Diva’s Unsung is a cabaret of leading lady show stoppers coming to the Leicester Square Theatre on 22nd September.
Three of the six divas, Jenny Potts, Rebecca Trehearn and Kirby Lunn put pen to paper to tell me about the show and themselves.
Can you tell me about your show and what people can expect if they come to see it?
JP: Divas Unsung is basically a collection of female songs that are rarely heard on the musical theatre and cabaret scene. It’s a chance to hear all the beautiful songs that were written for lesser-known musicals that maybe haven’t had the accolades they deserve, as the musicals they were attached to weren’t necessarily successful. It’s the kind of show I would definitely go and see if I weren’t in it! As a musical theatre actor you are constantly on the lookout for new repertoire for auditions and cabarets and these are all fantastic songs that aren’t done to death. It’s the perfect opportunity for students and experienced performers, as well as wonderful for the theatre going public who are probably sick of the same set of songs heard time and time again!!
KL: From Divas Unsung you can expect a killer cast and a lot of high belting (we are Divas, com on?!). We will be performing the best songs from shows that have been overlooked in musical theatre history. There will be a lot of “oh yeah I know this song, I need to add this to my repertoire!” Coming from the audience!
How would you describe yourself as a person (in 5 words or less)?
JP: Ambitious, Fair, Clumsy, Frank, Generous.
RT: Quiet til you dig…
KL: Stress eater
Do you have any pre show rituals that you have found yourself getting into?
JP: I generally like to rest, read a book, do a crossword etc. However, for this show I’ll probably spend the time trying to suppress the nerves going over the lyrics!! The songs I have been given are amazing but 2 of them are extremely wordy!!!
KL: I don’t really have any quirky before show rituals! I always arrive at the theatre half an hour to do my makeup and hair so I can use the time from the hour call to relax.
RT: As far as Ghost goes, there’s a couple of lines from the opening number of each act that I have to sing before the start of act one/act two respectively. Otherwise, experience has taught me that it’s wise to avoid developing superstitious habits if you can!
If you could be the opposite sex for a day, what theatre character would you like to play?
JP: Great question!! It’s never something I’ve thought about before but I reckon it would be ridiculously fun to play Miss Trunchbull in Matilda! I think the show is absolutely brilliant and to play such a great character role would be great fun!!
RT: Ooh, I think I’d love a stab at one of the great Shakespeare roles. Hamlet, Iago, Lear; aim high, ha!
KL: I would love to play Elder Price from Book Of Mormon! I am devastated on a daily basis that I will never be in this show.
Do you have any dream theatre roles you would like to play?
JP: Right now I would love to play Cinderella in Into The Woods. It’s been my favourite show since I was 10 and it would be a dream come true to ever be able to be in it! When I’m older I’d love to play Miss Hannigan in Annie! I did the show from 2008-2009 and I just think there’s so much complexity to her character!! I’d love to get my teeth into it!
RT: I’d love to play the girl in Once or Clara in The Light in the Piazza.
KL: I want to play the leading lady in whatever show Hugh Jackman is starring in.
Have there been any funny/awful moments that have happened to you on stage?
JP: My worst moment on stage was at the Princess Theatre in Torquay with ‘Joseph’. During the Pharaoh’s entrance a big blue truck comes forward and I run up the steps into my position on the bridge. However, nobody had told me that, due to the size of the theatre, the top step of the truck had been removed and I fell straight through the stage! I managed to catch myself on the treads and haul myself back on to the bridge but I was so embarrassed that I just ran off stage! I had a massive bruise all down my arm for ages. I think the worst part of it was that it was never caught in camera!! It must have been hilarious to watch!!
RT: Many a comedy moment, happens in every show! As a teenager I played Sleeping Beauty and whilst being carried onstage on my death bed, the unfortunate sods doing the carrying dropped the bed and I ended up on the floor. Not my finest hour!
KL: I recently understudied the role of Tracy Turnblad in the Australian production of ‘Hairspray.’ I was in the middle of my first show on as Tracy and I fell over, actually over… on my face.
What theatre show would you like to see make a comeback and why?
JP: There I so many shows I love so this is a hard one. Into The Woods of course, but I kind of like the fact that the show isn’t done all the time. I think I’d have to say Mary Poppins. I thought it was so magical. I’m a huge fan of the film and I thought the show totally did it justice. (I’d really like to play Mary as well!)
RT: I absolutely loved Movin’ Out, I always thought it was a real shame it didn’t last longer over here. I’d happily see that again if it were ever revived.
KL: I would love to revive anything Imelda Staunton can star in, Gypsy it is!
What was the last show you saw (apart from the one you are in) and what did you think of it?
JP: The last show I saw was “(title of show)” at the Landor, which I thought was great. I thought it was staged and executed extremely well. All four cast members were wonderful but I particularly loved Scott Garnham’s performance. For me, he is one of the best comedy actors we have in the West End and his voice is incredible. I was lucky enough to do ‘Next Thing You Know’ at the Landor recently and I’m so supportive of what they do there. Not only is Rob McWhir a wonderful director but also he’s really passionate about new musical theatre, which is so important. I think the fringe is such a great thing when it’s done well. I know the whole “profit-share” thing gets a lot of rap but if you can get the big casting directors in to see the show then it’s totally worth it. It’s a chance for them to see you in a role rather than in the pressure of auditions or showcases where nerves get the better of so many of us. And I think any casting director worth their salt should take the time to see fringe shows, as the talent in them is outstanding.
RT: The Colour Purple at the Menier. I absolutely loved it; beautifully staged, directed and stunning performances all round, especially the wonderful Cynthia Erivo
KL: The last show I saw was ‘Billy’ at The Union, it was so great. The boy who played the title role (Keith Ramsay) was fabulous! I love seeing really good fringe theatre. I have tickets to ‘Fleabag’ at The Soho theatre this week and can’t wait!