Sunday, 17 November 2013

Next Interviewee.....Olivia Edmonds

The aim of these interviews is to share with one another our love for the theatre and the arts. So here we go!
I was especially excited to interview, Olivia Edmonds, a fellow theatre fan and blogger and also reviews for and West End Frame.  

Olivia Edmonds (Photo Credit: Olivia Edmonds)

How did I get into musical theatre/theatre in general?
My parents! I was always taken to the theatre when I was younger - particularly to the yearly Pantomine which I absolutely adored! As I got older, they took me to a wider range of productions - I have a vague recollection of Me and my Girl and Grease when I was about 10 or 11 years old! 
But the lightbulb moment for me as far as getting into theatre as much as I am today was when they took me to see the 1st We Will Rock You tour in Birmingham (the ticket was my Xmas present!). I just absolutely loved the atmosphere and energy of that night and that was definitely the moment that made me want to start going back to the theatre more and more! 

What inspired you to get into blogging?

I was inspired to get into Blogging by a conversation in the School Staff Room where I work! I was sharing stories of my most recent theatre trip, and two of my fellow teachers turned to me and said "All of the theatre you see - you should write a Blog about it all!" And as you say, the rest is history! When I was much younger, being a writer/journalist was a potential career path (before I discovered teaching) so it's a case of best of both worlds really!

What have been your favourite posts you’ve blogged/reviewed? 

All of my posts have a very special meaning to me! But if I have to choose? Well - my first West End interview which was with Simon Bailey was a momentous achievement and really set the wheels in motion for being able to interview so many phenomenal stars! If I had to choose particular interviews that I loved - I would have to say Anna O' Byrne, Nadim Naaman and Tam Mutu would have to be stand-outs but I honestly consider myself truly blessed and completely honoured to have interviewed every single person! 

Olivia with Tam Mutu, Javert in Les Miserables, 2013 (Photo Credit: Olivia Edmonds)

I also adore the chance to write about my favourite shows - Phantom, Les Mis and Once - and being able to do so when I was chosen as London Theatre Direct's first ever Theatre Blog of the month was a truly special moment! It was one of those articles that I looked at - just before I sent it - and thought "I am so proud of that!" I just hope my love of those shows came across! 

What have been the highlights of your blogging/reviewing journey?

Highlights? The London Theatre Direct Blog of the month was a definite highlight - scratch that! An absolute honour! Definitely one of my proudest moments!

I also had the absolute privilege earlier in the year to do my first ever face to face interview with the wonderful Craig Mather. I was so used to communicating with West Enders via e-mail, when Craig suggested meeting up - I was blown away that he had that much trust in me! It was such a fantastic experience and getting to meeting his project manager Tom Callister - a fellow Aston Villa fan - was an added bonus! 

West End Has Faith was also a huge deal for me! Being able to be a backstage reporter for the whole day was unbelievable! Seeing the stage getting set up, listening to sound check, getting to chat to all the performers and then see the show in full was just wonderful - and I am forever grateful to event organisers Katy Treharne and David Birch for inviting me along. 

Are there any shows/performers that you haven’t reviewed/interviewed that you would like to?
My absolute dream is to go to Broadway - so to review shows like Pippin and Kinky Boots would be amazing! The chance to see my favourite shows - Phantom, Les Mis and Once - on Broadway is also a HUGE ambition!

As far as interviews - I have an indescribable amount of respect and admiration for Hadley Fraser, Geronimo Rauch and Ramin Karimloo - so they would be dream interviewees! Also I would have to say Sierra Boggess, Patina Miller and Sheridan Smith would be up there as dream interviewees too!!

Olivia with Hadley Fraser, Garry Kasparov in The Machine, 2013 (Photo Credit: Olivia Edmonds)

What shows do you recommend which are currently playing in the West End or on tour nationally?
I can't recommend The Phantom of the Opera enough right now! The new cast are just fantastic - and Geronimo Rauch is an absolute revelation in the lead role - a must see!

Olivia with Geronimo Rauch, Current Phantom, 2013 (Photo Credit: Olivia Edmonds)

One of my other discoveries this year was the absolute comedic genius that is One Man Two Guvnors. I have never laughed so much and current leading man Owain Arthur is hilarious! It's closing in London in March but its off on tour next year so make sure you check it out! I would also say Les Miserables, Once, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory are must sees - The Commitments too!

Finally, what have been your 2013 theatre highlights?
Theatre highlight of 2013? There have been so many!! Going to the National Theatre for the first time to see The Light Princess, seeing Kenneth Branagh's Macbeth LIVE in Manchester, seeing Geronimo Rauch as the Phantom, Hadley Fraser as a chess whizz in The Machine, Titanic The Musical, meeting Anna O Byrne - the list goes on and on!!!
May I take an opportunity to say a big thank you to Olivia for taking part in this interview.  She can be contacted on Twitter: and Facebook:

Please check out her reviews at West End Frame and and her incredible blog is highly recommended! 

Please keep tuned for future interviewees!

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