Tell Me On a Sunday – Interview

Tell Me On a Sunday – Interview

Below is a sneak peak of the delightfully charismatic Jodie Prenger’s question and answer session that took place in Act Two:

Jodie: Thank you so much for having me back in Bristol! I have to say I am in shock. I never get invited the same place twice! Last year I embarked on a tour of Calamity Jane, and I tell you after fourteen months of being on tour those buckskins could walk on their own!

Do you have a dream role and/or roles that you would like to play and why?

I could do with a sausage roll right now, I’m starving! Because I’m just wasting away! Dream role, dream role, dream role? I’ve got two actually, my first dream role would be to play Mama Rose in Gypsy; it’s the music, it’s the overture, it gives me tingles! And the second one, I’d love to play Dolly Levi, because of the feather hat, but it’s the music again! And it would be nice to play such strong, outspoken women because it’s nothing like me. At all. Moving on…

If the girl in Tell me on a Sunday was you, would you travel that far for a man? 

Of course! Mind you, I wouldn’t travel far for the fella I’ve got right now, he’s only from down the road! No, but I think the part of Emma, what she did, I just love the fact that Andrew Lloyd Webber and Don Black set it back into the late seventies and early eighties, I mean it’s a great era, and the fact that she went all the way out there showed how much courage she had. And I don’t think she ever found love, but I think she found herself.

Do you have any pre show rituals or routines that you like to do? 

Ooh, I do! That’s a good question that. When I walk on, I’m holding a book and it has to be on chapter six. If it’s not on chapter six, the world will end. It’s really weird, but theatre is very superstitious, it’s like you’re not really allowed to whistle back stage and you have to turn around and swear, that’s what I blame it on anyway!

If you hadn’t gone into musical theatre, what would you be doing?

I did work in a curtain shop, but I was never very good at my times table so when they used to come to pick up the curtains I’d calculated, they were either too short or too full. I’m also a fully qualified nail technician. If you want a full set, it’s twenty quid at the stage door. But really, I think I would have my ultimate dream, and it’s the same as Doris Day’s; she’s got an animal sanctuary. And I have, ladies and gentlemen, just bought myself a farm. I arrived here early today and I went to the most wonderful place, and I’m welling up now, but I went to this dog rescue centre called Happy Ever After. They do such amazing work, so if I have a day off I’m going to do a few days work there!

What’s your favourite song from the show?

Do you know, Don Black was telling us that it was his first ever collaboration with The Lord, and I just think it’s some of their greatest stuff. I came in already loving the song Tell me on a Sunday, but then found little gems. I think my favourite’s ‘Capped teeth and Caesar Salad’ it always makes me chuckle! And I love ‘Nothing like you’ve ever known’, I’ve never known a song that is just so raw. He’s not too bad at writing a couple of tunes, is he?!

Tell Me on a Sunday – Review

Tell Me on a Sunday – Review

From the age of nine, I have had a real love for the show Tell Me On a Sunday, after singing the title song at a showcase way back when. Since then I have watched four different performances of it, the most recent production starring Jodie Prenger at The Hipprodrome, Bristol.

The one woman show follows the love life of Emma, a twenty-something British girl, who moves to New York in hopes of finding ‘the one’.   (more…)

Amaluna

Amaluna

So, my sister turns 21 this year, and to mark the occasion we went to see the Cirque de Soleil, an amazing acrobatic more-than-a-circus at the Royal Albert Hall. I have fallen in love with the wide circular building, the tiers of seats, and moons of acoustic domes in the ceiling. The set was very avatar-like in blues and greens with ambient forest sounds. The acrobatics were incredible, and while entranced by them it took me a few moments to realise that the music was all from a live band, partially shielded from view by green tendrils of the forest floor. A vocalist dressed in black standing on an illuminated basin of water cast ambient vocals out across the arena. There were no words, unless they were in the strange language of the island of Amaluna, but somehow you could feel the meaning of the music by the tone, emotion and, interestingly, the vowel sounds that she chose.

The change in vowels changes the shape of the resonators in your vocal apparatus, and this vocalist exploited all of them, allowing harmonics to rise and fall, changing the timbre, volume and intensity. Clever stuff. A few times I found myself watching her instead of the gymnastic feats on the stage. Mesmerising. All in all, it was artistic showmanship at its best.

A Night at the Theatre

A Night at the Theatre

About a month ago I had the privilege of watching one of my students perform in a production of Les Miserables at St Mary Redcliffe and Temple School.* For those who have not experienced this epic musical, it is set in the middle of the French Revolution and tends more towards the reality of war than towards happy endings. Amy played Fantine, a girl who seemed to be in the wrong place at the wrong time, and who has responsibility for a young daughter and some tricky songs. Whilst I had heard the song during lessons, I was not prepared for watching her sing ‘I dreamed a dream,’ and how she put what we’d worked on into practice even through scenes of tears and despair – no mean feat – try singing beautifully the next time you shed a few! Not only that, but Amy had her hair cut off live, on stage, to raise money for the Little Princess Trust. What impressed me overall was that, in a play that consisted entirely of singing (bar, possibly, two spoken lines), one school could find, nuture and present enough talented singers to pull it off. The cast consisted of over 40 students, and there was a choir of 45, semi-concealed behind a screen, that sung the French revolution into Bristol. The whole performance was of a high standard, the costumes were vibrant, the acting was brilliant and the stage set was cleverly constructed.** To mention a few favourite moments: the ‘master o’ the ‘ouse’ was so creepy that I deeply regretted making fleeting eye-contact with the seditious and over-eyebrowed character, Jean Valjean’s falsetto gave me goosebumps and, finally, Fantine’s (*spolier alert*) deathbed scene was so sad and so poignantly played I think it could be said that: of dry eyes in that place, there were none. Well done to everyone involved – truly a night to remember!  

* Interesting info: this musical play was created by Alain Boublil and Claude-Michel Schönberg, based on the novel by Victor Hugo, written in the 1860s.

** Credit where credit is due – Stephanie Rees

Photograph used by permission.