I’m going to tell you something that some of you may laugh at/think is ridiculous and some of you may relate to.
When I go to the theatre and I see something so amazing, I can’t help but get teary and well up – now that is going to sound weird to some people. I think though, that it’s a mixture, of not, ‘Wow that’s amazing I need to cry’ – because I don’t think it’s that in the slightest, but it’s a ‘Wow… how lucky those people are to be on that stage and creating, as an ensemble, something so spectacular’.
Here’s an example, I went to see Cats at The London Palladium on Wednesday and visually as an ensemble their performance was amazing. During one of the dances I began to well up thinking how incredible this is. Just listening to the music played by a large orchestra – those iconic songs that I’ve listened to since a child – because I’ve been obsessed with musicals for quite sometime, I just well up. Someone has created such an incredible song, that has so much meaning and passion in it, or I get teary at someone singing a song, because the words are so fantastic and the way they are singing it with the passion that they are giving, makes me well up. Again with Cats I was a cynical about Nicole Scherzinger playing Grizabella (wrongly I might add), mainly because, I feel, there are people like myself, hundreds of us… thousands of us who have been to drama school training to be musical theatre performers or actors, that someone who’s a pop singer or has been on the TV can just be lead role. Now, don’t get me wrong Nicole Scherzinger has a performing arts background, and that is absolutely fine and a lot of these famous people in shows actually do have that kind of background. I just feel like they give these people the staring roles as it’s guaranteed bums on seats (most of the time), when how about you give a graduate a lead role and it will be just as bloody good (maybe even better!), But going back to Nicole Scherzinger – she blew me away! Her movement, lets say, was not as good as Zizi Strallen as her cat, but her singing was outstanding! Not only was she… well of course she was going to be pitch perfect, as a pop singer we know she’s incredible but she sang with such passion, such meaning behind the words, that I just thought ‘you know what, you are so lucky to be up there and being able to show everyone that that is what you can do’.
That’s one reason I may shed a tear at the theatre. The other is.. the show may not have been, in my opinion, great. It might not have been a musical that I particularly connected with – Shrek is an example. Shrek was a really good musical, it was good! The guy that played Shrek was absolutely brilliant, his singing voice was fantastic, but it wasn’t one of my top musicals. And listening to some of them singing those songs didn’t bring a tear to my eye. (Maybe that was due to the style of those songs, I don’t know). But as soon as they do that bow, it did. And this is the same with plays, I went to see Jerusalem and I welled up then and I saw Othello at The National with Adrian Lester & Rory Kinnear (stunning performance) and I cried then – because it was bloody amazing. But that bow… it’s that bow… it gets me every time. Even if it has been something truly awful it will always get me. And the reason is and is solely because – they are so lucky to be on that stage… so lucky and I wish to god that that was me.
And that’s why I think there is something so special about the theatre. Live performance it’s just… there’s something about a live performance that is just beautiful… perfect!