This week, Phonebox spoke to Charlotte Wakefield, who is currently starring as Polly Baker in the UK Tour of Crazy for You.
As Charlotte says, George and Ira Gershwin’s iconic music is ‘a classic story of love and mistaken identity… it has classic numbers such as I Got Rhythm, it’s got slapstick comedy – it has everything you could want in a show!’
Charlotte has appeared in a dazzling array of musicals ranging from Spring Awakening to Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and in Crazy for You, she’s once again stepping into new territory. ‘It’s in a different vein,’ she explains to us, ‘I’m using my tap skills, which I’ve never used professionally before, it’s just an entirely different genre.’ Something else that makes Crazy for You stand out is that it’s what Charlotte describes as ‘an actor-musician show’, meaning that ‘all of the instruments are played by the ensemble, so there’s no orchestra’.
When asked, Charlotte lists her favourite musicals, which include ‘Mary Poppins, Me and My Girl, Fiddler on the Roof and the Sound of Music, which I’ve been in at the Regents Park Open Air Theatre’, as well as numerous others. ‘I’m a huge musical theatre fan’, she says, ‘I try to listen to at least one new score a week!’.
She goes on to explain why she loves performing in musicals, as ‘you get to do lots and lots of things all at once, it’s a different emotional outlet. To see people singing along and tapping their legs is also really rewarding.
She then went on to say, ‘Theatre is personal to so many people in so many different ways – and we’re able to bring theatre to people who need it. When I meet people after the show and they tell me that they’re going through a rough time and how the 2 ½ hours have helped them, that’s great too.’
And does she have any advice for those who want to go into Musical Theatre? ‘Patience is a virtue’, she responds, ‘you have to keep believing, continue to work hard and always keep learning. You need to be aware that you will have to work hard, but that all your hard work will pay off eventually.’
When we ask which record she would take with her if she were stranded on a desert island, she thinks long and hard before responding ‘It’s cheesy to say, but probably I Got Rhythm, because it’s quite uplifting’, before she jokingly adds, ‘although you’d probably get a bit bored of it after a while!’
Crazy for You is on at Milton Keynes Theatre from Tuesday the 20th to Saturday the 24th of March. For more information, go to www.atgtickets.com