Holly Bradbury is a former Maple Ridge resident. The 19-year-old to appear in TUTS’ latest musical, Something Rotten. (Special to The News)

Holly Bradbury is a former Maple Ridge resident. The 19-year-old to appear in TUTS’ latest musical, Something Rotten. (Special to The News)

Maple Ridge’s 19-year-old to play multiple roles in TUTS’s Something Rotten

She started acting at the age of 4

For theatre artists like Maple Ridge’s Holly Bradbury, COVID brought numerous challenges – including putting live theatre on hold.

Post pandemic, when theatre companies resumed casting calls, it was time to head back to the stage for Bradbury. She remembered her first audion post pandemic.

The 19-year-old went to audition, hoping for any role in the show.

“I’m such a big fan of musicals and was just excited to be a part of it somehow.”

There was nervousness, she admitted.

“But it’s such a friendly and welcoming environment that I found myself ending up having a great time,” she explained.

This time she was auditioning for a role in Theatre Under The Stars’ (TUTS) new production, Something Rotten, a musical comedy.

After a successful audition, Bradbury was called to be a part of the ensemble in which she plays many roles from an egg to a reaper.

“This definitely makes the quick changes more difficult, but adds so much fun getting to play such a variety of characters,” she told The News.

Her primary townsperson character is a massive fan of Shakespeare, losing her cool anytime he is near.

Bradbury feels connected with her role.

“I gotta say… I can relate to the character… I’m quite the fangirl when it comes to my favourite celebrities so that helps when I’m on stage,” she added.

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Set in the 1590s, Something Rotten is the tale of brothers Nick and Nigel Bottom, who are desperate to write a hit play. But they struggle to find success in the theatrical world as they compete with the wild popularity of their contemporary, William Shakespeare.

When a local soothsayer foretells that the future of theatre involves singing, dancing, and acting simultaneously, Nick and Nigel set out to write the world’s first musical. But amidst the scandalous excitement of the opening night, the Bottom Brothers realize that reaching the top means being true to one’s self.

Bradbury said even those who are not too familiar with musicals would be able to pick up on some of the many references in the historoc fictional play.

“It is one of the funniest musicals out there but still has so much heart and beauty to it.”

Remembering the “fun” rehearsal days, Bradbury talked about one of their last run-throughs in the rehearsal space. The actor who plays Nick Bottom was holding a bag of coins that blew open. The coins spilled out, all over the floor.

“He was scrambling to pick them up while also trying to stay in character and continue the scene, but the room was filled with laughter,” recounted Bradbury, a longtime Maple Ridge resident who said she loves the small community.

“You are familiar with all the places and quite frankly know everyone or know someone that does.”

Bradbury joined her first theatre company at the age of four.

Now working in the Vancouver theatre community, she said the experience is different – but great.

In her third and final year studying musical theatre at Capilano University, she lies in Port Coquitlam, Bradbury spends almost every day in Vancouver due to rehearsals or school.

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“I really hope that through this show the audience will leave with their day a bit brighter and a huge grin on their face,” she concluded.

Something Rotten will run until Aug. 27 on alternate evenings at Malkin Bowl in Stanley Park, located at 610 Pipeline Rd, Vancouver. Alongside will run We Will Rock You, a rock and roll musical. All shows start at 8 p.m., except on fireworks nights (July 23, 27, and 30), when the show will begin at 7 p.m.

For more information, people can visit tuts.ca.

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