On the Rocks Interview: Sweet Charity
For those who don’t know the musical, what’s it all about? HARRIET: Charity Valentine, the eternal optimist, is forever being screwed over by bastardly men. She works in a dance […]
For those who don’t know the musical, what’s it all about?
HARRIET: Charity Valentine, the eternal optimist, is forever being screwed over by bastardly men. She works in a dance hall (60s lingo for a brothel) with her best friends Nickie and Helene but, after spending the night with an Italian movie star, decides she wants out! Enter shy tax accountant Oscar – could this be her real chance at love?
What type of music is it?
VICTORIA (Charity): The show was written in the 60s so the score is very brassy and big band-esque. It’s a bit less “I’m in a musical, watch me hit big notes” and a bit more “I’m singing what I’m feeling”, which I think makes it a bit more accessible and clever.
And what should we expect from your version of it?
HARRIET: Don’t expect Broadway jazz hands! It’s dark at times but also very funny.
VICTORIA: Hopefully you’ll get a fun show but one with a bit more depth to it than usual productions. Charity is supposed to be a fun, life-loving character that people fall in love with but she has had quite a rough ride through life so hopefully that will come across.
St Andrews has great dancers and great singers, but not often great singer-dancers. Have you managed to find some, or should we not expect too much from your dance routines?
VICTORIA: The dancing is quite tough. I’m not much of a dancer but I’ve got a fair few dance breaks to get round. But the choreographers have been incredible in choreographing round our abilities, so it hopefully won’t show people to be out of their depth.
You’re performing during On the Rocks. Why should people choose to see Sweet Charity over one of the other shows going up that week?
MIMI: I say see them all, but I think Sweet Charity is a fabulous mix of comedy and big, glossy, shiny theatre.
You were originally planning to put up the musical in the Byre – how has its closure affected your show?
VICTORIA: I think the show could suit Venue 1 perfectly. A lot of the show is set in a seedy, cheap bar so what better venue than one that constantly smells of beer and shame?
MIMI: I don’t have my own dressing room in the Union. Well, I didn’t have one in the Byre either, but I was going to take over one of the women’s loos there, and now my plans are thwarted.
Its big number is “Hey, Big Spender”. Is there more pressure to present the songs which everyone knows in a new and original way?
HARRIET: We have totally veered away from the expected version. Most people know the belted and bold Shirley Bassey version. We’ve tried to add an eerier and darker quality to the song and put forward what the lyrics are actually saying.
Sweet Charity goes up in Venue 1 on Saturday, April 13th at 7.30pm, and Sunday, April 14th at 2.30pm & 7.30pm.