From Bat out of Hell to Mamma Mia and with her sights set even higher (seriously, give her Gypsy soon!), Sharon Sexton takes a moment to go 10 for 10
Where were you 10 years ago?
Ten years ago I was living in Dublin, having just returned to college to study for an MA in Directing for Theatre, because my casting bracket was flooded with twenty something actresses and I was not getting a look in!
Best show you’ve seen in the last 10 years?
There are so many I could mention but I think Emilia by Morgan Lloyd Malcom is top of the list. It blew me away, the acting, the book, the staging, the power, the message – One of the few pieces of theatre that had me rivetted from start to finish, I left with a euphoric feeling! I watched it alone and it was a last minute decision to go on what had been a very difficult day – and it took me to a different place completely – i love that theatre has the power to do that.
What has been your professional highlight of the last 10 years?
The very first preview of Bat Out Of Hell in Manchester Opera House – the moment the curtain dropped and the show started – the audience reaction, the goosebumps that went up my arm, catching eyes with Rob Fowler before we started and both of us mouthing “WOW” and taking a deep breath before our first scene, knowing we were about to get on a rollercoaster! The energy generated in that first performance from the cast, crew, band, …. it was electric.
Top flavour of interval ice-cream?
Gin and tonic
What show do you wish theatres would give a rest for a few years?
Ooooh I don’t know…shows run for a long time because the people keep returning… I love all the classic long running shows in the West End, and revisiting them again is like going to see an old friend… as long as they are cared for and the standard stays high I say keep them all… I would love to see some old ones returning though – bring back Billy Elliot! It’s time!
Name someone who you think is a really underappreciated talent (in the world of theatre)?
In general – every company manager. The captain of the ship, the one that sets the tone for the whole company. They have the hardest job by far and they literally make the show work and run every night – As well as managing the show, they also have to deal with the egos, politics, payroll, press, events, dramas, sickness, personal issues, departments… the works! Their job is never over, they are always on call and they are so often the most underappreciated people in a company – when you don’t see the work they do – it means they are even more fantastic! I have been blessed to work with some truly wonderful ones! And Jackie Morgan being the absolute queen!
Elphaba or Glinda?
Oooh depends on my mood. Glinda for the comedy, Elphie for the sing!
What is one thing that you think would help theatre survive and/or thrive the next ten years?
Support for new writing – there is so much talent out there, so many finished shows with nowhere to stage them –
people needs space that doesn’t cost the earth – rehearsals space, creative space, performance spaces…. So I think support from established venues that could offer SPACE would help make a lot of new work actually happen.
Which is your favourite theatre?
The Coliseum…. just breathtaking
Can you say anything about what’s to come for you, (in the next ten years or otherwise)?
I’ve only recently made that transition into the MOM role on stage and I am embracing it ! Over the next ten years I want to age up quickly into all the fabulous older roles that are on my bucket list – I’ll take a Mamma Rose, Mrs Wilkinson, The Witch, Mrs Lovett please 🙂