Friday, 20 November 2020

Outside the Spotlight: Music Memories with Vicki Manser | Captured by Liz

Outside the Spotlight is brought to you by Captured by Liz in partnership with Pocket Size Theatre, this series of articles is sponsored by Pointe & Flex, a stylish and motivational stationery brand created for dancers, dance teachers and everything in between! From diaries to notebooks, pens to pencils, planners to action lists, Pointe & Flex are here to make sure you stay on top of everything so you can thrive in your industry. Click here to find out more.
 

It’s an exciting week for Vicki when we meet at Denmark Street in the middle of Central London. It’s the day “Could If I Wanted To”, her second single, got its first radio play. Vicki loves music, she loves her guitars, which is exactly why Denmark Street is one of her favourite spots in London. We wander past the music stores and shops, some open, some unfortunately closed this time. She talks about the time and memories she’s shared with the area, and there are a lot of them. “I’ve come here a lot over the years. I just love it.” 



Vicki has spent a lot of time around the corner, having been in Bat Out Of Hell at The Dominion Theatre as a swing. “I’ve always wanted to perform there ever since I saw We Will Rock You years and years ago. And the show itself was pretty epic as well!” As a swing, Vicki covered a range of parts, including the male tracks as well. “It was never boring on that show!” But what’s more important about Denmark Street and Vicki's connection with this particular street in London, is the connection with Sunny Afternoon, a show that holds a special place in Vicki's heart. “I just really love this show. It was my first professional job, I got to play live music every night. It was so much fun. And there are so many references to this street in the show. We had a Denmark Street sign on stage, there is a song with the same name.” She points to a window above a store. “I think they had a little guitar workshop for our Sunny Afternoon ones up there somewhere.”

 


Denmark Street obviously screams “music”, and by the way Vicki’s eyes light up as we’re walking past the windows, you know just how much she loves it. “Music has always been a big part of my life.” Which guitar would she get right now if she could have any? “All of them”, she laughs with that big bright smile of hers.  



When lockdown happened, she was touring the UK as the alternate Carole King in Beautiful, which tells the true story of singer and songwriter Carole King. Vicki had previously understudied the role in town as well as covering Genie Klein in the West End production. This time around, on the UK tour, was her first time touring with a show. “I was a bit scared of touring, to be honest, I’m really a home person. But it was amazing and we had such a great time! Carole King is such a dream role. I really miss it!”. 



Instead of touring the country, the former SIX Queen has devoted her time to releasing her first single and by now her new one Could If I Wanted To” is out as well. I wonder if she ever sleeps, considering she seems to be somewhere else every day judging from her socials. “I just have to do something, I can’t sit still. So when this opportunity presented itself, working with Tim (Prottey-Jones) and the others, it was just perfect”. She’s been releasing covers and songs on YouTube, and her singles are available to buy and stream on all known streaming platforms. 



Vicki is also the Artistic Director of Sharpe Academy, where she trained previously as well before starting her training at Urdang Academy. “I was part of the theatre company before I went to college. And now, Sharpe has a college and I was asked to be the Artistic Director for it. I just love teaching and creating. I’ve always been a very creative person.“ In a way, this period has been a blessing in disguise allowing Vicki to focus on her own music, and sharing it with the world. “I’m excited to see where else everything goes and what the future holds.”



This article has been written by and photographed by Captured by Liz, published through Pocket Size Theatre. The article has been sponsored by Pointe & Flex Stationery

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