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

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Liza Pulman takes our Sugar Rush Quiz

As one-third of the irreverent singing trio Fascinating Aïda, Liza Pulman is well-known to London audiences for performing cabaret. Following the success last year of her solo Songs of Hollywood show, the talented singer is taking on a new challenge for 2017. Her new show entitled Liza Sings Streisand, sees her singing the hits of the revered film star Barbra Streisand and has been met with rave reviews.

Liza took some time out to take our Sugar Rush Quiz.

What are you currently working on?

I’m having a rest from working on anything for the future because I’ve just opened my Streisand show and my head is spinning.

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

A lot of amazing friends, perseverance and a lot of support

What is your favourite Book?

The Three Musketeers

What are you currently watching on TV? 

I’ve started watching House of Cards

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

Cinema

What’s your favourite sweet? 

I’m not a massive sweet person actually. I would rather have cheese.

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

I briefly wanted to be a fish doctor because I had a goldfish, which my father won for me at the fair. We called her Felicity and I remember seeing her floating corpse on top of the water. I was so traumatized by it that I thought perhaps I could do something to save the goldfish. It didn’t last long and then I wanted to be a singer.

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

I tried to get to my Christmas presents, which I knew my mum had stashed on the very top of some very expensive handmade wardrobes. I hung on the bar like a gymnast to pull myself up to see what was on the top and I brought the entire stretch of wardrobes down. My mum and dad were so unimpressed!

What is your proudest achievement to date? 

At the moment I feel like it’s this show, because I’m incredibly proud of what we’ve done. Probably bigger than that, I learned to drive 18 months ago and I’m 48 and I passed first time, so I think that’s the proudest I’ve ever felt about anything I’ve done in my life.

What’s next? 

More Streisand stuff! We’ve had some amazing reactions so we are definitely going to book up some more. Then I want to do more singing with my band next year.

Liza sings Streisand is at the Crazy Coqs Cabaret on 12 June

West End leading man Robert Meadmore takes our Sugar Rush Quiz

Robert Meadmore has starred in some of the biggest shows in town. His varied career has seen him perform in concerts around the world including the Royal Variety Performance and the Queen’s Golden Jubilee in The Mall, London leading a crowd of over fifty thousand, including the Royal Family.

A regular at the revered Pheasantry on the King’s Road in Chelsea, Robert will be returning to the venue next month with a new show alongside Elaine Delmar and Jamie Safir and will perform in the very special Sunday at the Musicals Concert at the Actors’ Church in Covent Garden next weekend.

Robert took some time off to take our Sugar Rush Quiz.

What are you currently working on?

Concerts in London and a brand new cabaret show with two musical greats. Elaine Delmar and Jamie Safir. We are each bringing our own particular style of music … Elaine (Jazz), Jamie (Will Young’s MD) and my musical theatre side …. Hopefully we will all meet in the middle somewhere !!! It’ll definitely be fun. 26/27th June The Pheasantry, Chelsea.

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

My sense of humour.

What is your favourite Book?

The Tao Te Ching of Lao Tzu …. On my bedside table! If you have any ‘life’ questions you can open the book and find an answer and not always the one you want!

What are you currently watching on TV? 

Modern Family, Madam Secretary, Grace and Frankie.

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

Restaurant with my best friends and great food.

What’s your favourite sweet? 

I’m not really a sweet fan … possibly dark bitter chocolate.

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

An Actor.

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

I ran away from School.

What is your proudest achievement to date? 

Leading a crowd of 50,000 people singing ‘You’ll never walk alone” accompanied by the London Symphony Orchestra to The Queen and entire Royal Family at her Silver Jubilee.

What’s next? 

More concerts and I hope to go to LA to perform the one man show I did in New York last year ….. visa’s permitting!

An Evening with Elaine Delmar, Robert Meadmore and Jamie Safir, is at The Pheasantry, Chelsea on Monday & Tuesday, June 26th & 27th 2017, at 8:30pm.

Chief Weasel Neil McDermott takes our Sugar Rush Quiz

Neil McDermott is best known for playing Ryan Malloy in Eastenders, but is no stranger to the West End and previously appeared at the Palladium in the revival of The Sound Of Music. He also became a favourite with musical theatre fans when he played Lord Farquaad in the musical version of Shrek at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane.

Neil McDermott and the company of the UK tour of The Wind in the Willows. Photo by Marc Brenner.

Next month, the versatile actor is taking on the role of the mischievous Chief Weasel in The Wind in the Willows at the London Palladium and we challenged him to take our Sugar Rush Quiz.

What are you currently working on?

The Wind in the Willows. We are just about to start recording the album and then we go into rehearsals in a couple of week’s time.

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

I was very lucky at school to have a teacher who helped to get me into drama. I was interested in sports and although I was quite popular, I was shy. He helped me by getting me into drama, which improved my confidence. He got me into theatre groups and then drama school, so I owe a lot to him.

What is your favourite Book?

The Wind in the Willows of course! By Kenneth Graham

What are you currently watching on TV? 

We’ve just finished Broadchurch and are now watching Line of Duty. I love all the British Dramas.

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

Can I go to the restaurant and then go to the theatre?

What’s your favourite sweet? 

Haribo tangtastic

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

A footballer

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

I used to mess around in business studies at school and one time I came across a really long joke, that was boring because of its length but then it became funny because it was so long. I asked to tell a joke to the class and I think it lasted 45 minutes. The teacher found it quite funny too.

What is your proudest achievement to date? 

My children

What’s next? 

I don’t know what the future holds at the moment. We are doing Willows until September the 9th and so towards the end of the run I’ll start to audition again and see what’s about.

The Wind in the Willows begins previews at the London Palladium on 16th June. 

Rosemarie Ford takes our Sugar Rush Quiz

Rosemarie Ford is probably best known for being Sir Bruce Forsyth’s assistant on The Generation Game in the 1990s as well as for presenting the popular television series Come Dancing. Her theatre credits include playing both Grizabella and Bombalurina in Cats (New London Theatre) and Maisie in Divorce Me, Darling! (Chichester Festival Theatre).

On Sunday 4th June, Rosemarie will be hosting the Sunday at the Musicals at St. Paul’s Church (The Actors’ Church) in Covent Garden, a show which features a large cast of singers from the world of musical theatre, plus 54 members of Rock Choir, performing songs from past and present musicals, accompanied by pianist, Matt Pallant.

Rosemarie took some time away from her busy schedule to complete our Sugar Rush Quiz

What are you currently working on?

Sunday At The Musicals, a charity show with donations going to The Royal Variety Charity.

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

A passion for dance and theatre encouraged by Jean Pearce, my dance teacher; who instilled individuality in her pupils.

What is your favourite Book?  

Girl On A Train, by Paula Hawkins.

What are you currently watching on TV? 

Breakfast TV, with a cup of tea; My catch up time before my sons get up!

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

Theatre. My husband is an actor, so we go to see plays together. I still get a thrill from going to the theatre and I recently went to see An American In Paris.

What’s your favourite sweet? 

Cheesecake (Lemon is my favourite flavor).

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

Exactly what I am now! I was a high Jump champion and I could have been an Athlete but I chose the theatrical profession.

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

I cut all of my doll’s hair off and scribbled all over it’s face in ink!

What is your proudest achievement to date? 

My two sons (14 & 17).

What’s next? 

Sunday At Eight, where I will perform as well as host on October 15th,2017.

Sunday at the Musicals will take place at the St. Paul’s Church (The Actors’ Church) in Covent Garden, London, on Sunday 4th June 2017 at 7.30pm. All profits after staging costs will be made to the Royal Variety Charity.

West End star Siubhan Harrison takes our Sugar Rush Quiz

Siubhan Harrison has become well-known to West End audiences over the last few years. After playing Lorene in Tim Rice’s From Here to Eternity opposite Darius Campbell at the Shaftesbury Theatre, the versatile performer went on to score further success as Sarah Brown in the Chichester Festival Theatre production of Guys and Dolls. The show transferred to first the Savoy and then the Phoenix Theatre becoming a favourite with both critics and theatregoers alike.

Siubhan Harrison will star in Working at Southwark Playhouse, which opens next month. Photo by Darren Bell

Siubhan is currently in rehearsals for the European Premiere of Working at Southwark Playhouse and took some time off to take our Sugar Rush Quiz.

What are you currently working on?

I’m currently working on Working, which is a Stephen Schwartz musical based on Studs Terkel’s book called ‘Working’.

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

Hard work

What is your favourite Book?

I’ve got a couple. One is ‘The Unbearable Lightness of Being’ by Milan Kundera. Huruki Murakami is my other favourite writer, but I couldn’t pick one.

What are you currently watching on TV? 

The Walking Dead. I’ve become obsessed by it and I’ve inhaled four series in the last two weeks.

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

I’d really love to do a combination. It’s got to involve food because I’m a massive foodie and a cook, but I do love a night at the theatre or cinema. All three?

What’s your favourite sweet? 

Fizzy sweets

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

I pretended that I wanted to be a pharmacist to keep my parents happy.

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

I threw a pencil at my sister’s head and left a dent in it! 

What is your proudest achievement to date? 

I’ve had some lovely ones. I did a new musical a couple of years ago called From Here to Eternity and I also sang at the Royal Festival Hall in A Life of Song by Tim Rice, which my parents came to. It’s a venue that I’ve always loved because I went to see Ernest Read concerts there when I was a kid and it was amazing to sing on that stage.

What’s next? 

Oh gosh I don’t know, which is part of the joy of being an actor. You never know what’s going to happen.

Working runs at Southwark Playhouse from 2 June until 8 July

 

World renowned singer Elaine Delmar takes our Sugar Rush Quiz

Elaine Delmar began her career at the age of Thirteen, in 1952, in The Children’s hour for the BBC. She played piano in the live Broadcasts with Radio Orchestras, which she had studied from the age of six.

Her first legitimate stage appearance came in the revival of Finigan’s Rainbow, at The New Shakes Theatre, Liverpool in 1952. It starred Shanney Wallis and Ivor Emmanuel and was directed by Sam Wannamaker.

What followed was an illustrious career on stage, which has spanned over 60 years. The acclaimed performer will bring her brand new show to the Pheasantry next month. Elaine took some time off from rehearsals to take our Sugar Rush Quiz.

 

What are you currently working on?

Jazz Festival at Nantwich and Ronnie Scotts gigs twice a year at Sunday Lunch times.

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

My sense of humour!

What is your favourite Book?

The Heart Of A Woman by Maya Angelou.

What are you currently watching on TV? 

Gracie and Frankie with Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin.

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

Restaurant; Good food and lovely company!

What’s your favourite sweet?

Foxes Glacier Mints. (I used to eat them before playing piano concerts when I was very young.)

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

I dreamed of being a Concert Pianist.

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

When I was four, I was left alone in a room with my newborn baby brother in his cot. My mother came back in to find the baby on the sofa and shrieked “ How did he get there?” I said “He walked”!

What is your proudest achievement to date?

My appearance in The BBC Promenade Concert at The Albert Hall, in 2015, in front of 5,000 to 6,000 people.

What’s next?

An Evening with Elaine Delmar, Robert Meadmore and Jamie Safir is at The Pheasantry, Kings Road on Monday June 26th & Tuesday June 27th 2017.

West End Bakeoff’s Cuppy the Cupcake takes our Sugar Rush Quiz

The company of The Secret Garden receive the winner’s trophy at last year’s West End bakeoff from judges Christopher Biggins, Dame Barbara Windsor and Michael Ball. Photo by Mark Lomas

The West End bakeoff, London’s stagiest bake sale will return again this year and promises to be bigger and better than ever.

The event sees teams from all of the big London shows compete to win the coveted trophy, while raising thousands of pounds for the Theatrical charity, Acting For Others.

This year the West End shows will come together to compete at The Actor’s Church St Pauls, on Saturday 20th May with judges to be announced at a later date.

We caught up the adorable Cuppy the Cupcake, West End Bakoff’s mascot, who was thrilled to take our Sugar Rush Quiz.

What are you currently working on?

I’ve been working on my whisking, beating and folding techniques for cake making! As the official West End Bake Off mascot I am not allowed to enter the competition but I like to keep my frosting hair light and fluffy which takes lots of practice!

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

The West End Bake Off of course gave this little old showbiz cupcake it’s legs (quite literally!) I’ve even been made into a trophy for the winners too, it’s quite odd seeing oneself in statue form. I’m sure Laurence Olivier would feel the same…

What is your favourite book?

Definitely ‘Quintessential Baking’ By GBBO’s Frances Quinn. It’s so fun for a plain old cupcake like me to dream of being such an inventive cake.

What are you currently watching on TV?

I only watch movie musicals and the Great British Bake Off. Though I am partial to a spot of Masterchef now and again. 

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

That’s a silly question…THEATRE, of course! I have Dreamgirls and Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? on my wishlist. Of course I have to take my booster seat so I can see over the people in front. It’s a tough life for a tiny cupcake. 

What’s your favourite sweet?

A retro classic, the fruit salad. SO jazzy and chewy.

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

I always dreamed of being four tired red velvet sponge with cream cheese frosting but as I’ve got older and more comfortable in my own skin, I’d prefer to be a naked cake.

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

Me, naughty? Never! 

I may or may not have replaced the sugar for salt in a birthday cake for my sister once… 

What is your proudest achievement to date?

Raising £6000 in two hours at last year’s bake off. All for the amazing theatrical charity Acting for Others. 

What’s next?

That would be telling! But we do have lots of ideas and projects in the pipeline at West End Bake Off as well as West End Bake Off 2018 of course! 

For those unable to attend the event, Acting for Others can still be supported by donating at its Just Giving page: www.justgiving.com/ctcafo

Star of The Girls, Sophie-Louise Dann takes our Sugar Rush Quiz

After opening to a plethora of five-star reviews earlier this year, The Girls is continuing to thrill audiences at the Phoenix Theatre in London’s glittering West End. Led by a cast of six stage stalwarts, who were collectively nominated for an Olivier Award, the production boasts a soundtrack by Take That star Gary Barlow and his childhood friend and playwright extraordinaire Tim Firth.

Gary Barlow with Sophie-Louise Dann at the Olivier Awards

The musical is based on the much-loved real life story of a group of Yorkshire housewives who made a nude calendar to raise money for charity.

One of the sextet of wondrous women is played by West End favourite Sophie-Louise Dann. The celebrated actress has been previously Olivier nominated for her portrayal of Diana Divine in Lend Me a Tenor, but now brings her wealth of talent to the role of the voluptuous Celia in The Girls.

We met Sophie for an impromptu cuppa and challenged her to take our Sugar Rush Quiz.

What are you currently working on?

The Girls

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

Belief in yourself and knowing what you bring to the table

What is your favourite Book?

Oh gosh! There are so many but I’ll have to say Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings.

What are you currently watching on TV? 

I do a lot of Iplayer watching because I commute from the coast so I have just downloaded the ‘Babs’ documentary, about Barbara Windsor. I’m a big fan of Samantha Spiro, as we started our careers off together a long time ago. She’s fabulous.

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

Because I work in the theatre I’m going to go with a restaurant.

What’s your favourite sweet? 

I’m an old-fashioned girl. I like a rhubarb and custard or a lemon sherbet.

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

It was very clear what made me tick when I was six. I knew I wanted to be on the stage and I’ve fulfilled that dream I suppose.

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

I broke my mum’s fingers! I had a tantrum and broke my mum’s fingers because I wanted a pair of dungarees in a shop window. I was a hateful child. My mother always said I turned into a delightful adult.

What is your proudest achievement to date? 

Proud, that’s a weird word isn’t it? I guess for recognition in this industry, I’ve been nominated twice for an Olivier Award.

What’s next? 

I can’t really say. I want to fulfill my lovely time with The Girls and we’re going very nicely, but there are a few things buzzing around for next year.

The Girls is running at the Phoenix Theatre 

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.