Fortuna Burke has Tea With Wilma

Fortuna TWWCan you tell me about yourself and your career highlights to date?
I’m a writer and comedy performer from London.  Career highlights so far include having my first drama ‘Release’ staged at Theatre Royal Stratford East as well as writing, producing and taking my first comedy musical Laundrette Superstar  to Etcetera Theatre last summer.

Another big highlight has been working with international music giant, Korg.  We use a fabulous limited edition red and black MicroKORG XL synthesizer which not only makes a stunning retro centrepiece, but is also played (deliberately very badly) each night!

What is the show about and can you tell me about the character you play?
Laundrette Superstar is a one woman comedy described by reviewers as ‘Ab Fab meets Flight of The Conchords’. I play ‘Fortuna’, self-proclaimed synthpop superstar and part-time laundrette assistant who lives in her Grandma’s basement (it’s just temporary yeah!) Fortuna is convinced that she’s on the cusp of big things… if you can call “big things” performing live in a gift shop, mortuary and poorly lit car park.

It’s been great fun working with up-and-coming designer Magda Durka who crafted and styled Fortuna’s ‘Fashion-Forward,’ image : picture Grace Jones meets Del Boy Trotter!

The live synthpop performances are complimented by surreal 80’s-style music videos, edited by the show’s director and resident special effects geek Robin Gething!

Laundrette Superstar weaves together high fashion, theatrical storytelling, stand-up, live music and film into a fabulous hour-long synthpop extravaganza!

The show will be hitting the Space on 23rd, 26th and 31st January as part of Programme B of The One Festival.  We’re then heading to Chelsea Theatre on Feb 20th and 21st as part of the Fresh Blood season!

We hope Wilma’s fans will be able to join us for one hell of a stupendous show!

If we asked your friends to describe you in three words, what would they be?
Cheerful, hard-working, super-optimistic

Do you have any dream theatre roles that you would love to have a go at playing?
I’m the biggest Victoria Wood fan in the world and if DinnerLadies ever returned to the stage, I’d be first in line to audition for Dolly, just so I could spit out gems like, “Counselling! My mother was trapped under a Blackpool tram for four and a half hours – she didn’t get counselling. She got a cup of tea and two tickets to Charlie Drake.”

If you could be the opposite sex for the day, what musical theatre role would you like to have a go at playing?
Perhaps not the opposite sex but I wouldn’t mind playing Simba inThe Lion King .  I wouldn’t mind being a hip young Lion and belting out Elton John power ballads.

Do you have a favourite Musical Theatre show or song that means a lot to you?
For me it’ll always be Susan Boyle’s rendition of ‘I Dreamed a Dream’…!

Finally. If you were going to name a pet, what theatre character name would you choose?
I’d like to have one of those large dogs, like a Great Dane, you know the kind tall enough to come up to your shoulders. I’d name her after Fanny in Funny Girl and go lolloping around the park with her.

Thank you for having Tea With Wilma

See Launderette Superstar 23, 26, 31 January at The Space, Canary Wharf and 20, 21 February at Chelsea Theatre.