After absolutely loving But I'm a Cheerleader, it has definitely become one of my top shows of 2022, and a contender for all time. When Megan is sent away to a conversion centre called 'True Directions', she discovers many things about herself that enlighten her world, and explore the meaning of sexuality. Packed with hilarity and a fantastic score, in combination with perfect casting and directing, it is a must-see for contemporary theatre fans.
Read my full review here:
Playing the leading role, Alice Croft does an impeccable job as Megan, seemingly made for the stage as soon as she enters. Her talents shine throughout and the piece as a whole is joy to watch. Feeling very lucky to have her contributions, read on to find out more about Alice's experience with working on the show.
How would you describe But I’m a Cheerleader to someone who’s never heard of it before?
It’s vibrant, camp, poignant, hilarious, upbeat, emotional- basically it takes you on a rollercoaster, but there will definitely be tears- of laughter or sorrow!
What were your initial thoughts when getting the role, and being presented with the script?
At first I thought ‘why on earth have I been cast as Megan?’ She’s popular, girly, loud, confident- not words I would associate with myself 100% of the time. But as I explored the character, and was able to make her my own, it made so much sense. She may be all of the above, but she’s also sensitive, passionate and ready to find herself. It’s been a blast to play such a positive character and I think it’s really helped me to find all the excitement in life.
How did you find yourself in the character, and what does it mean to you to play a part that so openly represents the LGBTQ+ community?
Being Megan has helped me explore my own queerness over the last few months, proving to me it truly is a wide spectrum and you don’t ever have to tick boxes- it’s how you feel inside. It’s an honour to deliver this story to an audience every night- whether it be to young girls who are questioning their sexuality, parents who are trying to learn more to support their children, or introducing someone to the queer community for the first time, the story has helped so many people open their eyes and see that this colourful community deserve the same rights as everyone else.
Do you do anything specific to prepare to go on stage before the show, or after the interval?
I don’t really- I always thought I would be so superstitious. But as long as I am feeling cool, calm, collected and hydrated, then I am ready to go. I love to have a laugh with my cast in the dressing room before hand though, as it gives me a final boost before we start this super energetic show.
This show looks like it's so much fun to be part of! Can you tell us about some of your favourite memories of its run so far?
A personal favourite memory was the bows after the first preview- I had waited so long to start performing again after the pandemic, but to receive the final bow just filled me with emotion. I WAS BACK, BABY!
We also got to meet Joel Michaely who starred in the original movie of [But I'm A Cheerleader]. He shared his story about his time on the film and how it helped him discover his true self. It’s such a privilege to keep the story going 20+ years later.
How did you discover your passion for the arts?
I was always glued to the TV when I was younger, mostly watching ballets and ‘Annie’ on repeat. I’d get so familiar with these tapes that I would recreate them on repeat. My parents had a lot of patience… They had always allowed me to explore my passion from a very young age, albeit coming from an area where the performing arts don’t really exist. If it wasn’t for them believing that I had something special then I would never be where I am today.
What advice would you give to your younger self entering the industry?
Don’t listen to the grown ups who try to hold you back. It’s easy to be influenced by the words of adults when you’re young, but stay stubborn and keep at it regardless. Persevere and trust your own gut- you know you are good, deep down, even though you are so shy. But as you grow, your confidence will bloom and you’ll discover who you are and all your talents.
And lastly, who inspires you and why?
Anyone and everyone who is in this industry. It’s by no means easy and takes so much work to get here. This includes creatives, agents, backstage crew. It takes a lot of passion and sometimes it’s easy to just want to walk away. But we are a family, and I will continue to adore working with them and feeling inspired every day.
Huge thank you to Alice for giving some brilliant answers, and being part of such a great show that we can only hope continues to go far. Best of luck with whatever comes next too!
Additional thanks to Alice's agent, Chris Davis, for arranging this.