22 April 2020

Isolation Interviews: Becky Wallis (Musical Theatre Lives In Me)

Next up I have Becky Wallis. Becky runs a theatre blog called Musical Theatre Lives in Me (click here to visit) where she reviews shows, films and more. She also posts regular interviews including her own Isolation series called Life in Lockdown.

Q - What was the first piece of theatre that you remember seeing? –
A - I think it was a production of George’s Marvellous Medicine. I can still remember the moment
that the grandma grew as tall as the house! And I can remember going to see the Blue Man
Group at the New London Theatre (now the Gillian Lynne Theatre). The first big musical I
remember seeing was The Sound of Music.

Q - What inspired you to get into blogging about theatre?
A - Well, I have always been a writer. I have loved writing for as long as I can remember and
when my love for theatre really took off, it made sense to combine my two loves. My blog
gives me a platform to talk about my love for theatre and feel like someone is listening.

Q - Whose performances have stayed with you?
A - So many! Of course, I have to mention Charlie Stemp as Arthur Kipps in Half A Sixpence.
My favourite musical, and one of my favourite characters, brought to life in the most
wonderful way. Charlie is such an incredible performer and I just love seeing him on stage. I
also have to highlight Killian Donnelly as Jean Valjean, Matt Henry as Lola and Rob
Houchen as Marius. It was also a treat to see Tommy Steele in the Glen Miller Story. He has
always been Arthur Kipps to me, and at one point in the show he came on stage in a pin
stripe suit and straw boater and I just had to smile because even through he is much older
now, he still has that smile and he is still Arthur.

Q - What is your favourite musical movie?
A - I have a few favourites. It may have got mixed reviews, and of course, it cannot be compared
to seeing the show live, but I really love the film adaptation of Les Miserables. I also love
both Mary Poppins films, and old favourites like Joseph and the amazing technicolour
Dreamcoat. And of course, Half A Sixpence starring Tommy Steele at his absolute best.

Becky with Charlie Stemp.
Q - What are your favourite show tunes?
A - I can only choose five! Okay, so this is going to be tricky so I’m going to put it into
categories.

First up, a song from a childhood favourite – Close every door from Joseph and the
amazing technicolour Dreamcoat. This is such a beautiful song, full of emotion and passion
and I have to say that Jac Yarrow’s rendition is the best I’ve ever heard.

A song that gets me every time – Empty Chairs at Empty Tables from Les Miserables. There
is just something about this song, and I have heard so many amazing performances of it
over the years. From Rob Houchen to Fra Fee, this song just gets me every single time.

A song that reminds me just how magical theatre is – Step in Time from Mary Poppins. I
have always loved this song, but seeing it on stage has just made me love it even more. It’s
so incredibly full of energy and wonder. It makes me smile until my cheeks hurt.

A song that speaks to me – Memphis Lives in Me from Memphis. This song actually inspired
the name of my blog, musical theatre lives in me. It comes at a point in the show where
Huey decides that he simply cannot live Memphis, because it is too much a part of who he is
and features the line ‘like a sad old melody, tears me up but sets you free, that’s how
Memphis lives in me’. And that is how Musical theatre lives in me, it sets me free.

My go too happy song – Flash Bang Wallop from Half A Sixpence. This song has been an
absolute favourite of mine since I was little and first watched the film. It’s just so upbeat and
cheeky, and it just makes me feel wonderful every time I listen to it.

Q - What are your favourite theatres to visit?
A - I have to say the Theatre Royal Plymouth, because it is my local and I have seen so many
great touring productions there. I also love the London Palladium because you can just feel
the history of it whenever you walk in there.

Q - What have been your favourite productions across the years?
A - The new staging of Les Miserables is absolutely stunning, Come From Away deserves a
mention, Mary Poppins is absolutely magical and Half A Sixpence is my dream show, so
much so that I saw it ten times in ten months.

Q - If you could have dinner with 3 theatre-related guests, who would you invite and why?
A - I would invite Cameron Mackintosh because I would just love to pick his brain and Tommy
Steele because he’s just one of my musical theatre heroes. And can I invite the whole cast
of Half A Sixpence because they are the loveliest people you could ever dream to meet.

Q - Away from the theatre, what are your other favourite hobbies?
A - I dabble in writing fiction, but never come up with a good enough idea to actually stick to.
And I love arts and crafts, whether that’s colouring pictures and knitting. Over the years, I
have made many knitted dolls as gifts for performers.

Q - Can you tell us a random fact about you?
A - I have never watched any of the Lord of the Rings films, only watched one Star Wars (against
my will) and two marvel movies

I'd like to thank Becky for her time and her insights. You can visit her website https://musicaltheatrelivesinmesite.wordpress.com/blog/. You can follow her on Twitter https://twitter.com/MTlivesinme and on Instagram https://www.instagram.com/beckywallis5500/?hl=en

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