Jodie Prenger became the British public’s sweetheart after winning the role of Nancy in the West End revival of Oliver!, a role which would earn her the 2010 WhatsOnStage award for Best Supporting Actress in a Musical.
After wowing audiences in the production and earning critical acclaim, Jodie went on to become one of the biggest names in musical theatre, playing some truly iconic leading roles including the title character in Calamity Jane, The Lady of the Lake in Spamalot and more recently achieved huge success in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Tell Me on a Sunday.
But it’s not just in the theatre where the talented performer plies her trade and Jodie is a regular on our screens, taking roles in shows like Waterloo Road, Hustle, Candy Cabs and Wizards vs Aliens, as well as many notable television and radio presenting slots.
Jodie is currently appearing in Shirley Valentine, a comedy play by Willy Russell, which involves the actress taking the stage alone and engaging the audience for the entire performance with nothing but her well honed charm and charisma.
1. What are you currently working on?
Shirley Valentine is taking a few detours from Greece. I have the joy of playing the role in the current 30th anniversary tour around the UK. http://www.shirley-valentine.com/
2. What is the one thing that has helped you to become successful?
Honest….a radio. Yep, I said radio. Because on that radio they advertised the auditions for the BBC Nancy show. And with that came the leap of faith. I had genuinely given up trying to get into the west end. So it goes to show, to all out there. Never stop trying and always take that leap of faith…you just never know.
3. What is your favourite Book?
Nicolas Sparks wrote a book called the Notebook. Which launched into the public eye after the release of the film. I have everything crossed that one day it will be turned into a musical. Whilst I’m still waiting, I strongly suggest you grab a copy and have a read. It’s the simple message that strikes a chord your heart.
4. What are you currently watching on TV?
Touring life can be rather relentless. So sadly I don’t get chance to watch hardly any TV. What I did manage to catch up on was Jamie Johnson on CBBC. I just finished filming with these talented kids. We had such a laugh. A talented bunch indeed. Apart from that, the trapped inner Disney Princess inside of me rushed to watch Beauty and the Beast…loved it.
5. Would you choose the cinema, theatre or a restaurant for a night out?
” the only thing I cannot resist is temptation” said a glorious fella named Oscar Wilde. And I agree.. I wouldn’t mind having a go of fitting in all three. But, if I had to choose, a night at the theatre coupled with a delicious dinner would be my idea of a enjoyable evening.
6. What’s your favourite sweet?
Put down your jelly babies, put down your strawberry shoe strings… I’m a chocolate fiend. Good quality dark chocolate. You can’t beat it.
7. What did you want to be when you were a child?
I had hopes pinned on being a vet. Then I realised part of the job entailed you having to put animals down. Couldn’t do that. Then along came my love of the arts.
8. What was the naughtiest thing you did when you were a child?
There is a list… a long list. Being the joker of the class will always come with consequences.
9. What is your proudest achievement to date?
Never did I think that eight years ago I’d be stepping out onto a west end stage to play the role of Nancy. And today, never did I think I’d take to the stage to star in the role of Shirley Valentine in Willy Russell’s one woman play. Every show is an achievement. Not only to those who perform on the stage. But to everyone who works so hard to make it happen.
10. What’s next?
Fat Friends the Musical https://leedsgrandtheatre.com/Online/FatFriends
It’s a new glorious musical, based on Kay Mellor’s hit series. Both Kay and Nick Webber have teamed. And what a pairing! It’s a feel good and funny musical. So it will be exciting being part of this new musical. It’s going to premier at the Leeds Grand Theatre where Kay is from. Then to tour the UK.
I have a quick break at Christmas which I’ll be nipping to Liverpool to play Fairy Godmother in the Qdos http://www.pantomime.com/venues/liverpool
Then I’ll be rejoining the tour of Fat Friends.
And running currently is the second series of Jamie Johnson CBBC.