In Conversation with... Victoria Hamilton-Barritt | Murder Ballad | Interview

Friday, 23 September 2016

Rewrite This Story recently caught up with the wonderfully talented Victoria Hamilton-Barritt whos had a fabulous career from Gypsy and Saturday Night Fever to In The Heights most recently. Victoria told us all about her upcoming musical Murder Ballad, her career so far and her advice for aspiring performers...

You've had a fantastic career that many performers would dream of. What have your highlights been?
Paul Kerryson cast me in Gypsy at Curve Theatre playing Louise/Gypsy and I had an absolute ball in that role. Finally I was playing a role that had so many layers with an epic journey. Paul gave me the greatest opportunity with that show and I absorbed every drop of that incredible production. Another highlight close to my heart is creating the role of Daniela for the London run of In The Heights, Southwark Playhouse and Kings Cross Theatre. I had the best time in that role and changing it up a for a London audience. 

Was being a performer what you always dreamt of or did you have a different career path in mind when you were younger?
I worked in London Zoo when I was younger and was told if I stayed on I would one day be made a zoo keeper. I absolutely love wildlife so I know that's where I would have ended up otherwise.

You went from A Chorus Line to In The Heights, both of which received amazing audience reactions. How was it to be a part of that? Both shows must have felt like a true family!
I've never felt family in a show to the degree of what In The Heights delivered. What a special place. We all shared an obsession for the show which was heartbreaking when I left.

A Chorus Line was tricky because there were no interval and we were on stage for a solid 3 hours. The cast were so lovely but because of this obstacle we never fully got to know each other in that 8 month period. Talented writing in the sense where it's an audition and keeping distance. Clever.

Both Diana and Daniela are kickass characters; how do you bring so much sass on stage? Do you have any diva inspirations?
I was always Inspired by Joanna Lumley, Jennifer Saunders and Dawn French. Ruby Wax and all women who make you laugh whether it be with an aggressive undertone or just damn right silly.

So last time you were performing you were heavily pregnant (how did you manage to still dance in heels!?) Since then you’ve had a beautiful baby (congratulations!) Has this changed the way you approach material?
Thank you! She is gorgeous and has made my life. I would have had a harder pregnancy had I not been in a show. It's better to just get on with things and do what makes you happy. Pregnancy was tough for me as I got so big where I looked full term at 4 months so come 8 months I looked like I was going to pop which caused discomfort for audience members who new I was pregnant for real. People really didn't believe I was pregnant though, where there were a lot of gasping at stage door. Some critics thought it a character choice... honestly.

You’ve gone from the Palladium to the Southwark Playhouse to the Kings Cross Theatre and now you’re going to perform at the Arts Theatre.  These venues couldn’t be more different. Do you prefer the bigger theatres or the more intimate settings? 
I love intimate spaces where you can see every expression and subtle choice. Small venues grant that, which always makes the connection with the audience more connected.

Can you explain a little about Murder Ballad and how your character fits into it?
I'm the narrator of the show which shares a story of a love triangle which gets complicated and things go wrong. Very wrong. That's all I will say for now. 😉

Can you describe it in 5 words?
love, lust, betrayal, sexy, oops.

Your talent and career make you an inspiration for many people hoping to get into musical theatre, whats your best piece of advice for an aspiring performer?
Work hard but don't take yourself too seriously. If it doesn't make you happy find the right time to stop. If you'd like to pick it up again do so when it feels right for you. You're enough and they're lucky to have you in their room.

Interview by Olivia Mitchell,  Editor

Read an interview with Victoria's Murder Ballad co-star Kerry Ellis