Showing posts sorted by relevance for query Evelyn Hoskins. Sort by date Show all posts
Showing posts sorted by relevance for query Evelyn Hoskins. Sort by date Show all posts

Tuesday, 8 February 2022

Evelyn Hoskins on Returning to the Diner Post Pandemic | Waitress the Musical | Interview

I think once you’ve seen the show, if it connects with you, you do get a little bit hooked on it!

Waitress, based on the 2007 movie of the same title, follows the story of Jenna, a woman who longs to escape the life she's trapped in. Alongside her friends and her handsome new gynaecologist, she begins to step towards the dreams she's always harboured. Since taking the West End by storm, Waitress is now delighting audiences across the country. Evelyn Hoskins plays Jenna's lovable friend Dawn who's looking for love of her own. Evelyn spoke to us about taking the show on the road and how the pandemic changed her portrayal...


If you were telling someone who knows nothing about Waitress why they should see it, how would you sum it up?

It’s the most joyous, hilarious, heartwarming, life-affirming, beautiful show you could possibly see, especially if you’re a woman!


Is there a song in Waitress that makes you particularly emotional?

Definitely A Soft Place to Land. It’s the song before they sort of glow-up Dawn a little bit before her date and it’s just beautiful. The harmonies are stunning.


You’ve had a kind of different experience with Dawn because you played her pre and post pandemic. So, what was it like originally creating your version of Dawn and do you think she’s changed since you’ve come back to the show?

She’s definitely changed. I saw the original Broadway cast of Waitress in 2016 so I saw Kimiko Glenn play Dawn and Kimiko and I both played a role called Thea in Spring Awakening so we’re obviously similar castings anyway; but I think I was definitely influenced by Kimiko’s portrayal because that was my first impression of Dawn. 


My portrayal has changed since the pandemic, for sure. I mean, more so because I just feel older if I’m honest; and also I'm more grateful to be here. I was grateful anyway because it’s such a dream show and job of mine but now I feel super grateful.


When you were doing the show at the Adelphi, were you already booked to do the tour?

No I wasn’t. The resident director had kind of asked me if I’d be interested but at the time I was due to do six months in the West End so I was a bit like “I don’t know, maybe, I’ll see how I’m feeling” cause obviously a year is a long time. And then when the show closed in the West End, the producers were very kind and asked all of us if we’d be interested and I was like, yeah, because I didn’t feel done with her at all. I’d barely touched the surface so I’m so glad to be doing it.


How was it when you reopened, did you find it emotional?

Yep! I think I was more emotional on the first day of rehearsals when we did a full read and sing through first thing on the Monday morning. Obviously I hadn’t heard the music since the last show so that was super emotional. Also putting on the little waitress dress again!


You know, when we closed it was so uncertain and the tour got pushed back and pushed back, and we didn’t know if it would actually ever happen so it’s so good to be back!




So far, have you noticed any differences between touring the show and playing on the West End?

It’s very interesting to see the different reactions, I don’t know if I could pinpoint what they are though but Northern audiences have been PHENOMENAL, very very loud!


We’re in Bristol this week which I’m super excited about because it’s near my home town and it’ll be great to get to Woking and then we’re in Bromley so we’ll have some more London audiences. But it’s just a really great show to take around the country and make accessible to people.


Definitely, and here compared to the US, people don’t know the film as much so it’s more of a word of mouth show which must be lovely...


Yeah! Honestly I was really surprised at the reaction. We’re sold out most Saturdays and the audiences have been incredible. We also have some very loyal fans and we often see familiar faces most weeks. I think once you’ve seen the show, if it connects with you, you do get a little bit hooked on it!


That’s so lovely, I’m coming to see it with my mum who’s very excited!


I think it’s a phenomenal show to see with your mum! Bring the women in your life because it’s got such girl power.


Leading on nicely, I wanted to know why you think having a female led show like Waitress tour the country is so important?

The themes of the show are so important. There’s the domestic abuse theme which really strengthens the message and importance of female friendship and female support.


I also think it’s important that we start recognising that the other relationships in our life are just as important as the romantic ones and that’s something this show does.

What’s your best piece of advice for aspiring performers?

Believe in yourself. That sounds super cliched but it’s true. My personal experience is not like a traditional one. I’m from quite a working class background. I didn’t grow up with lots of money which obviously would help you if you wanna go to drama school. But, I didn’t do drama school.


So it’s really about the hustle. Just hustle hard. If you really like an actor’s performance, find out who they’re represented by. Reach out to them and say I really like your client, I feel like I would be a good fit for you too. Same with casting directors, if you really enjoy a show and think it would be something you could do, write to them, tell them how much you like the show, just put yourself out there. And don’t feel like drama school is the be all and end all!


Thank you so much to Evelyn for taking the time to chat to me. Waitress runs at the New Victoria Theatre, Woking from 14th to 19th February before continuing its tour.


Interview by Olivia Mitchell, Editor


photo credit: Johan Persson

Monday, 4 February 2019

MT Fest UK, The Other Palace | Press Launch


Brainchild of Paul Taylor-Mills, MT Fest, opens at The Other Palace in one week's time and is set to provide a host of new and exciting theatrical events. Last week saw the launch of the festival in The Other Palace Studio and featured special performances from Luke Bayer, Evelyn Hoskins and Sooz Kempner

When introducing the festival, Paul explained how he's always wanted to put an event like this on because of the large amount of work he gets sent that doesn't get the chance to be showcased. He told us how many pieces don't lack quality, but can't be developed because there is a "lack of resource and audience appetite"; and how this festival is his way of showcasing hidden gems in musical theatre and allowing composers, writers etc... to be seen by not only a paying audience, but industry professionals who can help them develop their work in the future.

He also reminded us that no one knows what makes a successful musical (and if they say they do, they're lying.) So this whole showcase of musicals is an exploration and adventure to see what works in front of an audience and what doesn't.


The two week event is structured so there's something to see at all times of day, including:

  • The Taster Menu: the main event for showcasing new musicals. Eight semi-staged shows lasting 45 minutes each. Information about the shows and tickets can be found here
  • BEAM Brunches: Shining a light on some of the most talented up and coming musical theatre songwriters. Full listings can be found here
  • Tea for Two: Frank and inspirational afternoon chats with some of the most celebrated people in musical theatre. Including chats about choreographing a musical, the do's and don'ts for auditions and how theatre criticism is changing. Full listings can be found here
  • Night Caps: Informal late night concerts with some of the top musical theatre performers. Paul told us he's also asked the performers to add in a song or two which hints at their next career move which is exciting. To see the performers and book tickets, click here
Evelyn Hoskins described the festival as a "pick n mix of new work" and it certainly seems like there's going to be something for everyone to discover so why not immerse yourself in theatre and attend this event!

MT Fest UK runs from 11th-23rd February 2019. Tickets are available online or from the box office at The Other Palace.

Monday, 14 February 2022

Waitress (Tour), New Victoria Theatre | Review


Waitress (Tour)
New Victoria Theatre
Reviewed on Monday 14th February 2022
★★★★

The dish of the day at the New Victoria Theatre this Valentines day is Waitress the Musical which follows Jenna Hunterson (Chelsea Halfpenny) an aspiring baker who wants nothing more than to escape her life and unhappy marriage. With the help of her colleagues and new gynaecologist, her dreams start to become possible as she bakes herself a new life. It's a heartwarming tale of romantic and platonic love, that is a sweet treat indeed.

Based on the film of the same name written by Adrienne Shelly, the stage version adds the extra ingredient of Sara Bareilles' score. Memorable, folky songs are a joy to watch and feature a number of gorgeous motifs which appear throughout. There is a great mixture of humourous numbers, as well as more emotional, reflective ones. The book by Jessie Nelson is dotted with wit and whimsy but occasionally feels a little underdeveloped with some moral ambiguity that is never resolved.

As leading lady, Chelsea Halfpenny is an utter delight in the role of Jenna. Vocally she is faultless and gives a beautifully nuanced performance full of charm and warmth. Her comedic timing is wonderful and she also brings Jenna's vulnerable side to life truthfully. 

As her friends, Becky and Dawn, Sandra Marvin and Evelyn Hoskins are marvellous. Evelyn is completely adorable as Dawn, bringing the house down with her laughs and her completely frenetic performance that oozes humour. As her partner in crime, Ogie, George Crawford is completely stellar. His comedy chops completely shine and are matched by his great vocals.

As Dr Pomatter, Jenna's gynaecologist and love interest, Nathanael Landskroner is brilliantly bumbling. His chemistry with Chelsea is glorious to watch and he also matches her perfectly in terms of vocals and they really complement one another. The ensemble also work together like a well-oiled machine.

Just like the ensemble, Scott Pask's set and Lorin Latarro's fine-tuned choreography work seamlessly together. They are not only incredibly in sync with the whole show but are also greatly reflective of the story and emotions; with the set literally coming to life and expanding as Jenna finds herself. 

Waitress is an intimate show which transfers wonderfully for touring venues. Despite its faults, it's almost baked to perfection. Excellent performances and major whimsy make it a stagey slice of sweetness that's well worth seeing. 

Waitress plays at the New Victoria Theatre until 19th February 2022 and then continues its tour

photo credit: Johan Persson

Thursday, 9 September 2021

Waitress, New Wimbledon Theatre | Review


Waitress (UK Tour) 
New Wimbledon Theatre
Reviewed on Tuesday 7th September by Hope Priddle
★★★★

On the menu at Wimbledon Theatre this week, Waitress the Musical follows Jenna Hunterson (Lucie Jones)an aspiring baker who, with the support of her colleagues and dreamy gynecologist, imagines an escape from her provincial life and unhappy marriage. Based on the 2007 film by the late Adrienne Shelly, Waitress is a bittersweet story of friendship, love and finding yourselfwith (nearly) all the ingredients for a tasty theatrical treat.

 

Music and lyrics by Sara Bareilles add flavour and spice to this quaint story; her playful, folk-pop score is full of frolicking motifs, followed by some gorgeous reflective numbers. They accompany book by Jessie Nelson which is delightfully witty and whimsical throughout, but sometimes suffers from its more casual tone. 

 

We are introduced to a collective of characters who are wholly endearing yet undeniably flawed, and it is refreshing to spend time with such imperfect and compromised characters. However, their poor choices often lack consequence and the stakes never quite feel high enough. Likewise, the shows treatment of domestic violence is lacking. Her abusive marriage to tip-stealing husband Earl - played by Tamlyn Hendersonwho nonetheless deftly balances the fine line between comedic stock villain and insidious manipulator - is explored in a just a few short scenes which are uncomfortably inserted into the narrative. Though pitched as a feminist drama, any moral message is half baked.

 

Jones steals our heart as weary waitress Jenna, giving a sensitive and nuanced performance which perfectly reflects the heartache, anguish and disappointment of our begrudgingly pregnant protagonist. Her buttery vocals are rich and controlled; her control and clarity unsurpassed. Jones’ soaring rendition of She Used To Be Mine across a silent auditorium scored a well-deserved mid-show ovation.

 

Jenna’s colleagues are equally well cast. Evelyn Hoskins is totally loveable as the adorably anxious Dawn, whose slow burning affection and excitement for new beau Ogie, brought to life with a welcome touch of innocence and youthfulness by George Crawford, is joyous to watch. Sandra Marvin similarly packs a punch as the feisty, lively yet loyal Becky. 

 

The duo provides comfort and advice to the expectant mother as she cautiously begins to imagine a new life for herself and her baby. Waitress offers such a lovely, intimate insight into female friendship, and it is in these quieter moments that the show really lands. As Dr Pomatter, Jenna’s forbidden love interest, Matt Willis proves himself to be a highly capable actor, capturing the character’s goofy and bumbling demeanour with ease. It is just a shame that his slightly nasally vocals are lost in his duets with Jones.

 

Lorin Latarro’s choreography is inspired, with instructive and empathetic gesturing by the ensemble used to cleverly mirror the movements of the lead characters. As Jenna goes into labour during Contraction Balletfemale quartet pulsate and swell perfectly in time. The ensemble is so in sync throughout and are truly mesmerising to watch.

 

Latarro’s routines are complemented by tastefully restrained lighting design (Ken Billington) that features but a series of coloured spotlights. Likewise, both set (Scott Pask) and costume (Suttirat Anne Larlarbare simplistic, if not a tad twee, but offer a sense of familiarity and warmth which gives the show heart. final special mention must go to on-stage band that seamlessly integrate themselves into the diner landscape – you wonder if their music is meant to be diegetic given how often we see into Jenna’s mind as she creates her fantastical pies.  

 

Waitress isn’t perfect, but it most certainly serves the audience with a little slice of happiness pie. Surely they’ll be coming back for second helpings?


Photo credit: Johan Persson