Q&A with Fame The Musical's Mica Paris, Jorgie Porter and Keith Jack
| By Jade Ali
Remember my name; Fame The Musical is going to pirouette into London’s Peacock Theatre as part of its 30th-anniversary tour. We’re thrilled that the production is stopping to make magic in the West End as part of its run. Fame tickets are on sale now for their stint in London, beginning 11 September 2019.
If you want to see Fame The Musical, then make sure you get your tickets now as their run at the Peacock Theatre is the last stop on their tour. Luckily, I got to see a preview of the stunning performances that are to come and even got to talk to some of the absolutely lovely cast to ask them some questions. Read below to see what Mica Paris, Jorgie Porter and Keith Jack had to say…
Q&A with Fame The Musical star Mica Paris
1. You have a successful career in music, what is it about theatre that drew you in and do you consider it a different career path?
It’s interesting because I basically first got into theatre in 1995 because Clark Peters, who wrote Five Guys Named Moe, wrote a show for me called Sweet Lorraine and it did really well. Then I went on and did six musicals up until now. I did Chicago before this and Mama I Wanna Sing (which was on the West End). This [Fame] is my sixth! I don’t know what made me do it, I was terrified at first, but he [Clark Peters] kept telling me ‘you should do it, you’ll be good at it’. So over time, I slowly started to adapt to this thing and started to feel like I can do it. Specifically, the roles I choose are very close to me anyway. I don’t see myself as a straight actress. I see myself as a singer who sometimes acts, but the roles I choose are very much centred around me as a person. Miss Sherman is very much the mother side of me with my kids. It’s tough love which is what Miss Sherman is like with the students.
2. As well as releasing albums and doing theatre, tv and radio work, you’re an author too! After Fame, what’s next for you?
My new book comes out next year! It’s a journey of all female singers. It’s like my new radio show coming in September called Mica Meets, which interviews female singers about their journeys. The book is about why are females who are singers so tortured. I wanted to write a book about that from my perspective. Also, I have an album coming out later in the year which will be fun. So, to sum up: a new record, a new documentary on BBC1, a new Radio 2 series, and a new book!
3. You have theatre experience both in the West End and the UK, do you find one is more rewarding than the other?
There’s something quite endearing about being in a different place and moving around. A new vibe in a different place. There’s something quite nice about that and it’s fun. There’s always a new experience. The difference with touring is you get the wow [factor] because with me I like change, so touring is nice. The West End will be nice for me because I’ve bee touring for a year and I live in London, I was born here, so it’ll be nice to be in one place. It’ll be nice to go home to my kid and my dog, and they’ll be happy to see me.
4. What is it about the role of Miss Sherman in Fame that excites you?
It excites me because there is a part of me that is nostalgic and I kind of wish that children in school had that attention from the teachers; that passion. Not to say that there aren’t passionate teachers out there, but I find everyone is more hands off. I like that it’s an 80s film, when it was different, when teachers were hands on. What we’re finding with Fame is we’re getting all different age groups coming. There’s the nostalgic crowd from the first time and the younger kids love it too.
5. Is there a dream role in theatre (touring, West End or Broadway) that you have?
To be honest, I’m in it. This is it! This kind of show is so tailormade for me. I’ve never stayed in a show for more than four months and I’ve been in this a year because it’s so good. The cast are all super gifted. I’m surrounded by talent and there’s a great script and good songs. This is my highlight in theatre.
Q&A with Jorgie Porter
1. You must be excited about making your stage debut, but do you think making your stage debut as Iris Kelly in Fame makes this occasion even more special?
100%! Since I was three years old, I’ve always wanted to be a ballerina and so I’ve been encouraged to dance. My dad teaches us, ‘you’re good, carry on.’ Then I got Hollyoaks 10 years ago, so that [dancing] was on the backburner and I thought I’ll never be a dancer or do that again. So, now it’s like my dreams have come true! I’m going to the West End and now I need a new dream.
2. Do you think your dance school experience has set you up perfectly to be in Fame and why?
Yeah, I can literally relate so much to the scenes because I can like remember in college in Chester at The Hammond School, where I trained, and people would get out their instruments and people would be doing Shakespeare. So, obviously when I first started, being from Salford, I was confused at what they were doing but now it’s like ‘oh yeah that happens’ when people are doing a dance routine in the corridor. So, it feels natural.
3. Following from your training in dance, was musical theatre an aspiration for you?
Yeah, but I just never thought I’d actually do it. I’ve got a diploma in musical theatre, believe it or not. So, doing that [musical theatre] is huge!
4. Do you find your previous acting experience, the majority of which is in television, has prepared you for the stage? Are you embracing the differences or finding them difficult?
There are huge differences! In TV when you mess up, you yell ‘cut’ and ask to do it again, but on stage, there have been a few times when my ballet shoes have fallen off or I’ve forgotten my lines. So, obviously that induces massive panic, but it’s kind of fun because you never know what could happen. Also, when someone does something you have to react to what they do as well, but with the same lines. Also, audiences are there, unlike with TV and when you finish an amazing scene, everyone goes away, but with theatre, there’s an instant reaction.
5. In three words, why should audiences be excited to see Fame The Musical
You’ll: laugh, cry and dance!
Q&A with Keith Jack
1. Where were you and what were you doing when you found out you got the role of Nick in Fame The Musical?
I was in my house… actually, I was in my bed. So, I had my audition on a Thursday and on the Friday morning, I was in bed and my phone started ringing. It was my agent and it was 9:30 in the morning and she said, ‘you’ve been offered Fame’. Obviously, I jumped up with joy, made coffee and phoned everyone.
2. You’ve played the iconic role of Joseph (and the Narrator) in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. Do you consider the role of Nick to be iconic and why?
I loved playing Joseph because it was such a part of my life because of the TV show (Any Dream Will Do), so it was good to play the part a few years later. It’s such a fun role because the audiences love it. The age range [of the audience] is from 5 to 65, and it’s good to have donned the coat along with some great people from that iconic circle. They’re opening [Joseph] at the London Palladium and they’ve invited us, so it’s a cool circle to be in.
Nick is a very different character. He’s a lot more straightforward and driven in terms of what he wants to do. He obviously wants to be a real actor and wants to do Shakespeare etc, and Joseph is a lot lighter than Nick is. Also, Nick has a love interest which is a bit different. Still, [Nick] is an iconic role in terms of singing ‘I Want To Make Magic’, which at one point was sung by every boy in the world for every audition. So, everyone knows that song!
3. As well as your experience in theatre, you have four studio albums, three of which you toured the UK with; do you find you’re drawn to a particular path, theatre or music, more than the other?
I like doing a bit of everything. Doing a little bit of concert work, albums, and theatre is a good thing because it keeps your head going. It makes things creative and exciting in different ways, so I would never put myself in one bracket. Musical theatre is a balance but next time I’d like to do a straight drama or play.
4. If you could collaborate with one person for your next album (assuming there’s a next one) who would it be and why?
Michael Bublé! I think he’s phenomenal. I’ve seen him live in Newcastle a couple of years ago and he’s got so much class! The way he talks about his band who’ve been with him since he first started when he paid them what he could afford and now he pays them hundreds and hundreds. It’s the same team and they’re a close family. He just seems like a good person and I think he’ll be such a laugh to sing with.
5. In three words, why should people come and see Fame The Musical?
Best production yet!
Fame The Musical is ending its UK tour with a stop at the West End’s Peacock Theatre for an extremely limited run beginning 11 September and ending on 19 October 2019. This is your last chance to see this magnificent production so get your leg warmers on and get your tickets to Fame The Musical before it’s too late!
🎫 Book your West End Fame The Musical tickets here.