2012: Capocalypse

A week-and-a-half out from Opening Night, I sat down with the co-directors of this year’s Capping Show to discuss how this year is panning out for them so far. A show this size, and which gathers such huge crowds, is always a highlight of the Uni year. But it’s also a daunting task, albeit one which Aaron Mayes and Caitlin McNaughton are thriving on.

This year’s show tells the story of John Everyman in a post-apocalyptic world, after the Mayans’ predictions came to fruition. Filled with satire and exciting dance numbers, McNaughton says, “people are pegging this as the best one yet, so we’re hoping to live up to that.”

Both Mayes and McNaughton have been involved with the show for years. Both coming from a theatre studies background, they acted in numerous performances, while Mayes also acted as assistant director last year. They both agree it’s not that difficult working together. “We have really similar artistic preferences,” McNaughton explains, “so it’s quite easy to work side-by-side.” Mayes agrees: “We don’t disagree on much.”

This is a relief when you consider how much time these two have spent working together. The process began last August when the theme was decided and the production roles applied for in October, leaving a long summer break to enjoy before the mayhem began in January. Once auditions were held in March it was non-stop until May, with rehearsals taking place five evenings a week. With this in mind, it’s no surprise the cast end up one tight-knit family.

“This year’s cast are fantastic; they are really good,” Mayes enthuses. “There hasn’t been any real drama or anything, which is a bit out of the ordinary for Capping Show, because normally with a cast this sort of size there’s bound to be some sort of drama. But this year everyone’s just been great to work with.” McNaughton adds that, “this year was quite a fresh intake, because a lot of the older generation of Capping Show who have been around forever, it was their final year last year. [This year’s cast is] the new generation and you’ll be seeing them for a few years.”

With a large mix of people taking part, from med to philosophy students, the script reflects the diversity of the cast; there’s a little bit of something for everyone. When asked what first-time audience members should expect, McNaughton says you should “expect to be shocked, and maybe offended, but also expect to laugh … a lot, and be really impressed – because there’s amazing things in terms of tech, and the videos are brilliant, and we’ve got amazing costume people and props and lighting, the whole shebang!” Mayes agrees: “The show’s been getting better and better over the years and more people are getting involved, like OUSA … there’s been more money getting involved and more time working on it, so it’s just like every aspect of the show is improving.”

With this kind of enthusiasm about the show, it’s hard not to get excited with them. After so much time and hard work has gone in to the project it’s great to see it almost at its opening night. Performances run from May 9-19 with tickets going for $15 a pop, which is pretty great value for a homegrown show. Tickets are available at OUSA – get in fast because without a doubt, it will sell out.
This article first appeared in Issue 10, 2012.
Posted 12:51am Monday 7th May 2012 by Bronwyn Wallace.