INTERVIEW: ANNA-JANE CASEY has Tea With Wilma chatting about Showtime Challenge: the 48-hour musical

You have starred in pretty much everything over the years. There are too many shows to list but some of my personal favourites are Chicago, Spamalot, Joseph, Company, Cats and most recently Forbidden Broadway in which you gave a career defining performance, showing just how versatile an actress and singer you are. What has been your career highlight so far?
As far as my career is concerned, I think singing at the Proms with Seth MacFarlane and Sierra Boggess is up there as a highlight. We also recreated the concert in L.A. and I got a giant hug from Charlize Theron afterwards at a party Seth threw for us all. For a market trader’s daughter from Lancashire, that’s pretty cool!

You are about to embark on the Showtime Challenge 48-hour musical production of Thoroughly Modern Mille, which is playing for one night only at the Adelphi Theatre on 20 March 2016. For those who aren’t familiar with the concept for the 48 hour musical challenge, what is it all about?
Showtime Challenge brings together over 100 plucky performers, an orchestra of 30 and a ridiculously hard working production team who voluntarily come together to produce a fully-staged West End musical in 48 hours. The whole gang meet for the first time on a Friday night at 7.30pm and in two days we fly by the seat of our pants and have a complete show that we perform for charity and for the entertainment of a full theatre,

What is the story of Thoroughly Modern Millie and how does your character Muzzy fit in to it?
Thoroughly Modern Millie takes us back to the height of the jazz age in New York City, when “modern women” were bobbing their hair, raising their skirts, entering the workforce and rewriting the rules of love. Millie & friends meet my characterMuzzy (singer and bon viveur!) at a fabulous party she is hosting. Muzzy lives life to the full but, as the show progresses, we find that Muzzy’s not just about the fun, she’s also wise and big-hearted . . . I can’t wait to step into her shoes!

What part of this 48 hour process are you most excited or nervous about?
There’s nothing more terrifying than stepping in front of an audience to present your work for the first time . . . even if you’ve had 4 weeks’ rehearsal, let alone 2 days! But when Esther Biddle, our Director asked me to be involved, knowing that as parents we both have to organise our lives in a military fashion, I knew the whole company was in good hands.

All the profits from this production are being donated to the MIND charity. Can you tell me about what the charity does and why you think it is a great cause?
Mind provides advice and support to empower anyone experiencing a mental health problem. They campaign to improve services, raise awareness and promote understanding . . . Something we, as a community, could all learn from in these troubled times.

We are living in a time where films are often being turned into stage plays and musicals. If you had to choose one, what film would you like to see adapted to the stage?
The film I’d love to see adapted to the stage is The Princess Bride. I think it’s been discussed as a project for many years, but for some reason hasn’t materialised. That needs to be rectified just to see a merchandise booth selling t-shirts saying, “as you wish”!

If you could be the opposite sex for the day, what theatre role would you love to have a go at playing?
I think to play Willy Loman in Death of a Salesman could be my finest hour…!

Can you complete this sentence. People should come and see Thoroughly Modern Millie because ___________________.
People should come and see Thoroughly Modern Millie because what could be more exciting than watching over 100 people giving their all in a beautiful theatre, during a wonderful fun filled evening, for a fantastic cause, with an underlying smell of terror and fear in the air!

Thanks for having Tea With Wilma

SHOWTIME CHALLENGE: 48 Hour Musicals next production of THOROUGHLY MODERN MILLIE is playing for one night only on 20 March 2016 at the Adelphi Theatre