We chat to the stars of Bat Out of Hell The Musical

After taking almost 40 years to reach fruition, the musical theatre adaptation of Jim Steinman’s Bat Out of Hell officially opens in London this week.

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The show – which features the music of Steinman and famed rocker, Meat Loaf – was a big success with fans when it completed a run at the Manchester Opera House earlier this year.

We caught up with two of the stars backstage at the London Coliseum to find out more.

Andrew Polec leads the cast as Strat, the forever young leader of The Lost, who has fallen for Raven (Christina Bennington), daughter of Falco, the tyrannical, ruler of Obsidian.

Andrew said: “It was originally a concept that Jim Steinman had as a musical and I guess things just didn’t pan out and so they went for an album instead. As our director has said, ‘It’s the most premature cast album to have ever been recorded.’ Meatloaf paved the way for all of the music and it became a huge hit. Now it’s finally coming back to its roots.”

The show is set in post apocalyptic Manhattan, which has become detached and floated out into the Atlantic Ocean. The show includes the well-known rock anthems “Two out of Three Ain’t Bad”, the title track “Bat Out of Hell’ and the number one hit song “I’d do Anything For Love (But I Won’t Do That)”.

Andrew explained, “The show is incredible. It’s a mixture of Peter Pan and Romeo and Juliet all infused with music from the rock gods themselves, Meat Loaf and Jim Steinman.”

Christina Bennington plays Raven and added, “We have the amazing music woven into our storyline.”

It’s not just the music that promises to impress audiences in the Capitol however, as the show boasts one of the biggest sets in the world and Andrew tells me, “We have three motorbikes, which are featured heavily throughout the show and a lot of stage magic.”

With a cast filled with young talent, Andrew also tells me there is an important message behind it.

“This is really a show about reaching out to people who feel like they might be oppressed in society or oppressed in the everyday life that they lead. It’s about realising that if we connect more with love and if we connect more with the rock n roll mentality of rebellion, love will set you free.”

I ask Christina why she thinks people should come and see Bat Out Of Hell The Musical and she tells me: “You won’t have seen anything like it before in musical theatre. The set, the music and cast are incredible and it’s an incredible night out.”

Andrew adds, “It’s the future of musical theatre!”

Bat Out of Hell The Musical is at the London Coliseum until 5 August 

Photos by Specular

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We talk to Ben Lloyd-Hughes about Kiss Me at Trafalgar Studios

Following a critically acclaimed run at Hampstead Theatre, Richard Bean’s two-hander Kiss Me has transferred to Trafalgar Studios and with the pairing of Claire Lams and Ben Lloyd-Hughes reprising their roles, the thought provoking 1920’s drama promises to be another hit, writes Nicky Sweetland.

Set post World War I, when Britain is reeling from the loss of so many men, the story follows Stephanie, a 32-year-old widow, desperate for a child. Her plight is recognised by Dennis, who has taken it upon himself to impregnate husbandless women.

Ben Lloyd-Hughes told us, “This play asks the questions about what this scenario would be like and what happens if they also have a connection.”

But, Ben’s character isn’t just an opportunistic Lothario and Ben explains, “You’ll really find out what’s going on inside his head and his justification for doing it. There’s a lot more hidden there and there’s a lot more to do with the war and his own guilt”

Film fans know Ben Lloyd-Hughes for his role in the dystopian action thriller Divergent, but the actor is perhaps most recognised for his portrayal of Josh Stock in the television series Skins. Ben previously appeared in the West End transfer of the Royal Court’s production of Jumpy.

I ask Ben what it’s like to be returning to the role he left behind last year. “It’s been a joy to reconnect not only with Claire [Lams] and our director, Anna [Ledwich] but also just with the text itself and to re-find it, recreate but also find new things about it. Anna has encouraged us to treat this as something new while also honouring how successful and great it was last time.”

Writer, Richard Bean is best known for his seminal work, One Man, Two Guvnors, a play, which is defined as a bawdy crowd pleaser. Kiss Me is a much more potent project and tackles some modern issues under the guise of a historical drama.

“The play talks a lot about feminism and female empowerment because this was a time when there was still a lot of sexism.” Ben explains, “Everything was still behind closed doors, but at the same time – because of the war – a lot of the women were having to do the men’s jobs and so it actually led to a lot of female empowerment.”

Kiss Me is at Trafalgar Studios until 8 Jul 

We talk to comedian Tom Green ahead of his first Shepherd’s Bush Empire gig

Londoners will get a rare chance to see the internationally acclaimed funny man, Tom Green later this month, when he brings his latest stand-up show to the Islington O2 Academy, writes Nicky Sweetland.

The Canadian comedian is performing at the venue for the first time as part of his tour entitled European Comedy Road Trip and is looking forward to the challenge of tickling the ribs of one of the most notoriously critical audiences in the world.

Tom said: “I’m very excited to be here; it’s my first tour of the full UK ever.”

Tom rose to fame via his MTV series The Tom Green Show, but has enjoyed a varied career as a performer with roles in the films Road Trip, Charlie’s Angels and Shred and a hugely successful career as a rap music star.

Stand-up is Tom’s first love however and he told me, “I started doing stand-up when I was a teenager and I always wanted to return to it. I was doing this Internet television show about 10 years ago that people all over the world were watching online. I realised I had fans in different countries so I thought it might be fun to bring the show to them.”

Tom now spends most of his time touring and he finds he gets a very different response from audiences around the world.

“I like all different kinds of crowds; that’s what I like about touring. I don’t mind when it gets really crazy and raucous but I also like it when people are listening to what I have to say.” Tom explains, “That’s what’s exciting about it; you really don’t know what you’re walking in to. It gives you an adrenaline rush, that’s for sure”

I ask Tom where he gets the inspiration for his material.

“Sometimes it’s things that anger me. Definitely it’s things that seem absurd and ridiculous to me. I’m always taking notes and sometimes, if things seem strange, I jot them down on my phone and try to remember them later. I talk about it on stage and over time it gets formed into a joke. That’s, kind of, the process.”

Tom said: “I’ve started to do a lot of improv. I like to pull comedy out of the crowd and create some spontaneous energy in the room.”

Tom found further fruitful content from when he endured a stint on the US version of the Apprentice, which was hosted by a certain resident of the White House.

“I talk a lot about my old boss Donald Trump. I’m not sure if you’ve heard of him, but he’s now the president of the United States of America. I had an interesting experience with him and so I found some stories and jokes that I can tell.”

Tom is currently touring the UK, whilst filming a behind the scenes exposé of the tour, which will be released later this year.

Tom Green will perform two shows at the Islington O2 Academy on 17 June at 6pm and 8pm.

Bat Out Of Hell Star Andrew Polec takes our Sugar Rush Quiz

Andrew Polec is about to lead the cast in the hotly anticipated West End production of Bat Out of Hell The Musical at the London Coliseum. The show, which features the music of Jim Steinman and Meat Loaf was a big success with fans when it completed a run at the Manchester Opera House earlier this year.

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Andrew plays a rebellious rocker called Strat the forever young leader of The Lost, who has fallen for Raven, daughter of Falco, the tyrannical, ruler of Obsidian, a post-cataclysmic city adrift from the mainland.

Andrew took some time off from final rehearsals to take our Sugar Rush Quiz.

What are you currently working on?

Bat out of Hell The Musical

What is the one thing that has helped you to become successful? 

My hair

What is your favourite Book?

A Clockwork Orange

What are you currently watching on TV? 

Reruns of Sienfeld

Would you choose the cinema, theatre or a restaurant for a night out? 

Theatre

What’s your favourite sweet? 

I don’t know if you guys have it here. It’s called Fun Dip? It’s powdered sugar and a sugary stick that you lick. [We established it’s what the British would call a Sherbet Dip]

What did you want to be when you were a child? 

An inventor

What was the naughtiest thing you did when you were a child? 

I pretended I was a wild dog in the woods to scare a neighbour.

What is your proudest achievement to date? 

This musical

What’s next? 

Going to Toronto with Bat out of Hell The Musical and sharing love and joy with the world

Bat Out of Hell The Musical is at the London Coliseum until 5 August

Photo by Specular

Siubhan Harrison talks to us about ‘Working’ at Southwark Playhouse

A production, which boasts music by two legendary composers, Stephen Schwartz (Wicked, Godspell) and Lin-Manuel Miranda (Hamilton, In the Heights), is the stuff of musical theatre dreams. Mix in a stellar cast and you’ve got a recipe for a hit show on your hands, writes Nicky Sweetland.

If you venture down to Southwark Playhouse to see a musical entitled Working over the next few weeks, you’ll not only get both of those elements, but also a fascinating character study, which has been enthralling audiences across the Atlantic for many years.

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The South London venue is hosting the European premiere of the show, which is based on a book by Studs Terkel and features a collection of interviews of the American workforce.

A cast of West End stars has been gathered to present the groundbreaking musical to London audiences for the first time this month. Peter Polycarpou (Miss Siagon, Les Misérables) Gillian Bevan (Billy Elliot, Holby City) and Liam Tamne (The Phantom of the Opera, Rocky Horror Show) will all play multiple roles alongside Siubhan Harrison, who took some time off from rehearsals to tell us about the characters she will portray.

“Everyone plays at least four parts, which is wonderful for an actor” Siubhan explained, “I play a mill worker, an air hostess, a secretary and a nanny. He [Studs Terkel] tried to steer away from the council led jobs and focus more on the unsung members of society, so there’s a real voice of America about it.”

First performed in 1977 in Chicago, Working has enjoyed a number of Broadway runs and due to the nature of the piece, has been revised many times to ensure it is able to reflect the society we now live in, while maintaining historical significance, something which is being reflected with the London production.

Siubhan tells me, “Southwark Playhouse is built on an old car-manufacturing site so we are honouring that with the staging.”

In 2008, Schwartz updated the musical again for a hugely acclaimed Off-Broadway run, drafting in Hamilton creator Lin-Manuel Miranda to write some new songs and Siubhan tells me, “He’s [Miranda’s] written two numbers. One’s called ‘Delivery’, which is about a fast food worker and has got a real Spanish ‘poppy’ feel. It’s the one that’s been going around in our heads because it’s harmonically so complicated, but it’s phenomenal. He’s also written a beautiful duet, which a Spanish care worker and a Filipino nanny sing called ‘A Very Good Day’, which is one of the most beautiful songs I’ve ever heard.”

It’s a mixture of old and new within the cast too, as a group of young performers has been given the opportunity to make their professional debuts as part of the show. The musical’s creative team auditioned over 130 drama school students and aspiring young performers, discovering some of the most exciting upcoming musical theatre talent.

“It’s amazing because a piece that was originally written in the 70s is being updated because we’ve got this voice of a new generation.”

Siubhan was last seen on the London stage in the Chichester Festival Theatre production of Guys and Dolls, which received rave reviews when it transferred first to the Savoy Theatre and then the Phoenix Theatre. The show went through a number of cast changes and latterly featured Hollywood star Rebel Wilson as Miss Adelaide.

Siubhan was the one of the only lead cast members who remained throughout the London runs, reveling in the challenge that performing with different costars brought and said, “It was amazing having the luxury of having things change all the time. Every time someone different came in they brought something different with them, so every scene was slightly different from when you’d done it before.”

The talented triple threat performer admits she is also in awe of her current colleagues and is sure the production of Working at Southwark Playhouse will bring something different to audiences.

“The musical will absolutely blow your mind. There are so many different styles and so many beautiful songs. You’ll come away feeling so moved and so inspired. I think it’s something that everyone should see.”

Working opens at Southwark Playhouse on Wednesday 7 June and runs until 8 July. 

Photos by Robert Workman

 

Nicholas Prasad tells us about getting in touch with his feminine side for his role in Miss Meena and the Masala Queens

Despite already enjoying a varied and successful acting career, Nicholas Prasad admits his new role has come as something of a challenge. The actor is currently touring the country in Miss Meena and the Masala Queens, a play, which is about Asian drag queens, writes Nicky Sweetland.

“It’s exploring the world of a Birmingham drag club, which is in decline.” Nicholas tells me when I meet him before a show at Greenwich Theatre.

“The owner, Miss Meena, has hit the booze and it’s losing business”

Raj Ghatak and Nicholas Prasad in Miss Meena and the Masala Queens

The play is from the producers of the hit shows Laila – The Musical, The Deranged Marriage & Happy Birthday Sunita and features some classic songs from Bollywood as well as traditional Indian melodies, lip synced with plenty of glitter and glamour.

Nicholas plays a young man from a broken home who is struggling to find his place in the world until he stumbles upon Miss Meena’s club.

“He’s permanently in limbo, he’s having an identity crisis. He’s sort of stuck in the middle, he’s lost and he doesn’t know how to anchor himself and how to identify himself.”

It’s a story many in the Asian LGBT community can identify with, while homophobia and tolerance are still rife within the conservative culture.

“We dip into the world of the LGBT community, the world of drag queens and also the stigma attached to it.” Nicholas tells me, “We’ve seen the commercial side more recently in Western Society with RuPaul’s Drag Race, but with this we are also seeing the Asian community in Britain and the two worlds colliding.”

Nicholas’ character, Shaan, finds sanctuary within the venue and in turn rejuvenates both the club’s fortunes and those of its owner.

“The character follows a journey from innocence to experience”

It’s not just the important message of tolerance and acceptance behind the show that has been tricky for Nicholas to get to grips with however. The play marks his first ever drag appearance and he’s had to learn very quickly about the art form.

From makeup to wigs, walking in heels and the decision to tuck or not tuck (the answer was not tuck for those of you who are interested!), it has been a baptism of fire for the young performer.

“It’s all new to me. It’s entirely my first foray into it and it’s not something you can just dip into. It’s a whole world and it’s a craft.” Nicholas explained, “I’ve basically had to undo 28 years of being a bloke.”

The cast was given lessons in how to apply their makeup by artists in Carnaby Street to ensure they got an authentic look. It’s been an enlightening experience for Nicholas who says, “These are the types of challenges and opportunities that you can relish.”

The new play has been created in consultation with the LGBT community and seeks to promote and uncover the untold stories of men who choose a female persona by night.

“It’s about an identity; you take on this personality. If someone is lost and they don’t know what to do, they can take on a semi pseudonym and are able to express themselves and be who they are.”

Miss Meena and the Masala Queens is at the Theatre Royal Windsor until 3 June and then NST Campus Southampton from 6-10 June before it completes its tour at the West Yorkshire Playhouse from 13-17 June. 

Interview: Olivier Award winner, Jon Brittain tells us about Rotterdam ahead of its West End Transfer

After first being staged at the 60-seat Theatre 503 in Battersea, Jon Brittain’s seminal work entitled Rotterdam has continued to gain enormous critical acclaim, much to its writer’s astonishment and he told us, “What’s happened to the show so far has taken me by surprise.”

The play transferred to the Trafalgar Studios and gained the playwright an Olivier Award for Outstanding Achievement in an Affiliate Theatre. It also featured last month in New York at the Brits Off Broadway festival and will open at the Arts Theatre in June for a strictly limited West End run.

Jon Brittain at the Olivier Awards, where he won the gong for Outstanding Achievement in an Affiliate Theatre.

With a central plot, which tackles the issues of coming out and of transitioning, as well as the general complexities of human relationships, Rotterdam has struck a chord with London theatregoers. Jon explains, “It’s kind of a romcom in a way.”

The honest and yet comedic portrayal finds Alice, who is about to proclaim her sexuality to her parents just as her girlfriend Fiona, decides to express her desire to live as a man called Adrian.

“It’s about how Alice’s sense of her sexual identity is thrown into question by Adrian asserting his sense of his gender identity and how their relationship changes.”

It’s a real departure for Jon, who is best known for collaborating with Matt Tedford on the hit satirical comedy Margaret Thatcher Queen of Soho.

The Rotterdam project was something he never believed would come to fruition, but a story he was nevertheless passionate about telling.

“When I was 18/19 a couple of my friends transitioned.” Jon explains, “There were just no trans narratives in film, TV and theatre and I just thought they should have their experiences reflected on stage as well.”

Since writing the play, the climate in theatre has changed, but there are still few works, which depict the struggle trans people go through in a comedic manner and Jon said of Rotterdam, “It tells an important story and I think everyone can get something out of it.”

The celebrated comedy writer hasn’t left his political satire behind however and his new show Margaret Thatcher Queen of Game Shows premiered at Underbelly Festival earlier this month and will continue to entertain audiences on the South Bank over the summer season.

Rotterdam is playing at the Arts Theatre from Wednesday 21st June until Saturday 15th July 2017. 

Catch Margaret Thatcher Queen of Games Shows at the Underbelly Festival Southbank from 28 June – 2 July. 

 

Interview: We chat to Liza Pulman about what it’s like to sing Streisand

As one third of the comedy vocal group Fascinating Aïda, Liza Pulman has gained a reputation for presenting exciting cabaret coupled with an exceptional vocal ability, writes Nicky Sweetland.

The group has gained high praise over the last decade for their insightful and irreverent performances, but are currently taking a break, which has enabled Pulman to embark on some extremely successful solo projects.

Last year the ultra talented singer thrilled audiences with her Songs of Hollywood show, but her new foray holds even greater challenges for the self-confessed film fanatic.

Liza is taking on the musical catalogue of the legendary Barbra Streisand and is under no illusion about the level of anticipation from fans.

Liza told me, “The repertoire is a challenge because it’s huge and it’s just me. You can’t do Barbra Streisand without doing some of those big songs. What is so lovely is the range of material that you can pick from and it’s what I really love to do.”

Liza grew up in a theatrical household – her mother is an actress and her father was a writer.

“My musical sensibilities have never been of my generation. I grew up singing music from the 20s, 30s and 40s and I had an act with my sister when we were little called the Pulman Sisters. We would sing close harmony at my parents theatrical parties.”

Like many performers, the icons from her childhood have hugely influenced Liza in her career, but it was with Streisand that she really found affinity.

“As I’ve got older as a singer, I’ve found that vocally we handle repertoire in a similar way.”

In her new show entitled simply Liza Sings Streisand, she has found there is even more similarity between her performance and that of the celebrated star of stage and screen.

“I realised quite quickly that she [Barbra Streisand] is absolutely wrapped up in the DNA of my musical life. What I love about her, as a singer is her bravery and her choices. She has an incredible ability to sing through a phase.”

A six-piece band accompanies Liza, ensuring there is an authentic richness to the sound.

Liza said, “It’s a night packed full of Streisand songs, so there’s a lot of great music and a lot of fun to be had. It’s a night of Joy.”

Ticket for the next few gigs at London’s Crazy Coqs Cabaret are virtually sold out, but you can catch Liza Sings Streisand at other venues around the country.

The show will also return to London in the autumn with engagements at both Cadogan Hall and Wilton’s Music Hall.

You can find all of the details on Liza’s website http://www.lizapulman.com

Olivier Award winning playwright Jon Brittain takes our Sugar Rush Quiz

Jon Brittain’s bittersweet comedy about gender and sexuality, entitled Rotterdam took home the prize for Outstanding Achievement in an Affiliate Theatre at the 2017 Olivier Awards. After acclaimed runs at both Theatre503 and Trafalgar Studios, the play is set to transfer to the West End this summer and will be presented later this month in New York as part of Brits Off Broadway.

Jon also has a sequel to his infamous comedy show Margaret Thatcher Queen of Soho called Margaret Thatcher Queen of Games Shows opening at the Underbelly Festival Southbank next week, but the busy playwright took some time off to complete our Sugar Rush Quiz.

What are you currently working on?

A bunch of things! Rotterdam is off to New York before coming back to the West End, so I’m popping in and out of rehearsals and changing replacing any references to ‘trousers’ with ‘pants’ for the American audience. My show Margaret Thatcher Queen of Game Shows which I made with Matt Tedford (who plays Maggie) is on at the Underbelly Festival on South Bank in May, June and July so we’re re-rehearsing that and waiting to see if we need to do any big rewrites because of the election. And then I’m also working on a new play for LAMDA, a musical with the composer Harry Blake, a couple of scripts for TV, and I’m directing John Kearns’s new Edinburgh show. It’s a busy time, but I’m very happy.

What is the one thing that has helped you to become successful?

I’ve just kept on going. I started writing plays properly in 2009 but nearly all the shows that went on in the first few years, I put on myself. Of course luck is a huge factor; I benefitted hugely from taking part in things like the National Student Drama Festival and the 24 Hour Plays at the Old Vic, I was incredibly fortunate to be surrounded by some very talented friends who I was able to collaborate with, and a couple of my ideas have turned out to be quite zeitgeisty. But genuinely, any success I’ve had has been because I just kept on going. I was sorely tempted to pack it all in around 2013, I wasn’t very happy with what I was doing, but something kept me going and that Summer I directed John Kearns’s first show and made Margaret Thatcher Queen of Soho at Theatre503, which led to several other jobs and gave me the confidence to finish writing Rotterdam.

What is your favourite Book?

I don’t have a particular favourite as there are many I would happily revisit. But one that springs to mind that had a really big impact on me is What a Carve Up! by Jonathan Coe. I remember reading it for the first time in the Summer holidays when I was a teenager. It’s really informed my politics and I love how he experiments with form. The way he presents each chapter in a different style is something I’ve often wanted to replicate in my plays but have yet to find a satisfying way to do so. The Rotters’ Club and The Closed Circle are also great reads and I keep meaning to get around to reading Number 11. Aside from that, I’d also recommend DisneyWar to anyone who wants to read a 600 page book on Michael Eisner’s time as CEO of the Walt Disney Company.

What are you currently watching on TV?

I’ve just finished the fourth series of Line of Duty, which was hugely entertaining. Alongside her brilliant performance in West World, Thandie Newton is having a great year. I’m also watching The Circus: Inside the Greatest Show on Earth, a weekly documentary series on Donald Trump’s presidency, and This Week Tonight with John Oliver. Veep and Better Call Saul are back so I need to start them again. And I’ve also been making my way through Silicon Valley, which I watch whenever I just need to switch off from the world.

Would you choose the cinema, theatre or a restaurant for a night out?

It entirely depends on the play/film. I love a good trashy blockbuster but I also like checking out whatever is on at the Prince Charles Cinema in Leicester Square. And I really like going to the theatre, but there’s a big difference between a fun, lively comedy and a hard-hitting drama about important social issues – you need to be in the right mood for either. However, I would probably combine one of those with dinner, as a restaurant on its own seems a little boring to be the whole evening’s entertainment (although obviously it depends on who it’s with).

What’s your favourite sweet?

Like, basically anything with chocolate in it. I know that’s boring. I wish I could be more specific. I just love chocolate. I love chocolate so much. It upsets me so much that it makes me fat. Why chocolate?! Why?!

What did you want to be when you were a child?

Actually, I always told my parents I wanted to be an author. However, I think I should qualify that by explaining that I did not really know what an author was. I thought the job would entail sitting in a church at a lectern writing in a large book with a feathered quill. In reality, it involves a lot more Red Bull and rejection.

What was the naughtiest thing you did when you were a child?

I used to bite my brother for changing the channel from shows I wanted to watch and I once picked my sister up by the neck. We all get on really well now though…

What is your proudest achievement to date?

That I’ve been able to make work with some of my best friends, and that we’re still best friends after making work together. That I think I’ve carved out a little niche for myself where I can write the sort of things I want to write, work on the sort of shows I’m interested in, and also do a bit of messing around in comedy on the side. And of course, even though awards are basically silly, and they don’t really reflect what is ‘best’, and even though trying to judge artistic things against each other is ultimately pretty pointless as taste is subjective… I am really proud that we won an Olivier for Rotterdam. I keep it above my toilet.

What’s next?

Rotterdam is playing at the Arts Theatre from Wednesday 21st June until Saturday 15th July 2017. 

Catch Margaret Thatcher Queen of Games Shows at the Underbelly Festival Southbank on 12-13 May and 28 June – 2 July. 

Interview: We talk to two of the stars of Our Ladies of Perpetual Succour

Following an almost frenzied response from both critics and theatregoers to the production at the National Theatre in 2016, Our Ladies of Perpetual Succour will storm into the West End later this month and is expected to command similar reaction.

The musical has been adapted by Lee Hall from Alan Warner’s novel The Sopranos and features music by the Electric light Orchestra (ELO). It gained a cult following from its acclaimed opening at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, subsequent UK tour and sell-out run last summer at the National Theatre. Vicky Featherstone’s smash-hit production reunites original cast members when it opens at the Duke of York Theatre later this month and we caught up with two of them.

The story follows six Catholic schoolgirls from Oban, let loose in Edinburgh for the day. Kirsty MacLaren plays a slightly naïve member of the group called Manda and told us, “They go on a journey from Oban to Edinburgh to take part in a choir competition.”

The teenagers are desperate to lose the competition so they can get back to Oban in time for the last dance at the local nightclub, appropriately called The Man Trap, which they believe to be filled with sailors and Kristy said, “It’s the story of their day, of how they find themselves and how they explore what their sexuality means. It’s about how they can just forget about what’s coming next and live in the moment.”

Alan Warner’s satirical novel became revered for its candid depiction of rampaging teenagers and with the input of Lee Hall – who is best known for writing Billy Elliot – the stage show is likely to boast an abundance of hilarious gritty accuracies.

“Working with Lee Hall has been so inspiring. He really knows how to write for this demographic and he just brings so much truth to the piece. Although it’s a comedy there is so much sadness in it, so much pathos and he knows exactly how to hit that.”

Kirsty explains that most people can relate to the girls, who are on the cusp of adulthood and filled with raging hormones and teenage angst, “I think it’s why the story has been so well received because everybody who watches it has been through that experience of not quite knowing what tomorrow is going to bring and not quite knowing what your place in the world is. I think that makes you think about your own place in the world and how you’ve come to be the person you are.”

The six girls wreak havoc during their escapade, with copious amounts of alcohol consumed along the way – something the performers have had fun developing their representations of – but it’s not just young women who are portrayed by the talented sextet of triple threat performers, as they additionally depict a myriad of incidental characters within the show.

Karen Fishwick plays Kay Clarke, who is a bit more middle class than the rest of the members of the school choir and is frequently teased about her highfaluting lifestyle. Karen also finds herself frequently having to call upon her more masculine side throughout the show however, and commented, “I don’t how it worked out that I play more men than anyone else. I seem to be constantly shape shifting but it’s so much; I love doing that. From the start, in rehearsal, we all played all of the characters and we’ve explored all of these incredible creations that we discovered from the text. It’s another thing that makes the piece so fun and vibrant. I think that’s one of the most theatrical and enjoyable things about the show for me”

The music, which is weaved into the action, includes hits by ELO played by an all female band. In fact, the cast and musicians are all women, something, which Karen tells me is unusual, but is another element that sets it aside from other West End shows currently on offer, “It’s a celebration. The room is full of incredibly talented inspiring women and that so rarely happens. They are just amazing.”

Prepare thyself for 24 hours of holy chaos. Contains singing, hilarity, sambuca and strong language!

Our Ladies of Perpetual Succour will run at the Duke of York’s Theatre from 9th May until the 2nd September.