Monday, 3 June 2019

INTEVRIEW: Jarneia Richard-Noel, currently in the cast of SIX at the Arts Theatre

Jarneia is currently playing the role of Catherine of Aragon in the hit musical SIX at the Arts Theatre. She trained at the The Urdang Academy where she graduated in 2017. Her first professional job straight out of college was on the P&O cruise ship, Azura as a Singer/Dancer.

Tell us a bit about Catherine of Aragon’s story.

Catherine of Aragon was a Spanish Queen who married Henry’s brother Arthur first, sadly he passed away and finally after a lot of discussion who she was going to marry next, she ended up with Henry.  She reigned as Queen along side Henry for 24 years. She was fearless, powerful, strong, warrior and so resilient. When Henry was away, she ruled the roost. She fought battles and was a strong leader! She was devastated and disgusted when Henry wanted to divorce her for Anne Boleyn creating the Church of England. She stayed under the same roof as them two and his many other ladies in waiting for 7 years before they got an annulment. She did everything in her power to prove he had no right to divorce her, her bravery was admirable! 

What kind of research did you do to prepare for the role?

In rehearsals we had a whole week on character building. Our directors Lucy Moss and Jamie Armitage would break down our songs and explain all the historical content in it. We also did our own research and brought it into rehearsals. Each queen had a mood board of several words to represent our queen and the information we found. We all did a presentation of everything we found out about our Queens. It was a learning lesson for us all, as we got to learn about each Queen and why they are all so amazing!

The Queenspiration for this role is Beyoncé and Shakira, how do you take that inspiration and make it your own?

No one can do what Beyoncé or Shakira can do. The influence of those artists are in the song I do “No Way” and definitely extremely inspired by Beyoncé with the costume made by Gabriella Slade or, as I like to call her, Gabriella Slay! I try to take their sass, sexiest, strong powerful presence and add that to my character. 

This show has really catapulted into London and people are loving it! Why do you think it has been so successful? 

I think its what the West End and the theatre world need and are missing! Six juicy, strong female leads, an all female band who are rocking out on stage with us, a great concept combining English history, pop culture mixed with musical theatre. Straight through no interval 75 minutes of sass, knowledge, comedy and full out energy! Female empowerment and not just for females even the men leave feeling empowered for us and for themselves. The fact that it hits every age range, gender and race, it’s perfect for a family day trip or a girls/lads night out! 

Let’s go back to the start, how did you find out about the show? 

So my agent got me the audition. I hadn’t heard about it until then as when it was on in the West End for the 6 week run  I was away working on a cruise ship. I found out about it properly when I was lucky enough to audition for it!

What was your audition like? 

The audition was the most chilled and fun atmosphere wise I’ve ever been in. It was in a workshop style. So we all had material before we came in. I had snippets of Anne Boleyns song and Anna of Cleves song. I then was giving Aragon’s song on the day to learn and sing in front of panel. I immediately thought these songs are a bop. We learnt the beginning speech with the other auditionees, sang our songs individually to the panel, then to the rest of the audition room, sang the material in Queen groups and learnt the choreography all together. Honestly such a good day, I left feeling so happy and excited! 

You were previously on a P&O Cruise ship; how has it been coming back
and being cast in one of the most talked about new West End shows? 

The cruise ship was such an amazing experience for me, I had a wonderful cast and went to incredible places! When I came back, like many others in the industry, I wanted to do a musical. I landed this fabulous job which everyday feels like a surprise! There’s always crazy promotional things we have done such as The One Show, This Morning and many others. To then performing and being up for awards at the Olivier's. I honestly couldn’t of dreamt for better! I just feel so lucky everyday! 

You were recently nominated for an Olivier Award alongside you fellow Queens, congratulations! Tell us about how and where you found out.

Thank you so much! I was literally at home with my housemates getting ready for a normal show day. I watched the announcement on Facebook and I literally nearly passed out when I heard my name. I was like wait a minute, what? Then the rest of the girls names and then the queens group chat was non stop from there! For about 2/3 hours, I was in shock and just screaming in disbelief. Rang my mum, brothers, nan and pap. I actually needed to have some sugar because I got so excited I felt dizzy! 

What was it like representing SIX at the Olivier Awards? Do you have any advice for those who would love to be in this show one day? 

It was an incredible feeling! I can’t even explain the adrenaline, excitement and just a sense of pride and happiness for me and the whole cast and creatives! We all work so hard and it was just amazing to represent the whole team!  My advice would be for people wanting to be in the show or any show, work hard, stay motivated and passionate, be full out, don’t hold back, be confident and main thing enjoy yourself in every moment! 

If you could play any of the other Queens, which one would you play and why?

Its changed since I started I would always say Catherine Parr as her R&B ballad is so powerful and you really get to know that this queen loved the community and did so much for women! But I would love to play Seymour! Seymour’s song gets me in my feelings every night and on top of that she has great one liners in the show! 

Why should people come and see SIX? 

You should come and see SIX because it’s an uplifting musical, you will leave feel empowered and like you can take over the world! Not only is it factual but it’s fun, full of sass and comedy! 75 minutes out of your day to have a good time? I think so! 

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