We had great fun this week launching Dante or Die's 80s-inspired show Take On Me, which will be performed after hours at Rossmore Leisure Centre from 16-18 November. It offers local people the amazing opportunity to play a part in the show - either in an acting capacity or in a backstage role - no prior experience required! Find out more about how YOU can get involved here ...
Beauty and loneliness collide in Andrew Muir’s dazzling and often surreal play, seen through the lens of an everyday fitness and leisure centre. Set in the 1980s world of headbands and legwarmers, it follows a lonely woman at the gym for the first time and a lifeguard who has never saved anyone.
At once brilliantly comic, touching and true, Take On Me is a revealing dissection of the anxieties and concerns which underpin each one of us, as we strive for better versions of ourselves.
Live musicians belt out classic 80s hits including I Wanna Dance With Somebody and Flashdance, and lead the audience through the changing rooms, gym, an aerobics class and finally the pool. The audience become a fly on the wall for one extraordinary day in these people’s lives.
General Manager of Rossmore Leisure Centre and Mayor of Poole Sean Gabriel ommented: “I am thrilled that the centre is hosting these special performances of Take On Me. We are set for two night of very special entertainment.”
The cast includes Fiona Watson as Lisa and Eleanor Isherwood, George Hicks and Sophie Gunn are the musicians, with the role of the Lifeguard to be announced soon.
A guest cast of local people will be recruited to play a variety of parts and backstage roles for the show.
“We have several voluntary roles to suit all levels of availability, age and interests – and no acting or theatre experience is necessary,” explains Local Community Co-Ordinator for Dante or Die, Gemma Alldred. “Are you part of a Choir? Then you could sing the classic Bonnie Tyler hit Holding Out for A Hero by the pool for the show’s finale; workout in our Aerobics class - come and get dressed in 80s aerobics costumes & learn our Jane Fonda inspired dance routine; play one of our key characters, such as the leisure centre receptionist, karate kid & an unexpected love interest; or help out backstage - bring your hair and makeup skills, help out with the 80s costumes, or get involved in technical roles.”
Anybody interested in getting involved is invited to join Dante or Die at Rossmore Leisure Centre on Saturday 29 September between 10am and 12pm to find out more at an information drop-in session.
Each performance of Take on Me will have integrated BSL communication by Dante or Die’s Access Associate, Sophie.Gunn.
Take On Me is the winner of Arts Partnership Surrey & Farnham Maltings ‘Not For the Likes of Me’ commission and was seed funded by Harlow Playhouse . It is funded by Big Lottery Fund, Garfied Weston Foundation and the Arts Council England’s Strategic Touring Fund, which champions new ways of reaching people who don’t regularly engage with the arts.
The production is presented in partnership with Lighthouse, Creative Arts East, Ideas Test, The Lowry, Ealing Council and South Street. It was first performed in a mini tour across leisure centres in Surrey in 2016.
If you’re interested in getting involved you can contact Gemma Alldred at email@example.com or head down to the information drop in at Rossmore Leisure Centre, this Saturday 29th September from 10am - 12pm.
Image: Launching Take on Me at Rossmore Leisure Centre:
Top L-R: Perdie Bargh (Lighthouse), Gemma Alldred (Dante or Die), Sean Gabriel (General Manager of Rossmore Leisure Centre & Mayor of Poole), Fiona Watson (Dante or Die).
Bottom L-R: Lynda Barber (Lighthouse) and Jodie Watkins (Lighthouse)