Jodie Prenger shot to musical theatre fame after being crowned the winner of TV’s I’d Do Anything, winning the role of Nancy in Oliver!
She went on to enjoy success in a long list of box office and critical hits, from comedy One Man, Two Guv’nors to classic musical Calamity Jane.
Jodie is now starring in a 54-venue UK tour of Tell Me On A Sunday, stopping off atBuxton Opera House on Sunday, April 3.
She plays Emma, a youngwoman who heads off to New York in search of life and love. Her story is told through song in a series of conversations with friends and letters to her mum.
Here we talk to the star about the show:
Q. Tell Me On A Sunday has had many incarnations since 1979. What can audiences expect this time? A. We thought about doing it as song and dance again but the world wasn’t ready for me in head to toe Lycra. What we do this time is the one-act show, and then have a second act which is me singing at the piano, and then we have a question and answer session. It’s been fantastic, the audiences get really engaged with it. Q. What do audiences want to know in the Q&A sessions? A. Mostly they like to find out behind-the-scenes stuff and ask questions about the lighting or scene changes. I do get the occasional odd question like “will you come skiing with me?” Q. What drew you to the show?
A. The songs are beautiful, little gems. Years and years ago I had a “best of the musicals” double cassette and it had Take That Look Off Your Face and Tell Me On A Sunday on it. I loved it and played it over and over. Q. So you can empathise with Emma then?
A. We’ve all gone through what she goes through, bought the t-shirt, got the scars. She’s got the guy who cheats on her, then the man whose pink mansion should have told her something, then the younger man that she pins her hopes on but it crumbles, and then the married man. The wonderful thing about Emma is that when she reaches the point where she wants to run back to the safety of her mum, she finds a new strength.
Q. The show was written in the late 1970s. Would Emma’s story still be true now, with social media, email and Skype?
A. There was a production with Denise Van Outen which included speed dating and tried to bring it up to date in that way, but I think there’s a certain old-fashioned romantic element to the way Emma sits down and writes to her mum and waits for her response. Q. If you could play any role in musical theatre, what’s still on your wish list?
A. Mama Rose in Gypsy, Mrs Lovett in Sweeney Todd, Dolly Levi in Hello, Dolly!
l Tell Me On A Sunday is at Buxton Opera House on April 3 at 7.30pm. Tickets £27.50-£30. Call 01298 72190 or visit the website www.buxtonoperahouse.org.uk