University of Chichester students revive hidden gem of musical theatre

The University of Chichester’s Musical Theatre Performance Company presents Bare: A Pop Opera, a coming-of-age rock musical widely considered to be a hidden gem within the modern musical theatre canon.

Bare - Ryan Bartholomew and Aurum Elertas who play the lead roles of Jason and Peter
Bare - Ryan Bartholomew and Aurum Elertas who play the lead roles of Jason and Peter

Director Franny Anne Rafferty and choreographer Freya Sands, both known for their work on the smash-hit West End musical SIX, are joined by music director Matt Herbert, whose current credits include associate music director on the UK tour of We Will Rock You.

Resident producer Andrew Wright said: “Bare follows a group of teens as they wrestle with their identities, sexuality and religion at a Catholic boarding school. As they struggle to come to terms with who they are and who the world thinks they should be, they seek answers from their church, their friends, and ultimately from within themselves. As their final year of high school draws to a close, they attempt to navigate the complex road from adolescence to adulthood and must then deal with the consequences of their choices as they prepare to take the next step in their lives.

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“Bare premiered at the Hudson Theatre, Los Angeles in 2000 and has since been performed all over the world. Its rich, vibrant score draws on many styles of contemporary music and has been lauded alongside other rock musicals that have defined the contemporary era such as RENT and Spring Awakening.”

Ryan Bartholomew, who plays the co-lead role of Jason, said: “I absolutely cannot wait to get started on this production. The creative team and the cast are amazing.”

Bare performs at The Alexandra Theatre, Bognor on April 28, 29 and 30 at 7.30pm.

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