EUC students are currently hard at work rehearsing, as 24 students from study association EUCSA will take the stage at Theater Zuidplein on 7 May with a self-written musical called People We Love. The story is set in Wilson’s Bar, a pub where the ten completely different leads cross paths and experience the passions of life. Each character deals with their own struggles. “It’s based on Love Actually. As the story progresses, you’ll think, ‘Oh, that character is connected to that character.’ Or: ‘Oh, so they’re related! And they’re friends'”, says Alex Licu, a second-year who conceived and wrote the story and is also doing the choreography.

Practice, practice, practice

“We are rehearsing about ten hours a week now”, says third-year student Jules Potier, co-writer, co-creator and director. A room on the second floor of EUC has been rented out where she and co-director Yorrick Bronsgeest are putting the finishing touches to some scenes with a number of actors. With a script full of notes, their full concentration is on going through the scene. “Because we are now making a musical completely in-house, it gives us the freedom to mould the characters to the actors, rather than the other way around”, Yorrick says. Besides being one of the directors, he also does a lot of work in production and communications. Thanks to him, the group will soon be performing at Theater Zuidplein. “It’s really crazy! None of us would have expected that.”

Meanwhile, in the basement of EUC, another group, led by Alex, is practising an upbeat choreography to Elvis Presley’s Jailhouse Rock. Expressive and full of enthusiasm, she demonstrates the moves and gives instructions on the dance steps. The cast listens intently. “It’s hard work, but it’s so worth it!”, says Annabel from the ensemble. “The atmosphere is really good”, says Lucy, another member. “We really are a family here.”

Drunken evening

The idea for the musical came into being last June. Alex recounts, “It was actually quite random. But I knew I really wanted to make something myself this year. Then one drunken night, I said to Jules: ‘Come on! We are making our own musical this year!’ And that’s how it started.” Together, the friends worked on the script for months. “We now have a 150-page story”, Jules says. Casting began in September, and now a team of 35 cast crew members are working tirelessly towards the May performance.

Alex and Jules have been on stage with this committee before, but this is the first time they are completely in charge. “Making something completely from scratch is so complex, but so much fun!”, says Alex. “It is also frightening, though”, says Jules. “Last year, we did Mamma Mia. That meant we had endless examples to draw inspiration from. But this story is our own, so we can really go in any direction.” Kee Nollet says, “Having this much creative freedom is really great.” She is in charge of music and vocals. “Whenever a harmony really comes together, I think: ‘It just worked! We actually did it!’”

The performance of People We Love will be on Tuesday, 7 May at 18:45. Tickets can be ordered here, for €9.39.

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