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A Habit of Theatre

Born in Birmingham in 1963. My first visit to the theatre was with the cub scouts to see Jimmy Tarbuck in the Christmas Pantomime “Jack and the Beanstalk” at the Alexandra Theatre. My first West End Show was when I was at Lancaster University I travelled to London and I saw Marti Webb‘s last night performance of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s “Song and Dance” at The Palace on Shaftesbury Avenue in 1983. In that same very impressionable period I was mesmerised by Steffanie Lawrence as Marilyn Munroe in “Marilyn the musical” at the Adelphi Theatre and as Eva Peron in “Evita” at the Prince Edward Theatre. I was even one of the few to see “Carrie the Musical” in its 1988 four week run at the RSC. My musical theatre obsession can probably be best evidenced by the facts that I saw Norma Desmond performed by Patti Lupone, Betty Buckley, Diahann Carroll, Rita Moreno, Elaine Page, Glenn Close and Petula Clarke in that most cinematic of musicals “Sunset Boulevard.” Perhaps it was the dark attraction of the incredible Chita Rivera in “Kiss of the Spider Woman” that called me to return again and again to the Shaftesbury Theatre in 1993 which sealed my fate. The obsession with shows is still there, but after completing Film School in Hollywood and devising for my MA in Advanced Theatre Practice at Central School of Speech and Drama in 2003, I would say my obsession is now evidenced by more “plays” less “shows”. Since I moved back permanently to the heart of England theatre has become quite a habit.

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