BILL KENWRIGHT’S brilliant production of the musical Joseph embarks on a national tour next week, starting on the 20th February at Theatre Royal Windsor. The tour will run through until July.
Ahead of the tour, Close-up Culture caught up with actress Trina Hill who will play the role of the Narrator – alongside Jaymi Hensley as Joseph.
Q: You must be thrilled to be performing in one of the world’s most popular musicals. A really big chance to showcase your talents?
A: OF course, I’m thrilled. What a great honour to be performing as the Narrator when Joseph and The Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat celebrates its 50th Anniversary.
Q: Is this a musical you’ve seen lots before in the past?
A: I’VE never actually seen it from the audience. Most people I know watched it as a child, but I never did. So, my first introduction to the show was when I was first stepping into the role of Narrator.
Q: Have long have you been in rehearsals? And are the nerves kicking in?
A: WE have done a week of rehearsals so far. A little bit of nerves, but not too bad yet.
Q: How demanding is the role of the Narrator?
A: IT is very demanding, maybe deceptively so. Of course, the aim of the game is to try to make it look easy. It was originally written for a male singing voice, so some of the vocals are tricky. And you almost never leave the stage, but it’s great fun.
Q: Can you give a little glimpse into how you got the role? Were there a series of nerve-wracking auditions?
A: ACTUALLY, I played this role for the first time a few years ago. They needed someone to step in and replace the Narrator at the last minute. I had a whirlwind two days of auditions. I remember sight-reading Pharoah’s Story for Bill Kenwright in his office. Two days later, I was on a train to meet up with the company on tour and rehearse. I learned the entire show in four days. It was very intense.
When I went on for the first time, I was sure I would mess up the colours or the brothers’ names, but thankfully it went ok. I’m very thrilled to be invited back again for this tour.
Q: Do you enjoy going out on the road? It is going to be five long months – looking forward to it with excitement or in trepidation?
A: EXCITEMENT. Touring can be fun, especially with a great company. I have always had lots of laughs.
Q: What has it been like working with Jaymi Hensley?
A: IT’S only been a week so far, but we are having fun. He has a great voice and is a hard worker.
Q: How hands on is the legendary Bill Kenwright?
A: VERY hands on so far. He was in yesterday, working through scenes with us. I enjoy his directorial style. He has a real knack for bringing out the sincerity and humour built into the lyrics.
Q: Can you give us an insight into any new twists – set wise or on the choreography front – that you think may surprise audiences?
A: I WON’T give too much away, but I’m very excited by what’s happening so far in rehearsals and I think there are even more exciting new things to come!
This tour has been going such a long time – it holds a real sense of nostalgia for so many. I think the creative team is managing to keep that flavour of what’s come before, whilst adding some new fresh energy. It’s looking great.
Q: I assume you are a Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber fan. What is your favourite musical of theirs?
A: HMM. A tough one, probably Evita.
Q: You have already enjoyed success – amongst others, in Starlight Express and the wonderful Jersey Boys. Is this the pinnacle so far?
A: I’VE been very lucky to do some really wonderful shows. Joseph does hold a very special place for me. The Narrator is such an epic role, I love it.
Q: Are there any actresses you look up to? Love to bits? Aspire to be like?
A: JENNA Russell and Rosalie Craig are two actresses I really admire. They achieve real honesty and clarity in their acting.
Q: Musicals are enjoying a revival – certainly in the West End with the success of Hamilton – and a number of new shows imminent – 9 To 5, Waitress, Mary Poppins, Follies… and of course in the summer Joseph. Good times for musicals? Heartened by the revival against the backdrop of such chastening times?
A: OF course, I do hope it continues.
Q: Finally if there is one role you would like to play in the West End, who would it be?
A: THAT’S a very hard question to answer. I find it’s always the roles you never picture yourself doing that sometimes end being the best fit.
One role I adore is Lucille Frank in Parade. And Eva Peron in Evita would be a dream too.