Cue & A: Gent's Guide Star Scarlett Strallen on Her Showbiz Family, Fave Roles and "Inspirational" Words From Cameron Mackintosh

News   Cue & A: Gent's Guide Star Scarlett Strallen on Her Showbiz Family, Fave Roles and "Inspirational" Words From Cameron Mackintosh
 
Scarlett Strallen, the West End star currently playing Sibella in the Tony-winning Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder, fills out Playbill.com's questionnaire of random facts, backstage trivia and pop-culture tidbits.

Scarlett Strallen
Scarlett Strallen

She has appeared on the New York stage as Lady Macduff in Kenneth Branagh’s Macbeth and the title role in Mary Poppins (also in London and Sydney).

London credits include Cunegonde in Candide (WhatsOnStage Award), Cassie in A Chorus Line (WhatsOnStage Award), Kathy in Singin’ in the Rain (Olivier nomination), Clara in Passion at the Donmar, Marian in The Music Man, Anne in Merry Wives, Josephine in HMS Pinafore (Olivier nomination) and Truly Scrumptious in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.

Name: Scarlett Vaigncourt Strallen... I know, quite a mouthful!
Where you were born/where you were raised: Richmond Upon Thames in England
Zodiac Sign: Cancerian
What your parents did/do for a living: They are artists/performers.
Siblings: Three beautiful younger sisters... all working actresses, too.
Who were you major mentors/inspirations when first starting out? My dance teachers, especially Molly Molloy and Miss Delanian. But most of all my mother.
Special skills: Does shouldering my leg while singing a top C count?
First Broadway show you ever saw: Cats in London, 1986. Both my parents were in it.
If you could go back in time and catch any show, what would it be? Probably Bernadette Peters in Sunday in the Park with George
Current/recent show other than your own you have been recommending to friends: American in Paris… it’s heart-stoppingly romantic.
Favorite showtune(s) of all time: Too many to mention, but "Bill" from Show Boat or "If I Loved You" from Carousel are two of my favorites.
Some favorite modern musicals: I just adored Rent growing up. The Donmar's production of Parade was pretty spectacular. I wish I had seen Bridges of Madison County. That story breaks my heart. Must have been perfect musical material.
Some favorite classic musicals: I grew up on all the old MGM movies: "Seven Brides," "Carousel," "My Fair Lady." I would happily get lost in those worlds every day.
Broadway or screen stars of the past you would most have loved to perform with: I would have loved to have been partnered by Gene Kelly! What a legend. Must have felt like flying being lifted by him.
Your personal vocal idols, living or dead: Renee Fleming, Maria Callas and Audra Audra Audra!!
The one performance – attended - that you will never forget: My mother's first night of Cats… I was four. It was one of the most magical moments of my life.
Music that makes you cry, any genre: Rachmaninov
MAC or PC? MAC, although I’m not quite sure how to use it
Most played song on your iPod: "Halo" by the goddess that is Beyoncé
Last book you read: "Love Games" by Thomas Michael Jones
Last good movie you saw: "Cinderella" directed by Kenneth Branagh... it was completely divine!
Performer you would drop everything to go see: Summer, Zizi and Sasi... my sisters
Three favorite cities: London, NYC, Paris
Favorite sport/team/player: Does Edward Watson, the astonishing ballet dancer, count? He is a true sportsman and a phenomenal artist.
First CD/Tape/LP you owned: Madonna’s "Immaculate Collection"
Moment you knew you wanted to perform for a living: When I went to visit my parents backstage at the New London Theatre, in Cats, and realized people got paid to play dress up. Best job in the world.
Favorite pre-/post- show meal: The cobb salad at Pigalle
Favorite liquid refreshment: Has to be the mango margarita at Arriba Arriba
Pre-show rituals or warm-ups: My voice teacher Joan Lader's warm up tape
Most challenging role you have ever played: Mary Poppins for the high flying, Cassie for the high kicks and Cunegonde for the high notes
What drew you to this new project and what has been the biggest challenge so far? The pure genius of this brand new wonderful musical… biggest challenge is to not corpse at my costars… they are all so funny!!!
What has been the most fun or fulfilling part of this project? Being welcomed into the family at the Walter Kerr with such big loving arms
What, to you, are the main differences between the Broadway experience and the London theatre scene? The lack of after-show pub culture here, and no company warm ups.
Worst flubbed line/missed cue/onstage mishap: Too many to mention but falling up the stairs as practically perfect Mary Poppins rather ruined the Disney magic.
Worst costume ever: The "Under Attack" costumes in Mamma Mia!. Flower bath, hat swimming costume and diving boots... was not my finest look.
Craziest audition story: My final audition for Mary Poppins on the Prince Edward stage. Cameron Mackintosh said from the back of the stalls, "Your hairstyle looks like a lampshade, dear!" It was hilarious and instantly relaxed me... I’m sure thats why i got the job!
Leading lady role you've been dying to play: Happy to play all the greats but i am obsessed with Norma Desmond
Leading man role you wish you could play: I’m far too feminine
Something you are incredibly proud of: My family and my friendships
Something you're embarrassed to admit: I can't really cook
Career you would want if not a performer: I would try to train to be a life coach
Three things you can't live without: My family, my friends, my sense of humour
Words of advice for aspiring performers:

Always celebrate other actors.

Other people's successes are not your failures never stop training... you can always get better and reach higher but...

YOU ARE ENOUGH!

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