Monthly Archives: November 2016

Meet the Cast -Elizabeth Hollingshead

elizabeth-hollingshead

1)    What’s your name and where do you come from?
My name is Elizabeth Hollingshead and I grew up in Wiltshire.

2)    Who do you play?
Lucy Lockit

3)    What were your first impressions of the project?
First impressions – creative, fun, current, political.

4)    What has been the highlight of the project so far?
Highlight so far- the singing. Bobbys score is fabulous.

5)    What’s the most challenging part of the process?
Challenge- attempting to be a triple threat! Singing dancing and acting at once is not easy!

6)    What are you most looking forward to in the remainder of the project?
Looking forward to tech to see Sorcha’s design for the play and it’s visual impact.

7)    Who is your biggest inspiration?
Inspired by strong classical women- Harriet Walter, Juliet Stevenson, Glenda Jackson, Michelle Terry.

8)    What is your favourite musical of all time?
It’s a close call between West side story and Into The Woods! 

9)    If you could play any role in a musical, (other than the one you are playing in The Beggar’s Opera) what would it be and why?
Probably the Witch in Into The Woods because she is wonderful and she has some beautiful solos.

10) The Beggar’s Opera is all about chancers and opportunity, a ‘Live-for-today’ kind of attitude, if you could give one piece of advice to your younger self or to anyone else what would it be?
My advice to my younger self would be to stop caring so much about your appearance and what others think! People worth keeping close will see past any facade. And also never to drink vodka neat.

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Meet the Cast – Josie Mills

josie-mills

1)    What’s your name and where do you come from?
Josie Mills from Chester.

2)    Who do you play?
Lockitt. Though usually a man, this time she’s a woman. Just as devious as the blokes!

3)    What were your first impressions of the project?
Couldn’t wait to work with Lazarus. The audition was such a great insight and the grotesque clown dance made me 100% sure I wanted in.

4)    What has been the highlight of the project so far?
Getting to spend every day creating something with such an amazingly talented and diverse group of individuals, cast and crew. And laughing. A lot!

5)    What’s the most challenging part of the process?
Breaking down what’s behind Gay’s writing. The story is actually really complex with characters that seem on the surface quite shallow, but when you delve in you find they are people like you and me. Going through the same challenges and issues that we have today.

6)    What are you most looking forward to in the remainder of the project?
The audience reaction!

7)    Who is your biggest inspiration?
Madonna. That girl got balls.

8)    What is your favourite musical of all time?
The Rocky Horror Show. It will always stand the test of time. Plus it’s full of nutters. 

9)    If you could play any role in a musical, (other than the one you are playing in The Beggar’s Opera) what would it be and why?
Clearly Magenta!

10) The Beggar’s Opera is all about chancers and opportunity, a ‘Live-for-today’ kind of attitude, if you could give one piece of advice to your younger self or to anyone else what would it be?
Believe in yourself as much as your friends believe in you.

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Meet the Cast – Shalana Serafina

sahalana-serafina

1)    What’s your name and where do you come from?
Shalana Serafina and I am a born and bred Somerset country bumpkin, now living in London.

2)    Who do you play?
I’m playing the role of alcohol ‘appreciating’, business woman,  Mrs Trapes.

3)    What were your first impressions of the project?
I loved the fact that we were highlighting current issues within society today, through a comical, light hearted, musical medium, whilst still using Gay’s original text and concept.

4)    What has been the highlight of the project so far?
Being surrounded by such a talented team! I am learning from my fellow cast members each day, but I really take my hat off to our production team, they are all working so hard to make every detail of the production perfect.

5)    What’s the most challenging part of the process?
Really delving into the text to understand Gay’s use of language during the 1700’s.

6)    What are you most looking forward to in the remainder of the project?
I’m very excited to explore Mrs Trapes further this week… I’m also intrigued to see how many more ways we can use an umbrella during this production.

7)    Who is your biggest inspiration?
Forrest McClendon is one of the most inspirational people I have ever met, (he played Mr Tambo in The Scottsboro Boys) he came to our drama school to talk to us about the industry when I was in my final year. His passionate approach to life and work is something that I will never forget.

8)    What is your favourite musical of all time?
This is the million dollar question!!

As a young girl I would watch Annie on repeat, I even had a toy dog called sandy, so I guess I’d have to say Annie.

9)    If you could play any role in a musical, (other than the one you are playing in The Beggar’s Opera) what would it be and why?
Scaramouche in ‘We Will Rock You’, she’s feisty, fierce and has no intention to blend in with the crowd… and who doesn’t love Queen!

10) The Beggar’s Opera is all about chancers and opportunity, a ‘Live-for-today’ kind of attitude, if you could give one piece of advice to your younger self or to anyone else what would it be?
If you’re told that you can’t or won’t achieve something, use those words to make you stronger. Use those words to prove people wrong. Use those words to inspire the people that DO believe in you!

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Meet the Cast – Alasdair Melrose

alasdair-melrose

1)    What’s your name and where do you come from?
My name is Alasdair and I am from London.

2)    Who do you play?
I play Matt of the Mint and the whore Molly Brazen.

3)    What were your first impressions of the project?
It was being directed by a crazy person.

4)    What has been the highlight of the project so far?
Getting the brollies involved.

5)    What’s the most challenging part of the process?
Challenging! I eat challenges for breakfast.

6)    What are you most looking forward to in the remainder of the project?
Getting it all together and specifically staging the gallows scene and number.

7)    Who is your biggest inspiration?
Frank Lampard.

8)    What is your favourite musical of all time?
Singing in the Rain

9)    If you could play any role in a musical, (other than the one you are playing in The Beggar’s Opera) what would it be and why?
Don Lockwood, because dignity, always dignity.

10) The Beggar’s Opera is all about chancers and opportunity, a ‘Live-for-today’ kind of attitude, if you could give one piece of advice to your younger self or to anyone else what would it be?
Whatever the cool kids do, do the opposite.

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Meet the Cast – David Jay Douglas

david-jay-douglas

1)    What’s your name and where do you come from?
David Jay Douglas, originally from Ringwood, Hampshire, Nr the South Coast.

2)    Who do you play?
Mr Peacham

3)    What were your first impressions of the project?
I knew of some various adaptations of the Beggar’s Opera and about how much of a stir it caused on its release in the 18th century. So initially I saw a piece of theatre which had unending possibilities to play with.

4)    What has been the highlight of the project so far?
For me the highlight has been a lot of the explorative work we have undertaken, like for example in our first week a movement call, which more or less involved getting involved with a piece of music, creating movement that felt part of the music and essentially having a mini mid morning rave…It has informed a lot of what we do in the piece and it was great fun.

5)    What’s the most challenging part of the process?
I don’t think I’ll be the only one saying this…The text…Of course, the text is 288 years old, it’s not quite Shakespeare not quite Dickens and requires a lot of the work, however like anything that is superbly written there are so many nuances and discoveries to be made on a daily basis which has been a challenge of course, but very satisfying as well.

6)    What are you most looking forward to in the remainder of the project?
I look forward to be at the stage during a run where the piece begins to flow organically, when you feel truly in synch with the rest of the cast and you ccan truly enjoy yourself within the machine that is the piece.

7)    Who is your biggest inspiration?
I’m a huge Radiohead fan and Thom Yorke (frontman) has pretty much informed my Musical education from the age of about 5 to now…So not quite theatrical related but close enough!

8)    What is your favourite musical of all time?
Blood Brothers

9)    If you could play any role in a musical, (other than the one you are playing in The Beggar’s Opera) what would it be and why?
Mrs Peachum…Jokes.I would love to play John Valjean in Les Miserables…Yes I will probably have to wait about 10 yearsGo out and explore, whether that is within your own environment i.e. going to plays, gigs, read weird books, go to workshops or save up some money and go to somewhere in the world that excites you. My mistake was launching straight out of school in to drama school and maybe not chilling out and waiting a year or two. It;s so much harder on the other side of that to get out there!, but I’m a patient man!

10) The Beggar’s Opera is all about chancers and opportunity, a ‘Live-for-today’ kind of attitude, if you could give one piece of advice to your younger self or to anyone else what would it be?
Hmm… I wish I’d met my fiancé when I was younger!! I’d have told myself to keep up guitar lessons / learn an instrument as the big thing now is Actor-Musicians; but I’d advise other young people not to put so much emphasis on their acting career: work hard, obviously, but don’t miss out on life for the sake of a maybe. Take holidays, spend time with your family and friends, because that will make you a much more rounded person.

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Meet the Cast – Sherwood Alexander

sherwood-alexander

1)    What’s your name and where do you come from?
My name is Sherwood Alexander and I am from Tarleton.

2)    Who do you play?
I am playing Macheath.

3)    What were your first impressions of the project?
Pure excitement to be able to play such an infamous role in a dangerously gorgeous world.

4)    What has been the highlight of the project so far?
Playing all the roles, both major and minor, to move the set/create new worlds.

5)    What’s the most challenging part of the process?
The singing! Being someone who doesn’t come from a musical background, it was a great challenge!

6)    What are you most looking forward to in the remainder of the project?
Getting it in front of an audience and performing this beast!

7)    Who is your biggest inspiration?
Alan Rickman/Gary Oldman – their abilities to transform themselves into something fresh and different in each performance is, and will, always be inspiring.

8)    What is your favourite musical of all time?
The Book Of Mormon.

9)    If you could play any role in a musical, (other than the one you are playing in The Beggar’s Opera) what would it be and why?
Patrick Bateman from American Psycho. Its such a deliciously dark role that demands complete transformation –  something I love to do!

10) The Beggar’s Opera is all about chancers and opportunity, a ‘Live-for-today’ kind of attitude, if you could give one piece of advice to your younger self or to anyone else what would it be?
Hindsight is a wonderful thing.

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Meet the Cast – Natalie Barker

natalie-barker

1)    What’s your name and where do you come from?
Natalie Barker, born in Yorkshire, grew up in Devon, trained in Birmingham and been in London for 11 years!

2)    Who do you play?
Mrs Peachum / Mrs Coaxer

3)    What were your first impressions of the project?
Intrigued and excited about what was to come!

4)    What has been the highlight of the project so far?
I really enjoyed the session where we split into 2 groups and built all the locations out of items in the room

5)    What’s the most challenging part of the process?
Building everything from the ground up so not having any boundaries unlike a traditional classic play/musical

6)    What are you most looking forward to in the remainder of the project?
I’m looking forward to running it for the first time so that we can see it as a whole rather than smaller bits. Going forward I’m looking forward to the audience’s reaction to it!

7)    Who is your biggest inspiration?
Meryl Streep – she never gets it wrong!!

8)    What is your favourite musical of all time?
I love ‘Priscilla Queen of the Desert’ – it’s one of only a few shows I have watched more than once (think I’m up to 12 times now?!) though the tour isn’t a patch on the original West End show. It is so much fun and ultimately incredibly uplifting 🙂 I think my favourite of all time, though, would have to be ‘Summer Holiday’ – I wore out a couple of VHS copies of that when I was younger 🙂

9)    If you could play any role in a musical, (other than the one you are playing in The Beggar’s Opera) what would it be and why?
I’ve been lucky enough to play some of the best roles in musicals: Ado Annie in ‘Oklahoma!’ and Audrey in ‘Little Shop of Horrors’, but I would kill for Satine in ‘Moulin Rouge’ because she has amazing costumes and great songs and gets to play high comedy and great drama. I’d also love to play Miss Honey in ‘Matilda’ because it’s the best musical in the West End and it would be an utter joy to be a part of!

10) The Beggar’s Opera is all about chancers and opportunity, a ‘Live-for-today’ kind of attitude, if you could give one piece of advice to your younger self or to anyone else what would it be?
Hmm… I wish I’d met my fiancé when I was younger!! I’d have told myself to keep up guitar lessons / learn an instrument as the big thing now is Actor-Musicians; but I’d advise other young people not to put so much emphasis on their acting career: work hard, obviously, but don’t miss out on life for the sake of a maybe. Take holidays, spend time with your family and friends, because that will make you a much more rounded person.

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