Helena Blackman became a household name after her appearance on the BBC programme, How Do You Solve a Problem Like Maria? The show led to a successful musical theatre career, which has included roles in The Sound of Music, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, My Fair Lady and most recently Thom Southerland’s celebrated production of Titanic at the Charing Cross Theatre.
Next month Helena will be performing alongside fellow West End star Amanda Coutts in a special new cabaret show. Featuring songs from musicals, together with pop and diva classics, Musicals and Beyond will be staged at Above the Arts, part of the Arts Theatre in London’s West End, on Sunday 6 August 2017 and Sunday 27 August 2017.
Helena took some time off from her preparation for the show to take our Sugar Rush Quiz.
What are you currently working on?
Amanda Coutts and I are doing a two-woman cabaret, called Musicals and Beyond, at Above the Arts, part of Arts Theatre West End, which features an array of songs from pop to rock to musical theatre and Disney!
What is the one thing that has helped you to become successful?
I guess a commitment to fulfilling the needs of the people I work with and wanting to be as truthful and committed in my performance as I can. I don’t want to let myself down and am not half-hearted. I’m also a problem solver and if something isn’t easily achieved, I will look at different ways. I try not to be too hard on myself and give myself a good talking too and don’t get wrapped up in the business and to just revolve myself around it. I also try and focus on myself and my health mentally and physically – good things and positive outcomes come out of me being on top of my game! Lastly, I roll with the punches and except how my ‘castability’ has evolved and try not to control that.
What is your favourite book?
I’m currently reading Eckhart Tolle’s The Power of Now. It’s on my iphone so I read a little at a time because it’s extremely thought-provoking and I don’t want to miss a beat, so make sure I’m in a focussed place when I read it. Self-help in my game is so important, and I try and remind myself to stay in the present and not the past or the future.
Another book I loved was Fingersmith by Sarah Waters.
What are you currently watching on TV?
I’m obsessed with TV drama, more than film or theatre. Particularly crime. Standing out for me at present is Broken. Sean Bean is now one of my favourite male actors. This is due to his performance as a pain stricken priest. However, I also love Suits – secretly I want to be a lawyer!
Would you choose the cinema, theatre or a restaurant for a night out?
A restaurant. I love the intimacy and I can be anonymous and it’s not such busman’s holiday! I switch off more.
What’s your favourite sweet?
What did you want to be when you were a child?
A pop singer and an actress…always!
What was the naughtiest thing you did when you were a child?
Wet myself on purpose! I was a pretty good kid.
What is your proudest achievement to date?
Lots of moments! Performing in front of millions of people, getting the job – any job! But mostly what makes me proud is that I still have a positive attitude in regards as to what I do and in life. I don’t blame anyone for my mistakes, I don’t pay attention to societal pressures and I take responsibility for my actions and my learning. Also, fundamentally, I am independent and reasonably objective and apply that to everything.
After Musicals and Beyond, who knows, that’s what’s exciting – anything can happen! I like to keep my options open and create and immerse myself in new experiences.
To book tickets to see Musicals and Beyond, please call the box office on 0207 836 8463. Or to book online, please visit: www.artstheatrewestend.co.uk.