Posts with the label interview
Showing posts with label interview. Show all posts
Showing posts with label interview. Show all posts

Wednesday, 30 March 2022

Alex Gibson-Giorgio Discusses Playing the Villain and Returning to the Stage | Zorro | Interview

You’re in for a night of heartfelt story telling full of passion, love, swashbuckling and sword fighting Alex Gibson-Giorgio is set to play Ramon in Zorro the Musical which is set to open at the Charing Cross Theatre this weekend. Pre-opening he chats to us about the rehearsal process, what it's like playing the villain and what audiences can expect from the musical...


Firstly, could you tell us a little bit about what audiences can expect from Zorro?
We all know and love the mask-wearing, sword-wielding bandit who fights for the poor and defends injustice, breaking many a heart along the way; made eternally famous by Antonio Banderas. Well, the musical has all the passion, love and fire of the film, with a little extra heart, all set to the songs of the Gipsy Kings.

It must be great to get back into theatre post-lockdown, especially with such a high energy show, what has the rehearsal process been like?
Being back in the rehearsal room is a huge privilege … it’s definitely one of my favourite parts of putting on a show. The pure magic of a group of actors in a space creating an imaginary world together … it’s so exciting! It’s a place to make bold offers and explore the full range of your character with no judgement … there are no wrong choices, instead there are endless possibilities. As my acting teacher Margot Fenley would say “Be bold and fail gloriously!”

Ramon is a pretty evil character and you’ve previously played Jafar in Aladdin, are you a fan of the villains?
I do love myself a villain. I think they’re the most interesting characters to play because you get to safely explore often darker ways of thinking and existing that are not always socially acceptable in everyday life. In the case of Jafar, it’s just CAMP!

The score of Zorro is by the Gipsy Kings, if you were to have a band write the score for a musical about your life, who would you choose?
Fleetwood Mac for sure. Or Gaga. Maybe James Taylor … this one’s hard.

What song are you most excited to perform for an audience when the show opens?
I love Baila Me … such a good tune! But watching Djobi Djoba and Bamboleo from offstage is a personal highlight for me. We are lucky to have such a talented company who not only sing and act, they also have to play multiple instruments, dance (WHILST PLAYING), shoot guns and sword fight!

Why should people come and see Zorro?
If you love The Gipsy Kings, you will love this show. The music fills your soul! You’re in for a night of heartfelt story telling full of passion, love, swashbuckling and sword fighting. VIVA EL ZORRO!


Thank you so much Alex for taking the time to chat to us. Zorro opens at the Charing Cross Theatre 2nd April

Interview by Olivia Mitchell, Editor

Alex Gibson-Giorgio Discusses Playing the Villain and Returning to the Stage | Zorro | Interview

Wednesday, 30 March 2022

Tuesday, 22 March 2022

Rebecca Lock on Bringing Rock to the Stage | School of Rock | Interview

it has been such a joy to recreate this role and wonderful story
School of Rock is a cult classic film which celebrates music and how it brings people together. Post- pandemic it provides the perfect, lighthearted, high energy, night out. Currently starring in the show as headmistress Rosalie Mullins, Rebecca Lock tells us about her experience in the show and who her own inspirational teacher was...


Firstly, for anyone that doesn’t know could you explain a little bit about School of Rock?
A wanna be failed rockstar pretends to be his flat mate and earn some money by being a substitute teacher in a posh prep school. He forms a band with the class and enters into the battle of the bands whilst charming the headmistress Rosalie Mullins along the way.
 
This is such an iconic story and now show, what’s it been like bringing it to the stage?
It’s one of my favourite films so it has been such a joy to recreate this role and wonderful story.
 
If you could star in any other screen to stage adaptation, which film would you choose?
Oh cripes… there’s far too many to choose from… all the best ones have already been adapted!
 
Aside from the music, this is really a show about an inspirational teacher, have you had any influential teachers in your life?
Oh definitely… Mr Cobly my first drama teacher taught me so much and encouraged my pursuits.
 
You play the headteacher Rosalie Mullins who is an authority figure but also has some really humorous moments. How do you balance the two?
That’s the joy.. she’s one extreme and then she flips and you see a whole new side to her… super fun to play
 
Why do you think people should come and see the show?
It’s a proper family show… something for everyone! From 8- 98… you’ll leave wanting to pick up a guitar and form your own rock band!
 
Thank you so much Rebecca for taking the time to chat to me. School of Rock plays at the New Wimbledon Theatre until 26th March and then continues its tour.

Interview by Olivia Mitchell, Editor

photo credit: Paul Coltas
 

Rebecca Lock on Bringing Rock to the Stage | School of Rock | Interview

Tuesday, 22 March 2022

Jake Sharp on Bringing Rock to Wimbledon | School of Rock | Interview

All that was taken away from us during the pandemic is celebrated in the show by some genius young superstars. 

School of Rock is a cult classic film which celebrates music and how it brings people together. Post- pandemic it provides the perfect, lighthearted, high energy, night out. Currently starring in the show as leading man Dewey Finn, Jake Sharp tells us about his experience in the show and what it's like stepping into Jack Black's shoes...




Firstly, for anyone that doesn’t know could you explain a little bit about School of Rock?

School of Rock is about a wannabe rockstar Dewey Finn, who, needing some money, intercepts a phone call and poses as a substitute teacher at a prestigious school. When he hears the straight-A students playing classical music he transforms them into mini rockstars in order to compete at the Battle of the Bands.

Jack Black made Dewey such an iconic character, what’s it been like creating your own version?
Obviously Jack Black is a genius so they are quite big shoes to fill. But the blueprints that his performance has given means there is so much room to play. Dewey Finn is basically a big kid so it’s so much fun seeing how he reacts in the world of Horace Green School.

What’s been your favourite part of starring in School of Rock?
Playing ‘Teachers Pet’ to audiences all round the country. In that moment everything the audience hears is just us playing live on stage. It never fails to give me goosebumps and the reaction from the crowds is next level. The fact that people from all over have the opportunity to see the show is amazing, but the knowledge that we are inspiring the next generation of musical protégées is super cool.

It’s a very high energy show, how do you keep your voice and body strong doing the show every night whilst touring the country?
A lot of water, a lot of sleep and a lot of pasta. It’s been a real personal undertaking to get myself to a fitness level vocally, physically and mentally to be able to keep producing the energy levels that the show requires. But it’s absolutely worth it! Plus pasta is delicious. 

Dewey inspires his students in many ways, did you have an influential teacher growing up?
I did but when it comes to Dewey I always think more about the other adults that have been influential. I grew up playing sports and a lot of the time as a kid I would be around or apart of the adult teams. The way that they treated me as an equal in that environment is how I think Dewey treats the kids. They are all level pegging in the band - it doesn’t matter how old or how ‘cool’ they might seem in ‘normal’ life.

Why do you think people should come and see the show?
I hate it when people say this but it’s completely true for this show. It’s absolutely fun for all the ages. Whether on a date, a solo trip, with kids, with a school - everyone will enjoy School of Rock. It’s high energy, face melting rock and roll and champions live music and being creative. All that was taken away from us during the pandemic is celebrated in the show by some genius young superstars.

Thank you so much Jake for taking the time to chat to me. School of Rock plays at the New Wimbledon Theatre until 26th March and then continues its tour.

Interview by Olivia Mitchell, Editor

photo credit: Paul Coltas
 

Jake Sharp on Bringing Rock to Wimbledon | School of Rock | Interview

Thursday, 8 October 2020

Rachel John on Bringing Back Live Theatre | Songs For a New World | Interview

After the success of the online streamed version of Jason Robert Brown's Songs For a New World, Lambert Jackson have brought the musical back as one of the first live, in person performances in the West End. Theatrical powerhouse Rachel John will be starring in the show and is extremely excited to get back to performing...


You’re going to be starring in Songs For A New World, can you tell us a bit about how it all came about and your journey with the show so far?
I was approached by Lambert Jackson with the exciting idea of being a part of a virtual production of the show. It was unlike anything I had done before, so I was excited to see the way that this format would translate through the screen and into people’s homes. After the show was streamed, we received the exciting news that we would be performing at the Palladium. I felt so blessed.


2020 has been crazy to put it mildly, has all the theatrical innovation in a time when the arts can’t run normally made you love what you do even more?
The innovation that has occurred during lockdown has been very inspiring and has shown me the strength and creativity of our theatre industry. I have had a renewed sense of my love of story-telling and have been reminded how we refused to stop sharing our gifts.


What’s one thing you’ve taken away from lockdown?
There are many things that I have taken away from lockdown, but if I had to pick one it would be valuing family time. I have had more time to speak to my family abroad and here and it has been a blessing.


Going back to live performances must be super exciting, what are you most looking forward to?
I am looking forward to working with a company again and I am really looking forward to hearing and seeing the live audiences. I miss the tangible feeling of the audience. The electricity.


When theatres are fully running in the (hopefully) near future, what show would you like to see first?
I cannot pick what I would like to see first! I am just eager to get back to support my fellow performers and soak up the atmosphere.


What can audiences expect from Songs For a New World?
Audiences can expect to come on a journey with us through this incredible song cycle. Jason Robert Brown’s lyrics and melodies will touch their hearts.


How do you want people to feel after experiencing Songs For a New World?
I would like people to experience the joy of being back together, even if there is distance. I would like them to feel hopeful and optimistic.


Songs for a New World plays at the London Palladium 11th October 2020

Rachel John on Bringing Back Live Theatre | Songs For a New World | Interview

Thursday, 8 October 2020

Sunday, 8 March 2020

Christopher Tendai on Taking Off The Mask | Identity, Turbine Theatre | Interview

Christoper Tendai is an established performer, having starred in many West End musicals, UK tours, television specials and various commercial projects. His most recent and perhaps most daunting endeavour is launching his own dance company: CTC. The company are soon showcasing a new show at the Turbine Theatre, which looks at what makes us individual through the mediums of dance, spoken word, art and more...


Tell us a little about CTC Dance Company and how it came about...
CTC Dance Company is an upcoming company renowned for its versatility and uniqueness through movement. 

The company has been running for 2 years now and started from a short film I created called Imperfections (which can be found on my YouTube channel). Creating CTC was probably one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. It’s my pride and joy and I hope that one day it will be recognised like the McOnie and Mathew Bourne Companies. 


You're broaching a whole host of important topics in just 60 minutes, what's included?
Yes we are and I think these subjects are so relevant to create a discussion in the time we live in. We speak about Mental Health, LGBTQ, Feminism and Social Media Through Society. Within the show we see our main character; Caitlin, go on a journey of self discovery and to explore and embrace her own unique identity. 

Our identities are formed from what people think of us, the laws we follow that have been placed by society and the biggest one of all: social media. 

We always have to be the perfect version of ourselves. But what is perfect? Shouldn’t our own self be enough? Through Identity, we want to inspire people to embrace who they really are. There’s only 1 you in this world. 


Mental health awareness is a big part of this show. Dance and creativity is a great outlet to centre yourself and improve your mental health so what would you tell people wanting to get into dance?
I would tell any aspiring dancer/performer that anything is possible. If you put your mind to it, you can achieve your dreams. I started dancing when I was 18yrs old and I made sure I lived and breathed it so I could be as good as the dancers that had been dancing since they were 3. 

Since graduating I have danced in various musicals from the West End (Hamilton, In The Heights, Matilda, Jesus Christ Superstar) to UK Tours (Hairspray), Commercial work (Strictly Come Dancing, Fleur East, Rita Ora, Hugh Jackman) to Television (Episodes, The Golden Circle). And now I am choreographing and producing my own production by my company which has transferred Off Westend from Edinburgh Fringe 2019. 

So I would say: Stay Focussed. Stay inspired. Work Hard. It all pays off! 


Social media can be both a blessing and a curse, how are you incorporating it into Identity?
We touch on social media within the show and I feel it couldn’t be more relevant right now, especially with the recent awful tragedy of Caroline Flack.

Social media is great in ways of course, but somehow it has become a platform to cause harm to people’s mental health. We showcase a section of our show about the way that we are perceived on social media. The show always goes back to a Polaroid picture which has many different meanings. We want to begin an open and positive conversation about it. 


What would you like people to feel as they leave Identity?
We want people to leave feeling inspired to be their own version of themselves. We want to show people that no matter what you’ve been through, you are still here today and can change your future path to whatever you want it to be. We want to start the conversation of mental health and remind people that they are important within this world.


Why should people come and see Identity?
People should come and see the show because it’s something completely different which hasn’t been done before. We are not just dance but dance theatre, incorporating different elements to the show such as; Spoken Word, Live Music and Physical Theatre. Come and support and start the conversation on Mental Health Awareness!

Identity plays at the Turbine Theatre from 10th-14th March. £12.50 discount tickets are available by using the code: CTCDANCE1 

Interview by Editor, Olivia Mitchell

Christopher Tendai on Taking Off The Mask | Identity, Turbine Theatre | Interview

Sunday, 8 March 2020

Friday, 21 February 2020

Laura Baldwin on The Importance of Female Led Musicals | Beautiful: The Carole King Musical | Interview

A jukebox musical with a book by Douglas McGrath, Beautiful: The Carole King Musical tells the story of the life and career of Carole King, using the songs she wrote as well as others by people she knew or were influential in her life. 

Taking on the role of one of these, is Laura Baldwin who plays Cynthia Weil, King's best friend and writing rival. Having previously starred in Waitress, Laura is no stranger to female led stories, she sat down to tell us why these stories are so important and what people can expect from this musical...


Give us the lowdown on Beautiful, what can we expect?
Well you can expect a story of what went on behind the music surrounding the life of Carole King, told by an AMAZING cast. You’ll hear incredibly nostalgic songs and hopefully you’ll leave feeling elated, inspired and a little bit warm inside.


Whats your favourite song from Beautiful and why?
God that is SO hard! The Locomotion is definitely up there but it has to be Walking in The Rain. It’s just such a stunning song and it feels so lovely to sing.


You’re playing Cynthia Weil, what do you draw from in your own life and what research do you do to play a real person?
So Cynthia Weil is the first character I’ve played that I don’t feel anything alike. I couldn’t find any similarities for a while so that was a new challenge for me. It did however feel really refreshing to become someone completely different and, play parts of her that don’t come naturally to me. Now we’re well into the run I do see myself in her, like I love making people laugh, so does she! We’re both very ambitious and love our work. It was great to finally identify with her in some way. 

I researched lots about Cynthia! I watched so many interviews and we talked extensively with Ed Goggin our director, all about the characters lives and motives throughout the show. I wanted to make sure I do her justice!! Hopefully I’m doing enough!


You previously starred in Waitress, another musical about female empowerment, what do you think makes these musicals so important and special?
Because we need women to be seen as the hero’s that they are and have always been! Waitress was a human story and Beautiful is a real life story, both with an underdog message. The characters find strength from within and that is always incredibly special to watch. Sara Bareilles is a power house as is Carole King. Their stories and music should be heard simply because of the talent behind them. I am honoured to be a small part of their work and portray the characters that are so dear to them, and inspiring to women and to everyone.


If a musical was going to be made about your life, who would you like to play you?
Oh Amy Adam’s or Kristen Wig just because I love them!!


What’s your best piece of advice for aspiring performers?
Keep the gorgeous people around you who lift you up! ALWAYS treat yourself after an audition. You will constantly struggle to balance everything and things will get hard but that’s okay. There will be highs and lows but the lows make it worth it. Stay humble, find ways to reconnect with yourself, book the holiday and know that your career doesn’t define you. I also feel like being yourself is HUGE and the moment I started accepting my weird crazy self, everything started to fall into place :) stay strong! x


Beautiful: The Carole King Musical plays at the New Victoria Theatre until 22nd February before continuing its tour

Interview by Editor, Olivia Mitchell

photo credit: Helen Maybanks

Laura Baldwin on The Importance of Female Led Musicals | Beautiful: The Carole King Musical | Interview

Friday, 21 February 2020

Thursday, 13 February 2020

Lesli Margherita on Bringing Zorro Back to London for One Night Only | Interview

The musical version of Zorro premiered in the West End in 2008. With a score by the Gipsy Kings, it tells the good versus evil tale of the legendary hero Zorro. In it's first London performance since closing, the musical will be performed as a staged concert at Cadogan Hall this month.

Lesli Margherita, who starred in the original workshops and West End production, will be reprising her Olivier Award winning role as Inez at this concert. Lesli sat down with Rewrite This Story to discuss bringing the show back to London, her advice for performers and the lowdown on her other musical, Emojiland...


You are the Queen of self branding, do you have any advice for performers wanting to create their own space in the industry?
I didn’t try to brand, and I think that's probably the most important thing. This all came out my family calling me queen and being a kid writing ‘Lesli Rules’ on everything. So, the best thing for branding is just being yourself. I think I’m authentically myself and I share the good parts and the bad parts of me, and I think that’s maybe what people or kids have kind of gravitated to. Yeah, so the best thing is to just be yourself, people can tell fake branding from a mile away. This totally happened by accident!


You’ve returned to a few musicals with Mrs Wormwood and now Inez, what’s that like? Do you set out to change parts or just go with the process and see what happens?
I think naturally it’s gonna change, because I’ve changed. It’s inherent that it will change, especially with something like Zorro because I spent so many years on it before the West End, and then I changed it during the West End and then even after that I did a few versions of it. Even just listening to the recording now I’m like “why did I do that?!” so that’s gonna change. And with Matilda there were little things that I’d always wanted to change and I think it’s great to leave something alone for a little while and see what happens.


Do you think because this is a concert version, you’ll have more space to alter things and play around a bit?
Totally yeah. I would love to do a full version to see how it would be different but I think with this the focus is really on the music which is exciting!


You’ve got such an amazing cast to perform it as well!
I know! I’m so excited! I’m really excited to perform with Emma [Williams] again, it’s going to be so nice

The cast of Zorro in concert at Cadogan Hall 

Since you’ve found out you’ll be doing the show again, is there a particular song you’re excited to sing once more?
Every time I get to do Bamboleo I’m happy- it’s my favourite. I never get tired of it, even when the actual Gipsy Kings version comes on on my ipod I never skip it cause it’s just so good. 


Well hopefully we’ll get an updated recording soon, after this maybe it’s time for West End and Olivier number two!?
Oh I mean I would love that. I’d really really love it to come back- hopefully soon!


Can you sum up the show in five words?
Romantic, adventuresome, electric, uplifting and swashbuckling!


Aside from Zorro, you’re working on Emojiland, tell us a little about the show
It sounds crazy! It sounds like it’s gonna be a dumb show but it’s not! It’s about a bunch of emojis living in a phone and what  happens after an update is implemented and a bunch of different emojis come in. It’s really about not looking at things for face value and seeing what’s behind the face, and seeing that just because that’s how someone looks, it might not be how they’re feeling. It also gets a little political, it’s about not wanting change, not wanting different types of people or emojis going into their land; it’s really got so much heart. 

I did it first at a festival two years ago here in New York, kind of as a bare bones version and when I found out they were doing it off-Broadway as a full production I couldn’t wait to be a part of it, I love it so much.

It’ll be nice when people can hear the recording that comes out in a couple of weeks, because the songs are amazing and it really is so touching and funny, but also meaningful which people aren’t expecting cause it’s called Emojiland!

Lesli Margherita in "Emojiland." (Photo: Jeremy Daniel)

Yeah, I mean when I first heard about it I was a bit on the fence but everyone says it’s amazing!
Exactly! That’s kind of what we’re counting on. We’re counting on getting people in there and then them changing their minds because that’s what always happens. People come and say it really wasn’t what they expected and they really enjoyed it!


So you’re obviously a very busy lady with all your shows and travelling, do you have any advice for looking after your voice when it’s under pressure?
Really it’s the same stuff that everybody tells you. It’s the steaming and the rest and all the things you can never do. I never have time to rest, I never have time to steam but they’re the things you’re supposed to do and I really think that they’re important. Also, overall general care of yourself at all times, so that even when you don’t have time, your body is in good condition. It’s just a constant sort of upkeep.

I also think that the foundations and training are so important. I rely on my training so much when my voice is tired. Especially when I was dong Matilda because that role is so difficult vocally and while you’re dancing and screaming, so I really relied on my training and on the vocal team there at Matilda to keep me in shape and healthy.

I think it’s a lot of common sense, don’t go out drinking late at night and try and get some rest!


Mrs Wormwood is a very shrieky role, it must’ve been hard!
Well we worked on it so it was really a mix, it sounded screechy but it was just a mix. My mix has never been stronger than when I was in Matilda! It was really interesting trying to find that place and it never hurt once. It’s really difficult to explain to somebody though, there are all these high schoolers and stuff doing it and losing their voices and I just say “don’t scream!”


I saw your panel at BroadwayCon a few years ago and you mentioned wanting to return to the role of Inez which is happening now, so I just wondered if you have any other dream roles you’d like to put out into the universe?
I’ve been really lucky with the shows I‘ve gotten to do around the country here, but every time I’ve played Adelaide in Guys and Dolls I’ve loved it so it would be great to be able to play her again.

I’d also love to do Evita, and I really want American audiences to get to see Zorro so I hope that’ll happen someday soon!


A huge, thank you to Lesli for taking the time to chat with us. Zorro plays at Cadogan Hall on 23 February for one night only!

Interview by Olivia Mitchell

Lesli Margherita on Bringing Zorro Back to London for One Night Only | Interview

Thursday, 13 February 2020