Verity Rushworth is about to play the murderous Velma Kelly in Chicago the Musical at Leicester Curve Theatre. Verity is no stranger to the stage, having performed in shows like Hairspray, the Sound of Music and most recently Carnaby Street. Verity put on a wonderful spread when she sat down to have Tea With Wilma and tell me all about the show.
Can you tell me about the story of Chicago and what attracted you to the part?
Chicago is a musical satire looking at the criminal justice system in 1920’s Chicago. It was an era where criminals were made in to celebrities. Much like the front pages of newspapers and magazines today. ‘Scandal sells!’ I was attracted to the role of ‘Velma’ because she’s so very different to roles I’ve played in the past. She’s a famous Vaudeville star who has a serious problem when indulging in too much jazz/booze and liquor! A murderess with a dry sense of humour ,who gets to sass around the stage, perform fantastic musical numbers and fall into a desperate bitter state. I’m so excited to play such a juicy dramatic role!
Do you have any pre show rituals that you have found yourself getting into over the years when you perform?
I tend to do the same warm up everyday vocally. I have to sanitise my hands and have a mint. Other than that, not really.
You have played some great theatre parts. Do you have any dream theatre roles you would like to play?
I would LOVE to play ‘Louise’ in Gypsy. Opposite Imelda Staunton would be a dream! Also one of my favourite roles is ‘Fanny Brice’ in Funny Girl. I’m a huge fan of Babz!
If you could be the opposite sex for a day, what theatre character would you like to play?
‘Tony’ in West Side Story.
Have there been any funny/awful moments that have happened to you on stage?
There have been absolutely loads! Here’s to name but a few: I punched myself in the eye during ‘The Lonely Goatherd’ in The Sound of Music, which was unfortunate. I was blinded and streaming for the whole number! I tried to pull the bed quilt towards me and the end was tucked in too tight. Another one was in Hairspray where my character had to chew gum and when I ran to Tracy’s aid as she was lying on the floor…. my chewing gum landed on her face. Not pretty. And finally a friend of mine went on for Jason Donovan to play Captain Von Trapp and delivered me the line, ‘Maria, when you were a very little boy, did a very little boy ever kiss you?’ I fell to bits!
What show would you like to see make a comeback either in the West End or on tour?
Oklahoma please. With Hugh Jackman please.
Do you have an all time favourite musical show or song?
‘Oh my man I love him so’ from Funny Girl. But I do have to mention Newsies. I loved it!
Thank you for having Tea With Wilma!