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“I have really intense memories of the ADC and it being the beginning of a lifelong friendship”

Creators of hit musical Six, Lucy Moss (Caius 2014) and Toby Marlow (Robinson 2014) have gone on to global success – but their friendship was forged in the ADC dressing room dancing to Rihanna.

- 4 minute read
Lucy Moss and Toby Marlow in a theatre
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Album cover Waterloo Sunset

Waterloo Sunset, The Kinks

Toby: The funny thing about this song is that we both remember it for very different reasons. I’m into pop and musical theatre, but my friends at College had a Kinks tribute band, and I got to know the songs a bit through that. The band was due to headline a party and then the singer got ill on the day, so they asked me if I could be the frontman. I remember obsessively listening to these songs all day in College, then driving over and actually performing them. And, from that, Waterloo Sunset is burned into my mind.

Lucy: My story is far less fun. I was in my third year, revising and in the middle of a horrible breakup. I spent a lot of time in bed. With the curtains closed. One morning my radio alarm went off, and it was playing Waterloo Sunset. I thought: wow, this is such a nice song. But then I realised it’s really not upbeat at all. I cried for about two hours. And then just walked back and forth through Caius and had lunch listening to Waterloo Sunset and feeling devastated. When I hear it now I get transported back to that time.

Toby: I love the fact that it’s not that we have a beautiful love story associated with this. It’s just about stress and sadness.

I’ll Cover You (Reprise) album cover

I’ll Cover You (Reprise), from the musical Rent

Lucy: I was a dancer in this production, Toby played Angel and our friend Zak played Collins. It was the first time I became friends with Zak, and it was the time when mine and Toby’s friendship solidified. I have really intense memories of being in the dressing room of the ADC theatre and Toby and Zak performing it, and it being the beginning of a lifelong friendship.

Toby: Oddly enough, I haven’t listened to this since we performed it in that first year – it was a very emotional time. Listening to it brings up so many emotions: some good, some bad. For me, it only exists in Cambridge. I haven’t got a memory for it anywhere else.

Lucy: It really transports me back to the dressing room: the underbelly of the ADC, with the live video feed of the performance. It’s such an emotional song. But, I have to confess, I didn’t know what Rent was about [it is loosely based on La Bohème, and follows a group of struggling young artists in 1980s New York, living in the shadow of the AIDS epidemic]. I was just brought in as a dancer.

Desperado album cover

Desperado, Rihanna

Lucy: Toby and I wrote Six in our final two terms of Cambridge. When we came back for a final term, we were auditioning for a cast of students at the Larkum Studio at the ADC. I was the choreographer, which is hilarious, as we have a real choreographer now. I decided I was going to set the tone for the whole thing and be a real dictator from the audition process onwards. So I was all: “Keep jumping! No quitting! Do you want to be in the show? Do you?” And the song I choreographed to was Rihanna’s Desperado. It was supposed to be sexy and sultry but it was so hot in there; it was just sweaty.

Toby: I remember you taught it to me at a drunken dinner party in a friend’s massive room at John’s. I’d been watching everyone dancing and I was in the corner itching to learn it.

Lucy: And the best thing is, when we finally got a real choreographer, she turned up on audition day and one of the songs she taught was Desperado by Rihanna.

Lucy Moss (Caius 2014) and Toby Marlow (Robinson 2014) are the creative partnership behind the West End, Broadway and Sydney hit musical, Six, now on at the Lyric in the West End and at the Lyric in Salford.

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