Carley Stenson takes our Sugar Rush Quiz

Carley Stenson first rose to fame as Steph Cunningham in the Channel 4 television series Hollyoaks, but went on to star in the big budget stage musicals Legally Blond, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, Spamalot and as Princess Fiona in Shrek.

She is now playing the iconic role of Fantine in Les Misérables and is one half of a Musical Theatre power couple, as her fiancé Danny Mac has just finished in On the Town at the Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre and is about to star in Sunset Boulevard.

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

What are you currently working on?

Les Miz

 

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

My family and friends support.

 

What is your favourite Book?

I loved the BFG when I was little and To Kill a Mockingbird

 

What are you currently watching on TV? 

We’ve been watching Suits and I love Nashville.

 

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

We try and squeeze it all in, but because we’re stagey we’d probably say dinner and then the theatre.

 

What’s your favourite sweet? 

I really like vegie Reversy Percys

 

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

This!

 

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

I wasn’t that naughty, I was just a bit thick sometimes (which is no surprise if anyone knows me). I remember I used to have a habit of locking doors, either when I was in them or on the outside and I locked my uncle in the bathroom once and didn’t tell anyone and he was banging for ages. I remember when I was in South Africa – we were living over there, so I was about 5 – Rand, which was like a 50 pence piece over here. I had a game where I would throw it at the chandelier and the goal was to hit it, but I didn’t realise that the chandelier would smash. My Aunty, bless her, she loves me now but she hated me then.

 

What is your proudest achievement to date? 

It would be quite easy to say the career I’ve had but I think your friends say a lot about you so I’d have to say the company I keep.

 

What’s next? 

I’m contracted for a year in Les Miz, so that’s a while off, but I am getting married at the end of August so that’s my focus at the moment.

 

You can see Carley Stenson in Les Misérables at the Queen’s Theatre, Shaftesbury Avenue www.lesmis.com

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Review: “Will leave you dancing into the night” ★★★★ On the Town, Regent’s Park

In 1944 Jerome Robbins choreographed a ballet featuring three sailors called Fancy Free. It gained further acclaim when it was made into the Broadway musical On the Town and then a film version, which starred Jules Munshin, Frank Sinatra and Gene Kelly.

Robbins became one of the most revered choreographers of a generation when he went on to score further success with West Side Story and so it seems apt that Drew McOnie should be the one to revive his work at Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre.

McOnie is following in his footsteps – or time steps – in becoming the most talked about choreographer in recent years, with his Olivier win for In the Heights followed by acclaimed productions of The Wild Party (which he also directed), Bugsy Malone and his company’s fabulous take on the Jekyl and Hyde story at the Old Vic.

Like with many of the traditional old musicals, the story takes a back seat in On the Town, with the dancing becoming the main focus of the show. McOnie has perfectly captured the pastiche of the piece by incorporating the Jazz dance style influences of Robbins, but with an added contemporary twist and in the big ensemble numbers you can feel the energy emanating from the stage.

Three young sailors land in New York hoping to find love. They embark on a search for a girl they have seen on a poster and along the way stumble upon all of the glorious sights the city has to offer.

Danny Mac leads the cast as Gabey – fresh from the finals of Strictly Come Dancing – and shows he is a real triple threat performer. His dancing has beautiful fluidity, which is disarmingly appealing. He works well with Samuel Edwards and Jacob Maynard (a last-minute replacement), who both give great performances and their relationships with the girls aren’t too painfully chauvinistic, as is often the case with a show from this era.

Lizzy Connely showcases her comedic chops as taxi driver Hildy, really lifting the spirits with her every entrance, while Sienna Kelly and Miriam Teak Lee help her to steal the show from the chaps with their fabulous dance numbers proving to be the most spectacular.

The joyful nature of the production is enhanced by the glorious amphitheatre at Regent’s Park and despite the slightly dubious storyline you feel like you’ve been on a happy journey by the end of the show.

On the Town will leave you dancing into the night and is a great way to spend a summer evening.

On the Town at Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre until 1 July

Review by Georgie Harwood

Photo by Johan Persson

Check out Danny Mac and the cast in rehearsals for On the Town, Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre

Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre’s 2017 season opens with the musical On The Town, directed and choreographed by Drew McOnie. With music by Leonard Bernstein and book and lyrics by Betty Comden and Adolph Green, including the hit song “New York, New York”, On The Town will be the biggest dance musical ever staged at the Open Air Theatre. Drew McOnie scored a hit with his choreography for Jesus Christ Superstar in 2016 and, in addition to In The Heights for which he won the Olivier Award as Best Theatre Choreographer, he has also choreographed Jekyll and Hyde and The Lorax (Old Vic), Bugsy Malone (Lyric Hammersmith) and Hairspray and Chicago (Curve, Leicester).

Danny Mac, Fred Haig and Samuel Edwards take the roles of the three sailors, Gabey, Chip and Ozzie, originally played in the film version by Gene Kelly, Frank Sinatra and Jules Munshin.Siena Kelly, Lizzy Connolly and Miriam-Teak Lee take the roles of Ivy, Hildy and Claire, originally played in the film version by Vera-Ellen, Betty Garrett and Ann Miller. Also joining the cast are Maggie Steed as Madame Dilly, Naoko Mori as Lucy Schmeeler, Rodney Earl Clarke as The Workman and Mark Heenehan as Judge Pitkin.

Photos by Johan Persson

www.openairtheatre.com | 0844 826 4242