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Friday, 26 April 2019

INTERVIEW: Summer Strallen, currently appearing in Intra Muros at the Park Theatre

Summer Strallen is a celebrated and treasured Musical Theatre star, she is currently in Intra Muros at the Park Theatre. Her Television and Film includes: Five-A-Side (Emerald Films), Casualty (BBC), The Land Girls (BBC), Hotel Babylon (Carnival Fims), Beyond The Sea directed by Kevin Spacey and Hollyoaks (Lime Pictures). Theatre includes Young Frankenstein (Garrick Theatre), Hysteria (London Classics Theatre Tour), A Damsel In Distress (Chichester Festival Theatre), Life Of The Party (Menier Chocolate Factory), Top Hat (Aldwych Theatre and National Tour), Olivier Nominatrion - 2013 Best Actress in a Musical. Love Never Dies (Adelphi Theatre), 2011 Olivier Nomination for Best Performance in a Supporting Role in a Musical, The Sound of Music (London Palladium), The Drowsy Chaperone (Novello Theatre), 2008 Olivier Nomination Best Actress in a Musical, The Boyfriend (Open Air Theatre, Regent's Park), 2007 Olivier Nomination for Best Supporting Role in a Musical, A Midsummer Night's Dream (Open Air Theatre, Regent's Park), Guys and Dolls (Piccadilly Theatre), Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (London Palladium), Cats (New London Theatre and National Tour). We spoke to her in rehearsals... 

You’re about to be featured in Intra Muros at Park Theatre, tell us a little bit about the play. 

The piece is a reflection on what life is like in prison for both the people incarcerated and the people on the outside. At the heart we try to help people understand how acting is a part of every human beings life in some shape or form.

You’re playing the role of Alice, tell us about her. 

Alice is a relatively new to the job social worker who organises a theatre workshop for prisoners. Alice is young and enthusiastic but has had a strange upbringing whereupon she feels there are secrets about her that she has not been privy to. 

The Park Theatre is a much more intimate space than you’re used to in some of the theatres you’ve played, what are you most excited and frightened about?

The only worry I have is that I have to strike chairs off stage and a couple of times I’ve thought I might trip over their feet or poke someone in the eye! Other than that it’s rather nice being so intimate with the audience!

Sunday, 24 February 2013

Top Hat the Musical: Theatre Review

Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers created the roles of Jerry Travers and Dale Tremont in the 1935 film of Top Hat, that one sentence would make anyone think ‘why hasn’t this been made into a musical sooner?!’. But in late 2011 the musical premiered at the Milton Keynes Theatre before embarking on a UK Tour and after that the show transferred to the Aldwych Theatre in London’s West End in April 2012. The show opened with Tom Chambers and Summer Strallen in the lead roles (With Charlotte Gooch taking over Strallen in November 2012) and since opening it has an almost entire new cast.
I've never seen the movie before nor do I know anything about the plot so going along to see this musical was pretty exciting for me. Jerry Travers (Gavin Lee) is a Broadway star and comes over to London to open a new show. Whilst there he stays with Horace Hardwick (Clive Hayward) who is producing the show, whilst in their hotel he awakes Dale Tremont (Kristen Beth Williams) who is staying below them and Jerry instantly falls in love with her, however she mistakes him for Horace who is her friend Madge’s new husband so she gets very disturbed when she realises this because they’ve basically fallen in love. They all go (separately) to Italy where Dale confronts Madge about this and after lots of tap dancing and plenty of scene changes the whole thing gets resolved.

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