Interview with the Cast of Half A Sixpence
Interview with the Cast of Half A Sixpence:
I was lucky enough to be granted an audience with Charlie Stemp, Emma Williams, Bethany Huckle & Sam O’Rouke.
Question: Can you tell us about any onstage mishaps?
CS: At the end of the show I am driving off on a motorbike and I clip one of the bar stools and it goes straight under the motorbike (SO interrupting – you didn’t clip it you just went ‘bang’). In my brain I went power, revved the engine so it just got stuck more. The whole time the cast are waving at me still.
SO: The direction for Charlie is to exit upstage centre and in the minds eye the bike goes round and we wave him off into the distance. Half the cast turned to wave him off in the distance, a quarter of the cast were still waving at the door while the other quarter had got hold of the bike and were trying to get him out through the door.
BH: Or there was the one in Chichester where the revolves didn’t work. One of the numbers with the Apprentices and those shopping where the people on the revolve stand still and pose. Some people were walking and others just standing.
CS: Or bits of set that everyone shares and everyone was like ‘nope mine.’
SO: The shoppers were all calm and the apprentices were running around trying to move the bar. As we are all panicking about I show stop I just hear this laugh coming from Graham (the conductor) who was just conducting watching it all go on beneath him.
Question: What is your favourite number in the show?
EW: I love Simple Tune. It’s the only big dance number that I get to do in the show. I’m getting changed when you are all doing Flash Bang, we are always listening to it wishing I was part of it, then relaise I’m having a coffee or a biscuit and very happy. Simple Tune is so crazy and gets progressively crazier. Andrew’s choreography is so intricate and the madness is really infectious amongst the cast.
BH: I would have to say A Little Touch of Happiness. It’s really fun and we can smile and skip around on stage saying naughty innuendos.
CS: Tough one for me. It depends, different days different things. When I’m enjoying a dance it’s ‘The Rain’s Got To Fall,’ but if I’m in a singing mood then it’s ‘In the Middle There’s Me.’ That’s always something I found very hard so I enjoy it as I realise how much hard work I’ve put into that.
SO: Mine’s probably ‘In The Middle There’s Me’ for the opposite reason to Emma. The majority of the numbers you do as an apprentice are the big song and dance numbers where as ‘In The Middle’ is the number in the middle of Act 2 where us boys just get to sit, chill out and sing the song.
EW: That’s the one we sing along to in our dressing room when getting changed for our final scene. We do a really nasty harmony at the end just to make it sound less beautiful as you guys sound so lovely.
Question: If you had money to burn what’s the one thing you would buy?
SO: More money – I’m that bloke that wishes for more wishes. Mine would probably be a car. Being down in London is having the freedom of a car and driving around. I’m still insured back home but I just can’t justify having one in London.
CS: I haven’t even got a licence.
SO: If I had money to burn I guess having a nice little DB9 on the drive just to take down to the shops when I wanted would be nice.
CS: I’d have some grass for the garden. I brought grass seed and it’s still not working.
BH: I’d buy a really nice apartment in Covent Garden. You could go out, see some street performers…..
SO: We didn’t think about this did we. We should get houses first.
EW: I would pay off my families mortgages and my own.
Question: If you weren’t doing this show what would be your dream role:
SO: I always find it a really hard question to answer. In this show we have been blessed with one of the greatest experiences as an actor, that is creating a role. They are all original parts we have got to put our own stamp on. Whatever capacity Half A Sixepence exist is in, there will be a part of us in those parts. To say your dream role is really hard as the most excisting one could be one that hasn’t been written.
CS: …..But Mary Poppins. Ever since I was a kid I used to break my mums brooms putting the up the chimney. Our producer owns the rights for Mary Poppins. In fact I went to see my friend in it in Manchester and I went on stage with a broom, took a picture and sent it to Cameron.
BH: I’d say if I had to be ambitious it would have to be Galinda. It’s a big role but…..
EW: I’ve been really fortunate. Almost all of my career have been in new shows and first casts. It does spoil you but if I went for stuff existing I’d probably go really old school with things like Eliza Dolittle, which I did when I was 16 or Anna from ‘The King And I’ which I did when I was 17. Those are roles that I played as a kid that I’d really like to do now that I vaguely know how to act and defiantly a lot more how to sing.
BH: Talking of old school I went to see Thoroughly Modern Millie ages ago in Edinburgh and it was incredible just to see a 6 minute dance number full out. Sam and I did 7 Brides for 7 Brothers last year and it was a 6 minute barn dance of everything. Even though it was killer it was actually quite nice to dance and do that side of things as well as singing.
Thank you to Charlie, Emma, Bethany and Sam.
If you liked the interview you might like to read my review of Half A Sixpence.