Drunk: The Voice Of A New Company

Drew McOnie

And so here we are hurtling towards the end of week one of rehearsals for our premier production, DRUNK. Its amazing to believe that, what started off with a few over-excited interactions between a small group of 'can do' work-aholics has snowballed into some of the most terrifying and inspiring moments of my career... and we are only just starting.

It has been an incredible journey getting to this day. It has without doubt been a lifelong ambition of mine to form a Theatre Dance Company that can act as a creative hub for the development of new choreographic ideas and the platform for new physical productions.

The main difference now of course is that rather than standing up in assembly, begging everyone tocome see my latest production in the playground I am here in London, surrounded by an extremely talented group of creative artists, telling you... and the stakes are much higher.

It is my belief that the formation of a company goes far beyond the building of a website, choosing a logo, taking some nice production shots and abusing the world on social media. Nor is it about celebrating the creative tastes of one individual artist. I believe that companies are formed by the meeting of minds who share the desire for a voice - a voice that wants to be heard.

The seeds of this company started many years ago when I began to get together with inspiring dancers to push ourselves further and share ideas. As the company began to create and perform I was overwhelmed by the hunger these 'all singing, all dancing' artists had to push themselves like athletes and in a simple word, develop. All of these dancers did this for free because of their passion and belief in the voice this company stood for. I'm committed to making this company worthy of their investment.

The McOnie Company is a hot blooded new theatre Dance Company that is at its heart a celebration and exploration into the world of Musical Theatre choreography, creating narrative, dance-led productions that appeal to both the music theatre and pure dance audiences. The company holds a thirst for new music writing and is set to collaborate with some very exciting composers from the worlds of theatre and jazz. Committed to creating innovative work with the hope of cross-pollinating two areas of the industry that can at times be a little misunderstanding of each other - a terrifying yet exciting adventure.

This brings us up to DRUNK, our colourfully ambitious premier production, previewing at Curve Theatre Leicester before speeding into London's Bridewell Theatre in February. DRUNK is set to be a wickedly delicious cocktail of Song and Dance that takes audiences on a high spirited Happy Hour through the ultimate drinks menu. From the 'Shots', the stag do lads with an aggressive case of 'little man syndrome' to 'Vodka', the faded Russian actress living in the distant glamour of her youth. Drunk celebrates not only man's greatest vice and the victims who fall prey to its mood altering qualities but one frozen woman's journey to fluid self confidence. Boasting a completely original score from Drama Desk award-winning and Tony Nominated composer Grant Olding (One Man, Two Guvnors, National Theatre) we really are throwing ourselves wholeheartedly into every detail of this drunken song and dance event. I think it's also safe to say the company are sure enjoying the research for their characters. (More about who's on the drinks menu in next week's blog.)

Emails, designs, calls, rehearsals, ideas, blogs, photos, laughs, tweets, schedules, production meetings, dreams, sweat, blood, tears, budgets and drinks... very little sleep and a lot of hugs and we are on our way. We are all tired but buzzing. Belonging to something that is moving is turning out to be as addictive as our subject matter. Hope to see you there to raise a glass to our new chapter!

DRUNK premieres at London's Bridewell Theatre from 5 February - 1 March 2014. For tickets and info visit www.themconiecompany.com. For more backstage insight follow the company on Twitter @McOnieCompany.

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