You beat 15,000 other hopefuls to land the role of Whitney. How was the audition process?
A close friend of mine called me and told me to go audition for the Whitney Houston show. I wasn’t prepared to go having just had a baby however, after some cajoling, I went anyway. The audition was at The Artscape theatre in Cape town and I was the very last candidate to audition that day. I went through the audition process and following stages over the period of three weeks, and the rest is history…Six years and ten days later.
Has Whitney’s music always been an influence to you?
Yes, since the first time I heard her sing at the age of 8. The first song I heard her on was a duet with Teddy Pendergrass called, ‘Hold Me’, and I was mesmerised by her vocals.
What do you think it is about her that made her so iconic?
All the songs she performed everyone could relate to in one way or another and that, aside from her obvious vocal ability, have made her the icon that she is today.
The songs are big, big numbers and you are backed each night by a 30 piece orchestra. How do you prepare for the show?
Aside from going through the normal stretching and vocal exercises that most west-end performers would, I try my best to relax, take my time to apply my makeup and then pull out my Ouija board and attempt to summon up the spirit of Whitney…Okay, the last bit about the Ouija board isn’t true, but it is important to focus on the role at hand and adopt all of the attributes of the character one is playing.
What has been audience’s reaction to the production so far?
The response has been overwhelming and audiences cannot get enough. We sell-out many of our tours before they have even started, and the show is on the road constantly until mid-2020, and probably by that time, beyond.
What do you think it is about Whitney’s music that is still relevant today?
Her deliverance of ballads was heart-breaking, her upbeat pop was danceable, she had a great sense of fun and style and because of this there was an innocent aspect of her that attracted the hearts of many different music listeners.
Which song resonates with you the most and has that changed since you started this tour?
‘The Greatest Love of All’, still tugs on the heartstrings, even after all this time. I don’t think that will be surpassed for me personally.
Where are you most looking forward to visiting on the UK leg of the tour?
It has to be Glasgow. The Royal Concert Hall is incredible and has had so many impressive performers whom I admire grace its stage. Furthermore, Glaswegians aren’t shy, and they know how to get into a performance. If they are loving a show they will go wild in the aisles without hesitation, however, if they hate it they will let you know. There’s something about that level of honesty from an audience that I admire.
Why do you think people should come and see The Greatest Love Of All: The Whitney Houston Show?
We are the biggest and most successful Whitney Houston touring production in the world, and with good reason. We bring a high calibre of musicianship, dancers and show production that is unheard of in the world of tribute shows. We have an amazing technical team as well as all the performers on stage who work tirelessly to make the show the best and this comes across in the production. If you are a Whitney Houston fan you will love the show and even if you are not, the level of production will have you blown away that you will still leave elated.
Thanks for having Tea With Wilma
Check out The Greatest Love Of All: The Whitney Houston Show on its UK Tour
Glasgow Thursday 12 April 2018
Newcastle Friday 13 April 2018
Liverpool Saturday 14 April 2018
Birmingham Sunday 15 April 2018
London Tuesday 17 April 2018
Cardiff Wednesday 18 April 2018
Southend Thursday 19 April 2018
Manchester Friday 20 April 2018
Belfast Sunday 22 April 2018