Five minutes with Next Door Dance

The Beautiful Game goes on a house tour of the South East from the start of February. Next Door Dance are an all-female dance group based in Nottingham who have devised this great piece about why, love it or hate it, football plays such a big part in our culture. Since originally touring the show in 2018/19 they have made a few changes to the production including welcoming two new dancers to the group. The team took 5 minutes out from their busy rehearsals to introduce themselves: 


Laura Savage-Weeden – Original cast member but not performing in the tour

 Can you tell us how the show came about?

As a company we all realised whether we were football fans or not we all had some sort of connection to football and we found that this was true for a lot of people, for me, it’s my Dad, he is a huge football fan and I’ve grown up with the sound of football on in the background most weekends.

It also fascinated us that football fans can tell you the exact events that lead to a goal being scored and they always re-tell it with such passion and theatrics which we loved.

What’s it been like to revisit the work after a couple of years?

Really fun, its such an enjoyable show to perform and after the past couple of years its been a real joy getting back in to it, although, I’m currently 6 months pregnant so its been quite a different experience for me as I am having to teach my role to one of the new fabulous performers that are joining us on this tour, so although its quite sad handing my part over, I’m really enjoying getting the chance to watch and enjoy the show as an audience member!

Were you a football fan before the show or have you now become one?

I wouldn’t say I’m a football fan but I do enjoy watching the match with my Dad. I prefer going to a live match at the city ground to watching it on the TV, and I always like to know the Forest score so I know I know whether to celebrate with my dad or avoid him!!

Tell us your favourite moment from the performance

There are so many bits that I really enjoyed performing when I was in the show. I

It meant quite a lot to me to deliver my story about me and my dad going to watch the football on boxing day, especially when he was in the audience. My dad is definitely more of a football fan than a dance fan so to see his face in audience really enjoying the show and the way he spoke about it afterwards meant a lot.

I’m looking forward to finding my favourite moment from watching the show, I think that will differ from my favourite moment performing in it.

What do you want the audience to go away feeling about the experience?

I want them to go away feeling uplifted and like they’ve had a fun night out with a smile on their faces.


Georgina Saunders – Original Cast Member

What’s it been like to revisit the work after a couple of years?

Really good, its cemented it in our brains again and found fresh new things within it but it has also felt quite cosy and comfy because we know it so well.  It not been forgotten and muscle memory is definitely still there, thankfully!

Were you a football fan before the show or have you now become one?

I’m not a football fan but I really appreciate the love of team sports and the passion it sparks.

Tell us your favourite moment from the performance

I love the point where David Beckham joins us in the show for a fleeting moment. I also enjoy a moment where we sit and listen to a story about cohesion, teamwork and the love of football, it’s a really lovely moment and the audience really connect with it.

What do you want the audience to go away feeling about the experience?

I would like them to have the feeling of a warm cosy hug, and make them relive a memory of football and spark conversation about an experience they had.

Which town(s) are you looking forward to visiting with the show and why?

Really excited about visiting pretty theatre venues like Bordon and anywhere I’ve not visited in the UK before like Henley-On-Thames


Emily Thurston – Original cast member

What’s it been like to revisit the work after a couple of years?

Really fun, finding new bits in it that I’ve forgotten happens but I think that has come because we have had to teach it to a new person. Its been fun finding little improvements here and there as well.

Were you a football fan before the show or have you now become one?

I would say yes I was a fan before but the show has made me understand the game and everything that surrounds it more and now I notice more things about football when I’m watching a match.

Tell us your favourite moment from the performance 

The moment we spell the word LOVE with our football scarves, its very fleeting but I like to see the look of realisation on audience members faces.

What do you want the audience to go away feeling about the experience?

Like they’ve had a good time and that they’ve seen a different side to football, more of the silly side to it.  I think people can take it too seriously and we sometimes need to remember the fun in it.

Which town(s) are you looking forward to visiting with the show and why? 

Anywhere by the sea because we are from the midlands so we rarely get to see the sea! So definitely Wells next the Sea and Shoreham-By-Sea


Gemma Caseley-Kirk – New performer/Cast member

What is you link to football?

I always say my football career peaked in 2001 when I was 10 years old, I used to wear a matching white adidas tracksuit with bright pink football socks and my hair in a plait.  I don’t know what position I used to play, I just remember running around like am mad person and I was  quite competitively aggressive for my young age! In 2001 I also won player of the year where I got a brass trophy of a man!

How have you found learning the show so far? 

In the first couple of days it was a lot of information to take in as it was using a new skill that I wasn’t used to using as my background is in theatre rather than dance or movement but by the Wednesday I’d really got in the groove and found confidence in it and I’m really enjoying it. I’m finding it a really stimulating challenge and its always nice to do something that challenges me.

What is your favourite part of the show (so far)? 

Favourite dance so far is fans or the Spanish section and I really enjoy watching the Ref section.


Rachel Laird – New performer/Cast member

What is your link to football? 

My little sister has played my whole life and she has played for Scotland as the Goalie.  She started off on a boys team, which is why she started in goal because they said to her ‘you can go in goal because you’re a girl! ’

How have you found learning the show so far? 

It’s been really fun and it’s been a really positive working environment. I feel like we’ve done a lot in a short space of time but I don’t feel overwhelmed by it.

What is your favourite part of the show so far?  

Gold! The very last scene, I like the images that come together to make those final moments of celebration….. and I used to do Irish Dancing so I like the little Irish dancing bit in it.