University of Chichester triple threat students take us back to 1920s Berlin

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Second-year students on the University of Chichester’s musical theatre triple threat course are taking us back to 1920s Berlin with a production of Grand Hotel – The Musical.

They are promising you will be swept away by the captivating story, unforgettable characters and show-stopping musical numbers, with performances on November 23, 24, 25 and 26 at The Assembly Theatre on the University of Chichester’s Bognor Regis campus.

The piece details the lives of the guests and staff at the luxurious Grand Hotel in 1928, exploring the hopes, dreams and secrets of a diverse ensemble of characters, each with their own story to tell, from romantic encounters to scandalous affairs. From powerful ballads to energetic dance numbers, Grand Hotel –The Musical showcases a wide range of musical styles, with a score composed by Maury Yeston and book by Luther Davis. Tickets on​​​​​​​ and search Grand Hotel​​​​​​​.

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Harry Sweetman, who is playing Hermann, said: “It has got a bit of everything. There are lots of different things going on with love and conflict and drama and comedy.

Grand Hotel - The Musical (contributed pic)Grand Hotel - The Musical (contributed pic)
Grand Hotel - The Musical (contributed pic)

"The show has been done before a few times. I believe it was originally on Broadway many, many years ago but it's great to be able to reboot it for now and to offer something new.”

Three students are sharing the role of Flaemmchen. Kate Stevenson, Freyja Bates and Aine Lee will each be offering two performances in the part.

As Kate says: “She has got big dreams. She wants to be a showgirl. She's quite naive in some ways but she's also very intelligent when it comes to speaking to people, particularly men. She is full of hopes but at the moment her career is lacking. She is currently a typist but not for long!”

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Freyja is enjoying the way each of the three of them takes a slightly different approach to the role: “We have done a lot of work together and we have been given opportunities where we can develop together but obviously we can take different approaches to the character.”

For Harry, Hermann is the businessman: “But because of the money crisis around the time of the musical, he is struggling. He needs to find ways to stay in his position and he ends up lying to his company. He's a very good person at the beginning. He's a really kind-hearted man but as the show goes along, it all brings out the darker side in him.”

Harry, who is originally from Bedfordshire, is really loving his time in Chichester: “I really wanted to pursue musical theatre and I was trying to pick a university to go to and there was an open day at Chichester and it just swung it. The most important thing was contact hours and you just want as many contact hours as possible and with this it's something like 30-plus hours a week plus there is a lot of great mental health support and just a really good atmosphere.”

Kate, who is from Essex, is also relishing all the opportunities: “I'm developing as a performer but also as a person. Because of the contact hours we spend so much time together and you just become so much more confident around people. Your confidence grows and everyone is just so supportive.”