Showing posts sorted by relevance for query Emily Benjamin. Sort by date Show all posts
Showing posts sorted by relevance for query Emily Benjamin. Sort by date Show all posts

Sunday, 17 June 2018

Get West End Ready With... Emily Benjamin | Bat Out Of Hell | Stagey Sunday


Welcome back to Stagey Sunday! This week is very exciting as we get to see star of Bat Out of Hell, Emily Benjamin as she transforms into her character Mordema.

Mordema is a rugged member of The Lost, known for clawing her way around and just being generally cool and rugged. Emily talks us through her amazing makeup for the character and why she decided to make it the way it is.

We'll let the video speak for itself! If you fancy creating a Mordema look, be sure to tweet it to @RewriteThisWeb with the hashtag #StageySundayBOOH and you could win a special Bat prize!




All the products Emily uses:

Foundation
-Maybelline Eraser Eye
-NYX Total Control Drop Foundation

Powder
-Benefit 'Hello Flawless' Matte Powder
-Kryolan Setting Powder

Blusher
-Bourjois Paris Number 33
-HEMA Blush Stick (for Mordema's scar)

Bronzer
-NYX Matte Bronzer

Eyes
-MAC Passionate Eyeshadow
-MAC Carbon Eyeshadow
-NYX STFU Eyeshadow
-Kat Von D Tattoo Liner
-Bourjois Volume Reveal Mascara

Lipstick
-NYX Liquid Suede Matte 'Cherry Skies' (for The Lost symbol)
-NYX Liquid Suede Matte 'Alien'


See you next Sunday for an exclusive feature on the choreography and costumes in the show!

Bat Out of Hell is currently at the Dominion Theatre until 27th October 2018

Post by Editor, Olivia Mitchell


Wednesday, 20 February 2019

Zog (UK Tour), Rose Theatre | Review



Zog 
Rose Theatre 
Reviewed on Tuesday 19th February 2019 by Olivia Mitchell
★★★★

Based on the book by Julia Donaldson with illustrations by Axel Scheffler, Zog, in an adaptation by Mike Shepherd with Freckle Productions has made its World Premiere in a superbly fun, colourful and heartwarming way that will entertain adults and children alike. Zog and his friends are growing up and learning how to become the best dragons they can be; on this mission, they attend Madam Dragon's school where they try their hardest to win a golden star. Whilst they struggle and succeed, Princess Pearl is there to help them along and give them the courage they need.

Theatre does an amazing job of subtly giving children the curiosity and creativity they need to understand our world. The characters on stage mirror our world and teach us how to understand emotions and empathise with one another. Towards the end of Zog, there is a particular scene where the dragons have to decide whether they continue for their own personal gain, or, help their friend Pearl. The young girl I took to the show turned to me and said "that's not fair, they're being mean", which may seem like a passing comment but there's no doubt that theatre opens up pathways for conversations about what it means to be good. As a production, Zog brilliantly paves the way for these conversations and brings out the importance of having self-belief whilst helping others. 


The small but mighty Zog cast have done a marvellous job of creating a bright world where rabbits bark and dragons roam theatres. Not only do they give greatly emotive and energetic performances but their musicality is outstanding. With all live music, the team work as one to play various instruments and make use of a loop pedal to provide a score (composed by Johnny Flynn) which bubbles and keeps the piece going. The on-stage instrument changes are just another way the little audience are inspired and its exceptionally entertaining to watch the performers work so seamlessly in this peak of children's theatre.

As title dragon, Elliot MacKenzie is mischievous and caring, whilst Euan Wilson as Madame Dragon is harsh but humourous and feels like the dragon equivalent of Miss Trunchbull! Emily Benjamin gives a heartwarming performance as Princess Pearl, both vocally and acting wise, and shows how strong girls are. The message that you can achieve anything in life as long as you put your mind to it is ever necessary and Emily puts it across in an empowering and lovely way. Robert Ginty as Sir Gadabout the Great is especially humourous as he gets the audience involved in his search for the Knight and Dixie McDevitt, brings the ensemble characters (including the adorable rabbits) to life in a fantastic way.


The simple set of scaffolding and stars, designed by Katie Sykes works well to allow the story to move locations but also leaves room for the imagination to roam wild. Props such as fire streamers, add an extra element of excitement and alongside Lyndie Wright's stunningly crafted puppets, the show feels very well put together. The cast transition from being the dragons themselves, to controlling the puppet dragons superbly and manage to maintain the magic throughout. 

As an adult, there's something wonderful about hearing children be inspired. The excitable gasps of wonder that pepper the audience, the beaming smiles on faces and the buzz of enthusiasm makes us happy in return and shows just how important theatre is as a tool to teach. Team Zog have created a piece of theatre which will captivate and influence the audience in the most wonderful way. 

Zog runs at the Rose Theatre until 23rd February before starting it's UK tour

photo credit: Helen Maybanks

Monday, 21 March 2022

Fra Fee, Amy Lennox, Omar Baroud and Vivien Parry in Cabaret at the Kit Kat Club


Released today – production shots of Fra Fee (Emcee), Amy Lennox (Sally Bowles), Omar Baroud (Cliff Bradshaw) and Vivien Parry (Fraulein Schneider) in CABARET at the Kit Kat Club ahead of their first performance this evening, Monday 21 March.

Cabaret at the Kit Kat Club has recently been nominated for 11 Olivier Awards including Best Musical Revival,  Best Director, Best Set Design, Best Costume Design, Best Theatre Choreographer, Best Lighting Design and Best Sound Design.  
 
Fra Fee (Emcee) most recently starred as Kazi in the hit Disney+ series Hawkeye, set in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. He created the role of Michael Carber in the award-winning play The Ferryman at the Royal Court, the Gielgud Theatre in the West End and the Bernard B. Jacobs Theatre on Broadway. His other theatre credits include Owen in Translations and Amiens in As You Like It, both at the National Theatre and the title role in Candide at the Menier Chocolate Factory. He played Courfeyac in the film of the musical Les Misérables and also appeared in the stage production at the Queen’s Theatre.
 
Amy Lennox (Sally Bowles) received an Olivier nomination for Best Actress in a Supporting Role in a Musical for her portrayal of Lauren in the West End production of Kinky Boots. Her other credits include Ellie in the London premiere of the David Bowie and Enda Walsh musical Lazarus. She was in the original West End cast of the musical Legally Blonde and created the role of Doralee in the original UK production of 9 to 5 The Musical.
 
Fra and Amy appeared together in the critically acclaimed production of The Last Five Years in Belfast.
 
Omar Baroud (Cliff Bradshaw) is soon to appear in the series Wedding Season for Disney+. His other TV credits include Baptiste for the BBC and The Innocents for Netflix. His theatre credits include You Bury Me for Paines Plough, As You Like It at the Watermill Theatre, A Song at Twilight at the Theatre Royal Bath and All Places That The Eye of Heaven Visits at Shakespeare’s Globe.
 
Vivien Parry (Fraulein Schneider) has appeared in many West End productions including Madge Hardwick in the original cast of Top Hat at the Aldwych Theatre, Madame Thénardier in Les Misérables at the Queen’s Theatre, Donna in Mamma Mia! at the Prince of Wales Theatre and Mrs Walshingham in Half A Sixpence at the Noel Coward Theatre. Vivien’s other credits include Twelfth Night and The Shoemaker’s Holiday, both for the Royal Shakespeare Company and Celia in The Girls at Leeds Grand Theatre.
 
They join the full company including Elliot Levey as ‘Herr Schultz’ (Olivier Award nominee for his role in this production), Stewart Clarke as ‘Ernst Ludwig’ and Anna-Jane Casey as ‘Fraulein Kost’. The cast is completed by Josh Andrews, Emily Benjamin, Sally Frith, Matthew Gent, Emma Louise Jones, Ela Lisondra, Theo Maddix, Chris O’Mara, Daniel Perry, Andre Refig, Christopher Tendai, Bethany Terry, Lillie-Pearl Wildman and Sophie Maria Wojna.
 
Cabaret is directed by Rebecca Frecknall,  set and costume design is by Tom Scutt with choreography by Julia Cheng. Musical supervision and direction is by Jennifer Whyte. Lighting design is by Isabella Byrd with sound design by Nick Lidster. The casting director is Stuart Burt and the associate director is Jordan Fein.
 
Cabaret at the Kit Kat Club is booking until October 2022. 

Cabaret at the Kit Kat Club

Cabaret at the Kit Kat Club
Photos by Marc Brenner

Cabaret at the Kit Kat Club

Amy Lennox as 'Sally Bowles'

Cabaret at the Kit Kat Club

Fra Fee 'Emcee'.

Cabaret at the Kit Kat Club

Fra Fee 'Emcee' and Amy Lennox 'Sally Bowles'

Cabaret at the Kit Kat Club

Fra Fee 'Emcee'.

Tuesday, 1 March 2022

Cabaret at the Kit Kat Club Announces New Emcee and Sally Bowles


The producers of CABARET at the KIT KAT CLUB in London’s West End are delighted to announce that Fra Fee will play ‘The Emcee’ and Amy Lennox will play ‘Sally Bowles’ from 21 March – 25 June 2022. This unique production opened in December last year to critical and audience acclaim, widely praised as the ultimate theatrical experience.

 

Adam Speers, Ed Bartlam and Charlie Wood, the producers of Cabaret at the Kit Kat Club said today “We are thrilled to be welcoming the perfectly marvellous Fra Fee and Amy Lennox to our production of Cabaret. We wanted to recast these career defining roles with exceptional actors and so we’re just delighted that the stars have aligned with both Fra and Amy’s schedules.  We couldn’t have asked for a more exciting and thrilling duo to follow Eddie and Jessie.”

 

Director Rebecca Frecknall said today “It's always exciting to be able to keep a production live and evolving across its run, to be able to continue digging into the piece and making new discoveries. The fact that we will have new actors taking on the roles of Sally and the Emcee as Cabaret continues to run in the West End is thrilling, the original cast passing the baton to different actors who will bring their own perspectives to the work. I'm thrilled that Fra Fee and Amy Lennox will be the first new pair joining the production this Spring, two of our most exciting stage and screen actors. I know they will bring new creative energy to the production and will show me and our audiences new facets of the show.”

 

Fra Fee most recently starred as Kazi in the hit Disney+ series Hawkeye, set in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. He created the role of Michael Carber in the award-winning play The Ferryman at the Royal Court, the Gielgud Theatre in the West End and the Bernard B. Jacobs Theatre on Broadway. His other theatre credits include Owen in Translations and Amiens in As You Like It, both at the National Theatre and the title role in Candide at the Menier Chocolate Factory. He played Courfeyac in the film of the musical Les Misérables and also appeared in the stage production at the Queen’s Theatre.

 

Amy Lennox received an Olivier nomination for Best Actress in a Supporting Role in a Musical for her portrayal of Lauren in the West End production of Kinky Boots. Her other credits include Ellie in the London premiere of the David Bowie and Enda Walsh musical Lazarus. She was in the original West End cast of the musical Legally Blonde and created the role of Doralee in the original UK production of 9 to 5 The Musical.

 

Fra and Amy appeared together in the critically acclaimed production of The Last Five Years in Belfast.

 

Also joining the production on 21 March 2022 will be Omar Baroud as ‘Cliff Bradshaw’ and Vivien Parry as ‘Fraulein Schneider’. Continuing in their roles will be Elliot Levey as ‘Herr Schultz’, Stewart Clarke as ‘Ernst Ludwig’ and Anna-Jane Casey as ‘Fraulein Kost’.

The cast is completed by Josh Andrews, Emily Benjamin, Sally Frith, Matthew Gent, Emma Louise Jones, Ela Lisondra, Theo Maddix, Chris O’Mara, Daniel Perry, Andre Refig, Christopher Tendai, Bethany Terry, Lillie-Pearl Wildman and Sophie Maria Wojna.

  

Omar Baroud (Cliff Bradshaw) is soon to appear in the series Wedding Season for Disney+. His other TV credits include Baptiste for the BBC and The Innocents for Netflix. His theatre credits include You Bury Me for Paines Plough, As You Like It at the Watermill Theatre, A Song at Twilight at the Theatre Royal Bath and All Places That The Eye of Heaven Visits at Shakespeare’s Globe.

 

Vivien Parry (Fraulein Schneider) has appeared in many West End productions including Madge Hardwick in the original cast of Top Hat at the Aldwych Theatre, Madame Thénardier in Les Misérables at the Queen’s Theatre, Donna in Mamma Mia! at the Prince of Wales Theatre and Mrs Walshingham in Half A Sixpence at the Noel Coward Theatre. Vivien’s other credits include Twelfth Night and The Shoemaker’s Holiday, both for the Royal Shakespeare Company and Celia in The Girls at Leeds Grand Theatre.

 

Elliot Levey (Herr Schultz) most recently appeared in Nine Lessons and Carols at the Almeida where he also appeared in Three Sisters. His other theatre credits include the West End productions of Mary Stuart at the Duke of York’s Theatre, The Ruling Class at Trafalgar Studios and Much Ado About Nothing at the Wyndham’s Theatre. His National Theatre credits include The Habit of Art and His Dark Materials.

 

Stewart Clarke (Ernst Ludwig) most recently appeared in Be More Chill at The Other Palace. His West End theatre credits include Fiddler on the Roof at the Playhouse Theatre and Loserville at the Garrick Theatre. He also appeared in Assassins at the Menier Chocolate Factory and The Rink at the Southwark Playhouse.

 

Anna-Jane Casey (Fraulein Kost) was most recently seen in Girl from the North Country at the Gielgud Theatre in the West End. Her other West End credits include Mrs Wilkinson in Billy Elliot at the Victoria Palace and Lady of the Lake in Spamalot at the Playhouse Theatre. She played Dot in Sunday in the Park with George at the Menier Chocolate Factory, Mabel in Mack and Mabel at the Watermill Theatre and the title roles in Piaf and Sweet Charity and Violet Butterfield in Flowers for Mrs Harris, all at the Sheffield Crucible.

 

In a time when the world is changing forever, there is one place where everyone can be free… Welcome to the Kit Kat Club, home to an intimate and electrifying new production of CABARET. This is Berlin. Relax. Loosen up. Be yourself. 

 

The Kit Kat Club has laid siege to the Playhouse Theatre. The performers have infiltrated the premises. The artists have staked their claim. Who knows for how long they’ll stay, but for now they are enjoying the party. The party at the end of the world.

 

Transforming one of London’s most famous theatres with an in-the-round auditorium and reimagined spaces, before the show guests are invited to enjoy and explore the Kit Kat Club with pre-show entertainment, drinks and dining all on offer. When booking, guests receive a 'club entry time' to allow enough time to take in the world of the Kit Kat Club before the show starts. But of course, the show really starts when you first join us in the club…

 

One of the most successful musicals of all time CABARET features the songs Wilkommen, Don’t Tell Mama, Mein Herr, Maybe This Time, Money and the title number. It has music by John Kander, lyrics by Fred Ebb, book by Joe Masteroff. Based on the play by John Van Druten and stories by Christopher Isherwood.

 

CABARET is directed by Rebecca Frecknall (the Almeida’s Olivier Award winning Summer and Smoke, The Duchess of Malfi, Three Sisters), set and costume design is by Tom Scutt (A Very Expensive Poison, Constellations, King Charles III, Jesus Christ Superstar, collaborations with Sam Smith, Christine and the Queens) with choreography by Julia Cheng (founder of the House of Absolute, Philharmonia Orchestra Artist in Residence, recipient of the runner-up prize for Hip Hop Dance futures, Resident Choreographer for the Royal Academy of Dance, Judge and mentor for BBC Young Dancer and Breakin’ Convention – the UK’s biggest Hip Hop Festival, collaborations with London Fashion Week, Google and Dr Martens). Musical supervision and direction is by Jennifer Whyte (Les Misérables film, Caroline Or Change, Parade). Lighting design is by Isabella Byrd (Heroes of the Fourth Turning and Light Shining in Buckinghamshire – both in New York, Daddy – A Melodrama at the Almeida and The Flick at the National theatre) with sound design by Nick Lidster (City of Angels, Passion, Pacific Overtures and Parade at the Donmar Warehouse, Sweeney Todd and On The Town for English National Opera, A Chorus Line, Les Misérables and Miss Saigon). The casting director is Stuart Burt (& Juliet, The Drifters Girl and 2021 CDG Award for Best Casting in Theatre for Cyrano De Bergerac) and the associate director is Jordan Fein.

 

Tickets for CABARET at the KIT KAT CLUB are currently on sale until October 2022. kitkat.club

CABARET at the KIT KAT CLUB is produced by Ambassador Theatre Group Productions and Underbelly.

Friday, 20 April 2018

Bat Out of Hell, Dominion Theatre | Review


Bat Out of Hell
Dominion Theatre 
Reviewed on Thursday 19th April 2018 by Olivia Mitchell 
★★★★★

Bat is well and truly back and at home in its new space: The Dominion Theatre. When I first saw this show back at it's press night at the Coliseum I wasn't the biggest fan. The performances were outstanding but the book itself really let it down. This time however, I knew what to expect so was ready for a carefree night of relaxed, rocking fun. Obviously the story is still the same (although this time around did feel less cheesy) but if you can overlook its short-fallings you are destined to have an electric night. The show has matured a lot and it's evident that work is continually being done to make it the best show it can be. 

Jim Steinman's rock musical is an electrifying roller-coaster of drama, lights, confetti, and so much more. Everything is thrown together to create a show that's refreshing and really like nothing else currently in the West End. This show is a Romeo and Juliet-esque retelling of Peter Pan. With Strat, the leader of The Lost who's frozen at aged 18, falling in love with Raven, the girl whose dad is the tyrannical ruler of Obsidian and doesn't want her leaving the house, let alone mixing with The Lost. Bat Out of Hell is a wild ride from the opening moment to the final bows.

It's not a stretch to say that the cast of this show are potentially the most talented currently on the West End. There is not a weak link throughout, with every member not only committing themselves fully to the show and looking as though they're truly loving it, but showcasing their outstanding vocals and performing with enough vigour to make us feel as though we're at a rock concert. 

A search call might need to be put out for the roof of the Dominion because Andrew Polec and Christina Bennington's voices completely blew it off last night. The two bounce off each other as if they're electrical currents and their ridiculously powerful voices compliment each other beautifully. Whilst their characters are very archetypal of rebelling teens, they also showcase needs and desires of being a young adult. Raven comes across as an aggressively whiney/needy character which although somewhat grating, is also a wonderful portrayal of what being an 18 year old is like. The constant desire to rebel but remain loved is something which we can all relate to growing up. Strat is larger than life and crazy but completely draws you into his world. The pair are receiving high praise for Bat Out of Hell and I doubt it's the only show they'll be applauded for in the future- they're definitely ones to watch!


Also vocally outstanding is Danielle Steers who once again received an audible gasp from the audience when she sung her first notes of Two Out of Three Ain't Bad. Her voice is sexy, strong and oh-so-powerful; when she joins forces with Wayne Robinson (Jagwire) they create vocal bliss as well as working with each other wonderfully.

As Raven's parents who are fighting to regain their spark, Sharon Sexton (Sloane) and Rob Fowler (Falco) are fantastic. Again they have voices to die for and are suitably wacky in their roles. The duets are stellar and they work fantastically as a pair to complement each other rather than over powering one another. Each of the leads truly command the stage but the ensemble also get a chance to shine, especially during Objects in the Rearview Mirror May Appear Closer Than They Are. Mention must go to Giovanni Spano, Jonathan Cordin, Emily Benjamin and Charlotte Anne Steen who really caught my eye throughout. 

If you were to search for the definition of Energetic,  I wouldn't be surprised if the cast of Bat Out of Hell popped up. Every ensemble moment is full-out and it's amazing how many intricate details are woven in. This is one of those shows that you need to see several times just to pick up every detail; there's action on every inch of space. The innovative use of live-camerawork throughout the show helps pick up these details very cleverly. The screens on either side of the stage and the use of vast projections allows the large space of the Dominion theatre to feel intimate whilst also adding to the futuristic, always being watched, vibe of the show. Jon Bausor has done a wonderful job creating this set and all the surprises included in it. 


Patrick Woodroffee's lighting is blinding and is just what you'd expect and need in a show like this, whilst Emma Portner's choreography is suitably strange and futuristic, with the sharp movements adding to the frenetic energy on stage. 

Everything about Bat Out of Hell is extra and excessive but that's the charm and appeal of it. The story isn't the focus; instead, we get to hear Jim Steinman's rousing music and see it performed with a vigour and drive that seems unattainable for 8 shows a week. What's special is that the cast do attain it and give 110% every show. If you like energetic, fast paced shows then For Crying Out Loud go and see Bat Out of Hell. Below all the lights and drama this is a show about love. From the audience reaction and instantaneous standing ovation when the last note was played, it's clear that a lot of people love this show. I am definitely a Bat convert and thoroughly recommend you see and EXPERIENCE this show for yourself.

Bat Out of Hell runs at the Dominion Theatre until 27th October 2018

photo credit: Specular

Saturday, 24 March 2018

Don Giovanni (Welsh National Opera Tour), Mayflower Theatre | Review


Don Giovanni (Welsh National Opera Tour)
Mayflower Theatre 
Reviewed on Friday 22nd March 2018 by Lucy Jardine 
★★★★

This performance of Don Giovanni was part of a short Welsh National Opera (WNO) season at the handsome, art deco Mayflower Theatre in Southampton. WNO are touring England and Wales until mid-April performing Don Giovanni, Tosca and La Forza del Destino and based on this performance I would recommend seeing any of the three productions if you can.

Don Giovanni is one of Mozart’s best known operas, first performed in Prague in 1787. The events take place in 18th century Seville and this production is true to the original setting, with elaborate costumes to match. The production is sung in Italian, but surtitled in English on a discreet display high above the stage, so you can easily follow the words and see where the story is heading.

Our hero – or anti-hero – is the amoral libertine Don Giovanni (played by Gavan Ring), whose only purpose in life is to seduce as many women as he can, using whatever mixture of money, deception & physical violence is necessary to complete the task.  


Somewhat reluctantly aided and abetted by his servant, Leporello (David Stout), Giovanni attempts to seduce the newly-married peasant girl Zerlina (Katie Bray), while avoiding her husband Masetto (Gareth Bynmor John) and trying to elude his former lover, Donna Elvira (Elizabeth Watts), who cannot make up her mind whether the man who betrayed her deserves forgiving or murdering.

Meanwhile, Donna Anna (Emily Birsan), attended by her steadfast lover Don Ottavio (Benjamin Hullett), is bent on avenging the killing of her father, the Commendatore (Miklos Sebestyen), at the hands of a masked assailant who's eventually revealed to have been the Don himself.

As you might expect from the full title of the opera, “Il dissoluto punito, ossia il Don Giovanni” or “The Rake Punished, or, Don Giovanni”, things do not end well for our main character when he finally has to face something that he can’t bribe, beat up or outwit.

Overall this was an enjoyable performance with a strong cast, but Emily Birsan as Donna Anna and Katie Bray as Zerlina stood out for the combination of great singing and good acting they brought to their roles. David Stout as Leporello also outshone his master on a number of occasions.

photo credit: Richard Hubert Smith



Sunday, 10 June 2018

In Conversation with... Andrew Polec and Christina Bennington | Bat Out of Hell | Interview | Stagey Sunday


Hi! Welcome back to Stagey Sunday, where we are focussing on Bat Out of Hell for the entire month of June. This week we have an exclusive interview with Andrew Polec and Christina Bennington about their lives whilst starring in Bat Out of Hell....


For anyone that hasn't seen the show, can you explain a little about the story line and how your characters fit into it?
Andrew: I play Strat, he is the leader of this Lost gang who are all 18 and never age. We're set in this post-apocalyptic world; the island of Manhattan, due to some cataclysmic event has broken off from the rest of the country and floated out to sea. On this island there's a dictator named Falco who Strat is rebelling against and doing his best to liberate the people of Obsidian, give them equality, make them all feel special and give them value in their lives. As he is rebelling against Falco and this violent revolution, he suddenly realises that Falco has a beautiful daughter who's name is Raven...

Christina: We find Raven on the eve of her 18th birthday. She has been watching Strat and the gang of The Lost for basically as long as she can remember. They have all the freedom and liberation that she's always wanted so she eventually manages to escape and meet Strat. From there it's all about love for the two.


Andrew, you were involved in the show from the workshop stage, so what was that like and how was it for you Christina, joining a little later. Did you both know how big the show would end up?
C: Absolutely not! I did I guess an average audition process, I say average in that I got the call from my agent and I went to various rounds, but that was probably where the average ended. There were lots of very interesting movement workshops that we did, I got paired with different people to read the Strat and Raven scenes. We also had stamina tests to see if we could sing the songs multiple days in a row. So I would come in and sing All Coming Back to Me Now, four of five times getting higher and higher and higher, and then come back the next day and do it all again to see if I could sustain it. I thought it was a fantastic challenge- great fun! 

I don't think I ever thought it would be this big and I don't think I ever thought that it would be such a wonderful experience for me, personally and professionally, to grow in the way I perform. It's been really wonderful. It was great also, working with Andrew because he already had the job so wasn't part of the audition process. It was really interesting reading against all the potential alternate Strats but never reading with the actual Strat so it's serendipity that it's all worked out so well.


Do you have any pre-show rituals?
A: I have two posters in my dressing room where I've put all the rock and roll idols that I think inspire the show; there's Jim Morrison, there's Chuck Barry, there's Jimi Hendrix, Meatloaf, Jim Steinman and Iggy Pop. I basically ask that they come and help us on this journey because the show takes a lot of energy, you've got a lot of bodies up there that are burning 10,000 calories a minute!

C: My pre-show ritual is also  really rock and roll... I listen to the Harry Potter audiobooks everyday, every single day. From after warm up until just before the half to kind of calm my brain down. Cause it's something I'm so familiar with it kind of clears my head of everything that's an outside influence. Then once it hits the quarter I play different music everyday that I think Raven would listen to, so then it does become slightly more rock and roll! So from me to Raven really


Have you had any onstage mishaps?
C: Oh yeah! 
A: Tonnes!
C: One the other day was really good. Andrew fell off the tower when he jumped down...
A: Cool, lets just talk about the one where I hurt myself!
C: No but it's brilliant because in this show a mishap often becomes something incredible because Jay (Scheib) has encouraged us to be really free and flexible. In rehearsals he often asked up to include falls on purpose to force ourselves to be really in the moment. If you see the show, you'll notice that I fall over on-purpose-accidentally a lot... it's a real trope for Raven.

A: I think probably the biggest mishap was our first preview ever in Manchester. I had it in my mind that I would run down to the bottom of the stage and bring Christina along with me and I just slipped and we just started flying towards the end of the stage. In Manchester there was just an 8 metre drop  and I knew that if we fell we'd probably not have legs like we have now! Fortunately, Christina grabbed me by the scruff of my neck and kept me from falling.

C: So fans of Andrew Polec, you're welcome!


Bat Out of Hell is so full on, how do you relax and calm down after a show?
C: It is difficult to go to sleep afterwards because it's so exciting. At the end of the show every night there's a massive buzz from the audience, they're on their feet, screaming and you feel like a rockstar with everyone coming together to celebrate this amazing music. I guess I like to eat after the show, watch something good and try and chill out.

A: Yeah, food is nice!


You have a five minute break in rehearsals, what are you doing?
C: I don't wanna say eating again! We're probably chatting about something that's happened in rehearsals. We do tend to talk a lot about constantly looking for ways to do things differently and improve so you'll probably just catch us discussing.

A: Mostly we're walking up the stairs!!


What's your favourite part of each others track?
C: One of my favourite bits ever is after I leave Revved, I stand  at the side, and I watch from the stage left wing and the screen of Hope Rock,  Andrew and the main Lost gang singing the end of Revved. I think it's absolutely incredible and I love it. I think Andrew is a force of nature and I love watching it, it's so exciting and there's so much visceral energy. Raven doesn't ever see that Strat which I think is so wonderful  because she sees a completely other side of him. So it's really interesting for me to see that force.

A: I really, really admire Raven's whole scene in her  bedroom during Heaven Can Wait. If I  have enough time after the interval preparations and can get down to the video screen then I watch the perspective of the camera as she sings the whole song and it's really cool.  She blows it out of the water every night, she remarkable!


Are you like your characters at all?
C: I'd love to say yeah, I'm really cool like Raven  but I guess I can be tempestuous sometimes like she can. The thing about Raven is that she's all about life or death, that first  love that is absolutely everything. In that way I guess we share  something that we both think love is probably the most important thing in life. But the intensity with which she feels it is more like 17 year old me than it is current me.

A: I guess Strat and I are both hopeful. I think what surprises people when they meet me is that I'm more soft spoken than Strat. Considering he just shouts on stage all night, I think when they meet me they're like "where's your high-octane energy?". 

They're certainly characters and they continue to grow and develop everyday that we work on them. They're good friends to have around.


Other than yourselves, who would you like to see play your roles?
A: I think I'd love to Jim Morrison to play this part, I think that would be a lot of fun. Or someone like Elvis would be really fun.

C: Ellen Foley was involved in the first stages of the show playing the Wendy/Raven character so it'd be really cool to see  what she would do with Raven as she is now.

A: You're absolutely right, I mean Jim Steinman hands down should be playing Strat- he's even on the t-shirt.

C: If it had to be someone from the cast I think one of the super swings should have a go. I'd pay good money to see someone like Jono play Raven!


Finally, can you tell me your best piece of advice for anyone wanting to get into performing?
C: I would say, be very sure of yourself and your  strengths and weaknesses. Believe in yourself and your ability because no one else can do that bit for you.

A: Love what you do, no matter what you end up doing. As long as you take joy in your work then you've found the secret of life and you'll be happy.

C: and be nice!

Watch the full interview plus some fun games here:


Thank you Holly for organising all of this, Andrew and Christina for filming with us, Sophia for being camera woman extraordinaire and all the lovely staff at the Dominion Theatre.

Join us next week to see Emily Benjamin become her character, Mordema!

Bat Out of Hell is currently at the Dominion Theatre until 27th October 2018

Interview by Editor, Olivia Mitchell

photo credit: Specular