Sunday 9 November 2014

T'was the night before production week...

... when all across the city, the sound of 'Chess-the Musical', was heard in full rehearsal.  

That's right it is 8 days till opening night! Here's a little update and a taste of what is in store on the 18th November!

  • The University campus has been hit heavily by a storm of Chess publicity, with posters and flyers bursting from every gap:

  • The Band has been meeting to rehearse the challenging numbers that the show contains, and the cast are very much looking forward to the first time they practice with them. Not long now I promise! 

  • We spent a sunny Saturday morning filming for our second promo video so look out for it's release. If you missed our first, check it out here:

  • We had our headshots taken ready to be inserted into the programme: 

So the stage is set...well nearly, it has yet to be built... but all preparations are in place! The Cast will be working their socks off this week perfecting that particular kick, head movement or harmony, while the technical and stage team don their steel capped boots ready to rig the lights, assemble the stage and source that final prop. 

We hope you are as excited as we are! 

18th-22nd Nov | 7:30pm| 2:30pm sat mat|

Pleasance Theatre


Sunday 12 October 2014

Rehearsals, Fundraising and socials

It's week 4 of university, lectures are in full swing and so is EUSOG! 
I am posting at the end of what MD, Jay Cameron coined as a EU-SLOG *definition* noun- a EUSOG heavy week. 

I am happy however to say that it was fun, successful and anything but a slog! Here is a brief update from all sides of the production 

1. Rehearsals:

The cast have been working hard learning both music and blocking of the show with some promising results being produced already. The intricacies of the music in the show have proved a challenge but with the hard work and concentration, I am frequently blown away with the power and precision of the noise produced. 

Jay and Ethan have been working hard with the principles developing characters and establishing the chemistry between the important relationships in the show. 

Sam has been working the Chorus hard, creating a great dance spectacle for the elicit number "One Night in Bangkok. 

Cast bonding gets very real with some of the warm up games we play...

2. EGM. 

On Monday we held our Extraordinary General Meeting, where we voted on constitutional change- amendment to Article VI.5.ii (this was passed and the new constitution will be uploaded to our website shortly). We also announced the our Gilbert and Sullivan show, being put on in March 2015 as "The Gondiliers" and opened up applications for the proposals as production teams. More information here 

We also elected 3 new member to committee:
Publicity Manager- Liz Mills (replacing Conor McFarlane)
Ordinary Members- Peter Green and Lydia Carrington 

Congratulations! We are excited about welcoming you to committee... what is better than a committee meeting at 10am on a Saturday morning! 

3. Fundraising

We have had a big fundraising push this week holding two bakesales and cabaret night. 
Well Done to Team LucE for winning this baking round... stay tuned for the rematch results. I am a firm believer of putting the FUN in Fundraising, and holding a baking tutorial in my kitchen saw some eggcellent results... though there was some baking sabotage at play. 

Team LucE

Team Gibs

Our "One night in Bangkok" themed Cabaret was very successful mirroring the vibrant scene in the show in someways and thankfully not others! We had a variety of fun performances from barbershop, duets, comedic solos and even a very under- rehearsed number from the production team-
 *disclaimer* That will be no reflection on the standard of show performed in November! 

Thank you very much to everyone who attended, bought raffle tickets and performed. Special thanks goes to Ushers of Edinburgh who hosted us and served us alcohol for the evening! 

I would personally like to thank the cast for being completely on board with everything this week, its been very busy but the outcomes make it all worth it! #happyproducer

4. Socials 

The cast and crew have been getting to know each other at a variety of event including the fundraisers as well as post show visits to our sponsor pub the Pear Tree. As well as producing high quality shows, EUSOG prides itself in being a welcoming society. This was evident in our Judges Houses social, whereby members of the Prod team become "X-Factor" judges for the evening, creating numbers and performing them for the other groups. Opening my door to 10 cast members dressed as elderly people with instruction from social sec Dominic Lewis to produce a contemporary music video style performance of Super Trooper by abba, I knew it was going to be an evening of hilarity. All teams did a sterling job and prizes were awarded to: 

Best Harmonies- The Elderly (Well done team!)
Best Choreography - The animals
Best Overall performance- The Only Way is Essex 
Best Commitment  - Caroline , TOWIE

The Elderly

5. Production Team

Set and tech designs are being developed by our wonderful team and publicity designs are also in the works so stay tuned to get an insight into the overall vision of the production! 

So that's the round up! As you can see it's all go and is only going to get busier in the weeks leading up to the show. As I am writing this it is 39 days, 3 hours and 38 mins until lights will be going up on stage for our first performance. EXCITEMENT! The focus for the next few weeks will be finishing the show material before going onto the "polishing" stage and publicising the show. 

Stay tuned!

Thursday 18 September 2014


After 37 hours of auditions, we have a cast!

Overall we saw an outstanding level of talent. Thank you everyone who auditioned for us it was tough competition and made our decisions very difficult. There were inevitably some highs and lows and a lot of delirium but it was all worth it as we have an incredibly talented group of people ready to tackle a mammoth musical in just 9 weeks!

I am proud to announce the cast of EUSOG's production of Chess.

Freddie - Tadgh Cullen
Anatoly- Douglas Clark
Svetlana- Caroline Hickling
Florence- Lydia Carrington
Molokov- Steven Segaud
Walter- Peter Green
Arbiter-  Giselle Yonace

Female Chorus 
Alice Anning
Francesca Knope
Rachel Cram
Ruth Brown
Ari L'heveder
Jessica Hooppell
Charlotte Weber
Esmee Cook
Cyndi Bonacum
Caoilinn McGarry
Ellie Millar
Claire Saunders

Male Chorus
Harry MacGregor
Tim Pocock
Thomas Ware
Sean Marinelli
Nat Cutter
Ewan McAdam
Dominic Lewis
Nicolas Angelides

Look out for more updates about our rehearsal and behind the scenes work!
Lucy, OUT.

Friday 5 September 2014


With auditions just around the corner we thought you guys might like a little insider knowledge, so we have thrown together a few hints and tips for auditioning as well as a little character description to get you geared up for the roles on offer.

Also get yourselves along to Bedlam Theatre on Monday at 8:30pm for our workshop, all the production team will be there and is the best opportunity to meet us before the audition room. It’s also sure to be a great evening of singing, acting, and having fun so don’t miss out!

The First Audition

First things first, this audition should not be scary, we are a friendly bunch (we hope) and all we’d like to see is what you can do.We have all been on your side of auditions as well so know exactly what it is like. For this audition we ask you to sing a song (acapella) of your choosing and prepare a short monologue. NO PREVIOUS EXPERIENCE REQUIRED!

Pick a song you have rehearsed, that shows off your range and most importantly that you are comfortable singing. Don’t go out of your way to learn a song with crazy high notes and mental riffs because you think that’s what we want to see, show us what you’ve got but don’t strain yourself.

As for a monologue, pick something you can learn comfortably, even if it’s just a few lines. What we’d like to see is how you use the language, convey a character and how you respond to direction.


The callbacks are when we get to see what you can bring to the characters that we will be casting; each auditionee that makes it to this stage will receive an info packet specifically for the roles they are called back for. We also will be hosting a callback workshop where you will have the opportunity to run through the music required for the callback and talk to us about the characters in more detail.

The callback auditions will be open; anyone who makes it to this stage will be performing not only for the panel but for the other auditionees called for the same role. This will of course be quite nerve racking but try your best to transmit that pressure into positive energy and produce a great performance! From these final auditions we will pick our cast.

A bit about the Characters...

Anatoly Sergievsky

Societ Chess Grandmaster and the musicals romantic male, but that is far from a definition of the man. Anatoly is presented to us as a man who really cares about his game. He hates the political ideals that surround the game he loves; it has left him unsatisfied with his position in the Chess World. In his song  “Where I want to be” we get a glance into what it was like for him to rise the ranks, and how he feels little more than a Soviet pawn in the struggle for small political victories during the Cold War. He plays by their rules and does as he is told, but when he falls for his opponents second, things begin to change in Anatoly. Seizing his life in his hands he upstages his victory at the championship by defecting to the UK to live a life with Florence. In an attempt to make more of his life he begins to worry more about his love of Florence and avoiding his life as he once knew it in Russia rather than on the game.

This role is a tenor role with some incredible vocal high points including the Act 1 Finale “Anthem” in which he acknowledges that though he has left his country he carries it with him in his heart. He challenges the political ideas of both delegations with the notion that love is what ought to matter more than what borders surround you.

Frederick Trumper

Freddie is a particularly challenging role for a performer to tackle. On first listen you will recognise that he has the most demanding tenor part in the show, ranging up to a high C#, on top of this there is the task of presenting a difficult character development as the show plays out.

Throughout most of the show Freddie is presented to the audience as a very skin deep character with a swollen ego, a stark contrast to the deep and thoughtful Anatoly. However, as Act 2 unfolds, the complexities of Freddie's character are unveiled, culminating in the emotional high point of the act, "Pity The Child", revealing a guarded young man haunted by the abandonment of his parents who found comfort and hope in his discovery of chess, but whose success in the game has made him proud and arrogant. His final appearance in "Talking Chess" completes his journey and the audience is left with the satisfaction of a fabulously written character, one that has passed through pain, rejection, triumph, corruption and redemption.

In preparation for this role we would of course advice auditionees to study the vocal part in great detail but to also recognise that Freddie is not just a show off part for a singer but also a wonderful challenge for an actor.

Florence Vassy

Our Female protagonist, Florence is introduced to us as Freddie’s Chess Second and lover. She works to keep Freddie’s ego from swelling too far and prevent him from stepping into serious trouble with his delegation and the press. She loves him dearly, but Freddie’s temper often causes for him to lash out at her. Soon disillusioned with Freddie she begins to fall for Anatoly and when Freddie goes one step too far she seizes a moment and runs off with Anatoly.

On top of all this we discover that her Father was taken as a Soviet prisoner of war during the Budapest Uprising of 1956. She presumes him to be dead, but this piece of information does not go unnoticed by the politicians surrounding her.

Florence provides us with many excellent musical moments, a highlight being “Nobody’s Side” when she establishes herself as her own woman, not to be pushed around by any of the drama and politics surrounding the game. She is passionate, intelligent and devoted

Alexander Molokov

Scheming Russian delegate Molokov always has his Soviet ideals on his mind; he will always do what is necessary to win for his country. We see this right from the start as he tries to convince Anatoly that the only way to make certain of their victory is if Anatoly takes Florence’s love from Freddie, and later it becomes a little darker as he blackmails Svetlana to bring her husband down.

A Baritone role, this diplomat presents an opportunity for an actor to give us a bit of a villainous character. Vocal highlights include the “Soviet Machine” number which is reminiscent of “To Life” from Fiddler.

Walter de Courcey

Walter is the representative from Global Television who is broadcasting the Championship, and is a member of the American Delegation. Similarly to Molokov he is always pulling strings to get the best outcome for his country.  Also a baritone role

Svetlana Sergievsky

Anatoly’s wife and the mother of his children, she is blackmailed by Molokov to bring Anatoly down in the closing scenes of the play. She joins Florence in singing “I Know Him So Well.” She is feisty and passionate, she wants nothing more than to guarantee her families safety and bring Anatoly home.


The President of the World Chess Federation, the Arbiter is a tenor and acts as referee for the Chess matches. He is an experienced player and referee and sees through any ploys or gambits played by both sides, he remains impartial throughout and is very proud of his position. He has a fantastic number in the show with some excellent chess related puns thrown in. Although this role is fairly small, it provides an actor with a classy, fun role with heaps of attitude.

The Choir

Our choir will be 20 strong, and will provide the excellent choral sound that gives this score such a great depth of sound and harmony. The choir will multirole, playing a variety of characters throughout the show including; delegates, press reporters, and Chess pieces among others. There will be an amount of movement involved in playing a chorus role however dance experience, although desirable, is NOT essential.

And that’s everyone.

Hope this has been helpful and got you excited about the auditions. We can’t encourage you enough to audition, no previous experience required,  it is sure to be an absolute blast and we cannot wait to get started. To sign up for an audition, contact to get a time allocated.

See you there!


Friday 29 August 2014


As a production team we wanted to document the adventure we are embarking upon, thus "The Story of Chess" was born. We will be posting regularly during the process and we hope our followers will enjoy our behind the scenes perspective. Also from a Producers point of view and having been involved in student theatre for two years, I thought it would be different to reveal the secrets behind a production and archive how the final product materialises.  

First of all what is the show about? 

Taking something seemingly insignificant, a chess game, Benny Anderson, Bjorn Ulvaeus and Tim Rice explore the dynamics of political and romantic relations against the backdrop of the cold war. A tournament ensues that sees An American and A Soviet come face to face in battle before developing the story line to allow for political metaphors, romance and character redemption. The music is rousing and complex making this a perfect show for Edinburgh Savoy Opera Group.

Now lets meet the team...

Ethan Baird- Director
Ethan has been involved in a number of EUSOG's past productions most recently taking on the role of Rod in the sell out production of Avenue Q in the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. This is his first delve into directing with EUSOG and he has so far been tackling the task head on getting the team excited by his artistic visions.

Jay Cameron- Musical Director
Jay, having joined EUSOG a year ago has quickly established himself within the soicety, known to many as the Ninja champion he is now taking the role of Musical Director. This is no mean feat, as we discovered with the recent delivery of the vocal scores, which we are sure he will guide the cast and band through without a hitch.

Samuel Burkett- Choreographer 
Talented dancer and choreographer, Sam has been enlisted to bring movement to the production in ways which will mirror the themes and visions of Ethan and Jay. One year on from his first EUSOG venture, we are excited to see what he can bring to the chess board...

Tom Turner- Technical Manager 
Having been involved in student theatre from the get go and having a wealth of experience in all things Tech we are glad to be in his more than competent hands with this production! With exciting designs we are sure he can liven up the 8 minute chess game and compliment the themes of the show.

Andrew McDivitt - Set Designer
With demanding potential set design we are excited to welcome Andrew all the way from Glasgow to help us assemble a stage which will allow for the boundaries of past EUSOG set design to be broadened and taken to a new level...

Liz Mills and Lucy Gibbons - Co-Producers 
Keeping the boys in line and double threat we are in charge of the logistics of the production. Liz will be using her plethora of producing experience to create masterful publicity designs securing an audience to bear witness to what we promise will be an incredible show. I (Lucy) will be using my love of lists and all things EUSOG to ensure everything runs smoothly as well as providing tea on tap for the team. 

So that's our introduction...

We hope you will become as excited by the production as we are (listen to the soundtrack and I promise you will be humming it continuously) Over the next 12 weeks expect to see the highlights of adventure, what is in store for you I cannot predict. 

Next stop, auditions. Stay tuned!