Wednesday, 19 June 2019

INTERVIEW: Mazz Murray, currently starring as Donna in Mamma Mia! at the Novello Theatre

Mazz Murray is best known for her run as the Killer Queen and longest serving cast member in the West End musical, We Will Rock You. She is currently playing Donna in Mamma Mia at the Novello Theatre after having previously played Tanya in the same production. She has also not long finished playing Mama Morton in Chicago at the Phoenix Theatre. She made her theatre debut playing Patsy Cline in The Roy Orbison Story across the UK and has appeared in Rent, Smokey Joe's Café, Fame, Only The Lonely, Boogie Nights and Pippin.

You’re returning to MAMMA MIA! after having previously played Tanya. What made you want to return to this show? 

The opportunity to play Donna.

And how is it seeing the show from a different characters perspective? 

It’s like a completely different show and experience. 

What are your favourite moments from the show to perform as Donna and which ones did you love doing as Tanya? 

It’s so new at the moment - I’m enjoying all of it, especially singing the songs.

What have you enjoyed most about returning to this show? 

Gosh, seeing the wonderful friends again that are still here – both backstage/ onstage and front of house.

The show is entering its 21st year, what do you think makes this show so special and why its lasted for this long? 

I think the dedication from the creators to keep it true to its original form but allowing it to breathe and grow also. It’s a careful measure. 

As you’ve now played two parts in the show, if you could chose any of the rest of them to play for one night, which one would you chose and why? 

Rosie - I guess- anyone else and they’d get letters of complaint. 

I must talk about We Will Rock You, you were in the show for almost 9 years. What made you stick with the show for so long? 

I had absolutely (in my mind) zero reasons to leave. Amazing role, costumes, songs, bosses, dressing room and friends. 

You must have some very fond memories from working on Rock You, what would you say are you highlights? 

Gosh - so many - Buckingham Palace The Queen’s Jubilee and Party In The Park, were absolutely enormous and unbeatable experiences. 

Much like MAMMA MIA!, its a jukebox musical. What are the challenges that you face as an actor when performing songs that people know so well? 

There’s no challenges just joy. The only difficulties are people hearing songs a different way – that to them - are iconic. But when used through a story - we hope the different flavour is interesting at the very least. 

And your most recent venture, Chicago. Following in your sisters footsteps, did you steal anything from her performance or did she give you any advice for the role of Mama Morton? 

Yes, she was brilliantly helpful and I saw her doing it before so I just learnt from the master. 

Gina also played Donna in MAMMA MIA! Has she shared any pearls of wisdom for this role? 

Yes, she told me that it goes very quickly as you are never really off stage. Also that the ‘sing’ isn’t as difficult as it may seem because so much of the story telling is done through the songs.

As mentioned, your sister Gina is also a performer. And you come from a very stagey family! How is it to have a family who know what its like being a performer? Do you help each other out? 

Well - lets just say - you get notes at the theatre and over the dinner table. We all help each other and look out for one another.

You’re also a working mother, what has it been like from your experience working in the performing arts industry with a child? 

Well right from day one I chose to have a live in au pair and made sure my children had a constant. It doesn’t work for everyone - but for me it was the best solution. 

What advice would you have for others mothers in the industry? 

Well depends what you do and how often you work. Certainly for me in musicals at the moment - an au pair has been the most comfortable. 

Do you have any dream roles you’d like to play in the future? 

Yes plenty! Gypsy, The Rose, Dorothy Brock, Madam T and I’d also like to create something.

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