humility, and self-assurance, shaping tomorrow's resilient adults.
Read more >

The Best People Care

Enter the vibrant realm of Theatretrain alongside Artistic Director Kevin Dowsett, where character isn't measured by interactions with animals, but by how we treat children and young people. Join us as we explore the dichotomy of theatre technicians, from begrudging gatekeepers to enthusiastic allies, and the profound influence they have on the stage.
Read more >

Knock Knock Who’s there?

Join Kevin Dowsett, Artistic Director of Theatretrain, and his daughter Grace on a delightful journey through the whimsical world of knock-knock jokes. From Grace's infectious enthusiasm to Shakespearean echoes, each jest is a playful dance of control and delight that transcends generations.
Read more >

Going Mobile

Discover the impact of mobile phones on young minds in this insightful blog by Theatretrain's Artistic Director, Kevin Dowsett. With 25% of 5-7-year-olds owning phones, concerns arise. Yet, Theatretrain offers an escape, fostering a focus on arts and connection, free from distractions. Join the discussion on reclaiming youth in a smartphone-dominated world.
Read more >

West End or Broadway?

Step into the world of theatre with Theatretrain Artistic Director, Kevin Dowsett, as he explores the age-old debate: West End or Broadway? From the rich history of London's 241 theatres to the allure of New York's Broadway, join the discussion on the global capitals of theatre and the challenges facing accessibility today.
Read more >