Meet Spider – Abby Riddell
Who is Abby?
I’m from Nottingham and I work in communications.
I’m 25 and I perform because I like attention (laughs). I have sung for as long as I can remember but I’m not a triple threat as I can’t dance, but I can bring the sass!
Tell us about your time with BMTG
I joined BMTG in 2014 after university for the 2014 concert, ‘Jukebox’. I had moved back to Nottingham and wanted to get involved with theatre again. Although I went on to do other projects with other companies, I came back to BMTG because I consider it home. The camaraderie and the creativity is fantastic and not only do you get the chance to perform, you can get involved with set making, social events and the general running of the society. We are all one team working together for the same goal – to produce high quality shows.
Why did you want to be involved in this production?
This musical is really different from the last few shows that BMTG have done. The music in the show was the biggest draw for me. It is full of emotion and really allows its actors to explore the darker sides of their characters.
How is this production bringing something new to this story?
It’s going to have a female narrator instead of a male. It’s going to have a lot of symbolism due to the set and the chorus will be wearing steam punk costumes which is anachronistic to the actual period but makes it different to the traditional costume.
The character of Spider is usually played by a male and has a different role in the show. How did you feel about the casting choice of your part?
I was thrilled to be offered the part of Spider. I like the idea that the part could be androgynous in attitude and appearance. The character is a bad ass pimp who addresses the facade to the audience. I have created a back story about Spider which involves her being raised in a brothel. She used to sit in the window where she could only face one way and this explains why she has such a pale face on one side (laughs). I love the theatricality of the character and how she is so different to how I am in real life. There are some challenges with Spider though as she is a horrible character during the story but there needs to be a balance of some likability so the audience can relate to her when she is narrating the story.
Besides this one, what’s your favorite musical and why?
It has to be Miss Saigon as I’ve seen it twice on the West End and I adore the music in it! I love the part of ‘The Engineer’ as he is very similar to my character in Jekyll, being the narrator, although he is much more likeable.
If you had a magic wand, what show would BMTG do next?
Sweeney Todd as I would love the chance to play Mrs Lovett. I like the craziness of her character and she has some fantastic songs in the show. She’s quite a complex character considering she is caring one minute and chopping people up into pies, the next.
What’s the last thing you think about before you step out on stage and the curtain goes up?
I say in my head ‘please let me do my best’. I do get nervous and those nerves stay with me until the final curtain comes down. If I wasn’t nervous in a show, I’d be worried.
What will the audience be thinking about in the car as they drive home after this show?
I think that they will be thinking what a high standard that BMTG has produced. We have had an influx of highly talented newcomers that have joined for this show. Hopefully these will be the topic of discussion. I also hope the audience see just how powerful this musical is.
Abby’s full BMTG history:
Jukebox – Ensemble
Lights Camera Action – Stage crew
The Wedding Singer – Linda
All Shook Up – Sylvia
Jekyll & Hyde – Spider