A new British musical entitled Miss Nightingale follows the struggles of a feisty club singer and her songwriter during the Second World War.
Buxton Opera House will host the production next week as part of a tour which has won acclaim from audiences and reviewers.
The show stars Stockport girl Clara Darcy as the lead character Maggie. She shares an insight into her role:
Q. Tell us about Miss Nightingale the musical and the character you play?
A. It’s a wonderful new musical telling the plight of a plucky northern nurse (my character) who tries to make it as a cabaret performer in London during the Blitz, and her relationships with her Jewish/Polish immigrant songwriter and their rich producer. It’s full of humour and pathos and has the most incredible score all played live by a cast of actor-musicians.
Q. How did you prepare for the role?
A. A lot of reading and research. I watched a lot of films from the period. I do pastiches of Marlene Dietrich and Noel Coward among others in the show so I sought out footage of them in particular. I also took my dad round Stockport’s air raid shelters last summer just to help me get in the right frame of mind for the period.
I come from Heaton Moor in Stockport where my parents still live. I’m only down the road in Didsbury now, so I pop in and see them a lot.
Q. How did you get into drama and acting?
A. I went to what was then Ridge Danyers College in Marple where I did my A-levels in music, theatre studies, English literature and dance. I danced from a very young age at a local dance school and I always played musical instruments from a young age too. But I didn’t really get into acting till I went to secondary school and performed in The Boyfriend and Calamity Jane. When I was about twelve I joined Stockport’s Garrick Theatre where I did numerous productions.
Q. I’ve heard you sing, dance, act and play the trumpet in the show?
A. Yes, a lot of work out there now demands that you can do all these things so the more strings you have to your bow the better.
Q. Why should audiences come and see the show?
A. Because it’s a brilliant piece of new writing for musical theatre. I guarantee people won’t have seen anything like this before – it beautifully evokes the period. The boys and the rest of the cast are utterly brilliant and well worth the ticket price alone.
You’ll be roaring with laughter one minute and then be in floods of tears the next. It really has something for everyone. l Miss Nightingale takes place from Wednesday, February 17 to Saturday, February 20. Performances at 7.30pm with matinees on Thursday and Saturday at 2.30pm.Tickets are priced from £23 to £25 and discounts are available. Call 01298 72190 or visit www.buxtonoperahouse.org.uk