What hurts Madalena Alberto’s feelings? Find out in my Tea With Wilma interview

You have performed in some amazing shows so far in your career. What have been some of your highlights?
I’ve been very lucky so far, and it’s hard to choose! Playing Fantine at the Chatelé in Paris, Eva Peron at the Dominion theatre, singing ‘Memory’ at the London Palladium… but it all has to do with the wonderful people I’ve met along the way and how I’ve grown as an artist and as a woman. Whether in big or small venues, musicals or straight plays, it has been a great adventure.

You are to play Live at Zedel on 23rd February. What can audiences expect from the show?
They can expect a very relaxed and intimate evening, where I’m bringing together some friends and wonderful musicians to play around with songs—some musical theatre, some pop covers, some that I’ve written. I’m so looking forward to it and excited to share what we are preparing.

Who are your biggest inspirations on and off stage and why?
Growing up in Portugal and not having much theatre around, my main inspirations were film stars such as Michael Keaton and Michelle Pfeiffer. Now I take inspiration mostly from colleagues, anyone I go watch perform live. More and more I find it admirable that we stand on stage vulnerable and brave at the same time and share from our strengths, gifts and talents. So anyone up there is an inspiration. I also have the good fortune to have many friends not associated with the business who inspire me greatly, just by their relaxed lifestyle and wish to be of benefit to all.

Do you have any pre-show rituals?
I’m not superstitious but I do tend to always do my own vocal warm up, one that was recorded especially for me when I did Les Mis. It has become a tradition and I do it even when there is a group warm up later.

What West End show would you like to see make a comeback and why?
I loved Zorro the Musical, it was such a fun musical with all the ingredients for a great family night out! I would love for it to come back because I fancy men in masks and would love to have another go at playing “Catherine Zeta-Jones”.

If I asked your friends to describe you in three words, what would they be?
Bohemian, creative and ditzy; though I wouldn’t agree with, at least, two of them! Haha

If you were going to get a new pet and had to give it a musical theatre character name, what would you go for?
Roxy Hart

If you could only ever listen to one more musical theatre song, what would you choose?
“What are you doing the rest of your life”, a Michelle Le Grand song, sang by Barbara Streisand, one of my all time favourites.

What are your thoughts on theatre etiquette? What things annoy you when you are performing or when you are in the audience?
I’m quite old fashioned when it comes to theatre etiquette, as it is a two way street, mutual respect between performers and audience. So whether I’m on stage or watching I don’t enjoy hear them eat or open a pack of sweets, look at their phones and even reading the program during very dramatic moments, it hurts my feelings. I also find it difficult to come to terms with pop corn on sale in the theatres.

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?
Possibly the play of CAROL, I would kill to watch Cate Blanchett live on stage.

If you could be the opposite sex for the day, what theatre role would you love to have a go at playing?
Daryl Van Horn from Witches of Eastwick

If you won the lottery and could stage one theatre show of your choice, what would you choose and who would be your dream cast?
Maybe Jason Robert Brown’s PARADE, with Phil Connors as Leo and myself as Lucille!

Why do you think people should come and see Live at Zedel?
If they don’t come they’ll be missing out on a wholehearted, eclectic, nourishing musical evening, and I’ll be very sad if they’ll be sitting at home watching the news.

Thanks for having Tea With Wilma
Interview by Rosie Bambury

Madalena Alberto plays Live At Zedel on 23 February 2017