The aim of these interviews is to share with one another our love for the theatre and the arts. So here we go!
Now over to Kerrie Nicholson, a fellow theatre fan and blogger who is passionate about literature and anything theatrical!
|Kerrie with Hadley Fraser, Garry Kasparov in The Machine, 2013 (Photo Credit: Kerrie Nicholson)|
Please tell me how you’ve got into musical theatre and/or theatre general in the first place?
I have my grandparents to thank for my love of musical theatre- when I was young they introduced me to many of the old movie musicals, like Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, Carousel, The Sound of Music, and Oklahoma to name a few, and I fell completely in love with musical theatre from then on. My grandpa fancies himself to be a bit of a singer, and to this day if he comes in to see me and I’m watching any of the above- he’ll sit with me and we’ll belt out a song or two together. It’s very funny!
What inspired you to get into blogging/reviewing?
I’ve always loved to write creatively anyway, but a blog was something I shied away from for a very long time, mainly because I was stuck in a dilemma about what to write. I then had a chat with a friend of mine from university, who himself runs a blog and he simply encouraged me to write about what I know and love- and through that people will see how much you enjoy that particular thing. A light bulb came on with theatre.
What have been your favourite posts you’ve blogged/reviewed?
That’s a tough one, one in particular that is precious to me personally was a review I did of Finding Neverland when it played at the Curve Theatre in Leicester last year. It was a beautiful show and also marked the first time I saw Julian Ovenden (who I’m a huge fan of) and Rosalie Craig onstage. Both were utterly phenomenal. When I go to the theatre I tend to go with a group of friends, so I also love those reviews where they say: ‘Kerrie, you bought the experience right back’, days later. That shows me I must be doing something right!
What have been the highlights of your blogging/reviewing journey?
There have been many, but if I had to pick, there are two that come to mind first. A lovely one that stuck with me was a tweet I received from Peter Polycarpou thanking me for a lovely review after seeing The Pajama Game in Chichester in June. When I post my blog on twitter I do sometimes tag the performers in the post- not because I’m expecting any recognition, purely because I want to let them know what a brilliant time I had watching them onstage, whether they read my thoughts or not, and I had an incredible time at that show. For him to have seen the review and thank me for it was just a lovely surprise
The second has to be February 10th, 2012 and my 3rd visit to Les Miserables with Ramin Karimloo as Valjean, and Hadley Fraser as Javert. I’d been wanting to see them both together onstage for ages after seeing each a few times separately, and it finally happened. I was a very happy fan writing that particular blog after the event, and went back a month later to see the pairing again before Ramin left.
Are there any shows/performers that you haven’t reviewed/interviewed that you would like to?
Show wise – for musicals it’s most definitely Matilda and Charlie & The Chocolate Factory. I’d love to branch out and see more plays, too so would love to see Strangers on a Train as well. Interviewing for my blog is something I’ve never done, but something I definitely want to explore- so watch this space!
What shows do you recommend which are currently playing in the West End or on tour nationally?
My two biggest recommendations go to Once and Jersey Boys. Once, for me is raw, beautiful and there’s nothing quite like it in the West End right now. The cast are all incredible as are the songs, and it shows that a simple story of Guy meets Girl can have tremendous warmth, humour and heart. Jersey Boys quite simply, gave me faith in the jukebox musical and one of the best nights out I’ve ever had at the theatre- I laughed, cried and left the theatre singing away with a huge smile on my face.
What is your piece of advice would you give for anyone who is new to blogging/reviewing?
To pass on a lesson I learned myself through one of my own reviews recently: just be true to your own opinion, people might agree, people might disagree… and that’s fine. Another tip would be write often and about whatever you like, it just gets your creative juices flowing and is a good way to get your thoughts down, even if they don’t come exactly as you might want the first time round- it’s ok to experiment!
Finally, what have been your 2013 theatre highlights?
I’m a devoted admirer of Hadley Fraser, and my first two highlights go to shows he was involved in, the first being The Pajama Game. He led the cast as Sid Sorokin and did a phenomenal job, as did the rest of the cast. I knew practically nothing about the show before I went in and fell completely in love with the story, songs and everyone’s enthusiasm and energy radiated around the space.
The second is a play called The Machine in which Hadley played Chess Grandmaster Garry Kasparov, written by Matt Charman & directed by Josie Rourke. I remember sitting on the train to Manchester wondering how in the world they could make a play revolving around a famous chess match interesting, and it turned out to be one of the most mesmerising things I’ve ever seen, and it was awesome to see Hadley play something so different to what I’ve been used to.
|Kerrie with Jon Boyden and Ben Jennings in Jersey Boys, 2013 (Photo Credit: Kerrie Nicholson)|
Thirdly, I return to Jersey Boys. I remember going into the theatre and noticing the most familiar songs on the posters and said to myself: ‘this is alright; I’ll recognise at the least five or six of these!’ Turns out I knew every single song in the show and could be found singing and dancing along in my seat with a silly happy smile on my face during the more up tempo numbers!
Getting a bit ahead of myself with this final one, but in December I’m going to see Coriolanus at the Donmar Warehouse. I love the play and am a huge Tom Hiddleston fan, so it’s a dream come true to be able to say I’ll be seeing him live. As an added bonus, Hadley & Mark Gatiss are also involved, I’m one very excited Shakespeare fan!
May I take an opportunity to say a big thank you to Kerrie for taking part in this interview. She can be contacted on Twitter:@kerrien_270811 and also please check out her blog. Many congratulations on her recently achieving her Masters of Arts!
Please keep tuned for my next interviewee....which is coming very soon!