An Interview with Lexi L - Hurstpierpoint College

An Interview with Lexi L

Why did you decide to do Hurst in REP?

For my EPQ, I had the option to do an essay or an artefact. Though I was originally unsure about doing Hurst in REP, Mr Gasper approached me with the idea of doing a musical, though said that I didn’t have to compose all the music myself. After a bit of research, I decided to use Michael Bublé’s music whilst writing a story about my great-grandmother’s fascinating past. I had always wanted to retell it—I even wrote a book about it as a child—and felt that the EPQ project would be the perfect opportunity to do so.

How did you come to discover your great-grandmother’s story?

I’ve always had an interest in my great-grandmother’s past, as ultimately, it’s the story of where I come from too. I was told bits of it here and there as a child, but she kept it all very under wraps and I really knew nothing about my great-grandfather too. Researching into their past was extremely interesting; the stories I read and videos I watched were really something else, and I have no idea how my great-grandmother managed to survive such harrowing experiences.

What inspired you to use Michael Bublé’s music?

I had been to see Michael Bublé in concert last year and watching him perform live made me realise how his songs are actually quite theatrical (as opposed to many others, like Adele’s songs, which focus on love and other people). His music is also hugely varied, with accompaniments ranging from big orchestras to solo piano, and his great number of songs and covers offered me lots of scope for interpretation. I just really clicked with his songs, and spent a lot of time listening to them and thinking about how I could use them in my musical.

What is the main difference between performing in a production and directing one?

Mr Gasper originally suggested that I should be the main part, however I really wanted to see things from the other side. I’ve always performed in shows, and felt that to direct this one properly I needed to be watching out for where people needed to be and what they needed to do. It was amazing to see my vision come to life, watching it progress further with every rehearsal and then performance. With Mr Gasper’s help, I hand-picked a cast list (being careful not to include those already busy with other performances!) and luckily they were all up for being a part of the project. Everyone was brilliant and really happy to be there, which made my job as a director all that much easier.

What did you like about how the performances went?

I found everyone’s feedback really moving. In my eyes, it was a wonderful outcome for the project—everything ran so smoothly, and just seeing the musical live on stage was perfect. Seeing something that I’ve written and directed come to together like that gave me a really great feeling, and was hugely rewarding. I’d do it again in a heartbeat!

If you could take the piece further, what would you want to do with it?

I’d love it to go big if I could! It was only a 35-minute performance, so I would turn it into a full how and use many more songs too. The dream would be to have a bigger cast, with professional actors, and a full orchestra.

Would you recommend doing an EPQ artefact to Lower Sixth students?

I would definitely recommend doing an artefact, but only if you really want to and you are passionate about your chosen project. If I hadn’t had been personally invested in my musical, there’s no way that it would have been as successful. I would 100% encourage you to do something a bit different, and stand out from the rest! I know others who struggled to get stuck into their projects, and wished they’d done an artefact rather than an essay.

Do you plan to continue with drama after you leave Hurst?

Yes, absolutely. I am hoping to do a degree in Psychology at university, but I’m also specifically looking at drama and sports programmes that I’ll be able to do alongside my studies. I’m hoping to study in a city university, where I’ll be able to keep up my performance.