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.