WORTH A LOOK?: ****
WHERE?: Theatre Cafe
WHEN?: Available 22/10/20 from 8pm until 29/10/20
SETLIST: Don’t Rain On My Parade (Funny Girl); On My Own (Les Miserables); Whatever (Legacy Falls); Day Of Cries (original); Breathe (In The Heights)
Atkinson was enjoying her 1st West End leading lady role when the world locked down but she’s keen to stress it was no overnight success and urges others not to give up when pursuing their dreams.
- Read on for reasons including how Atkinson has learned piano in lockdown and written her own songs
She says: ‘We’re having an absolute blast with Pretty Woman: The Musical. We will be back. I was in SIX for two years but before that I was out of the industry. Paul, you were the only one who would cast me in anything and that was In The Heights.
‘Pretty Woman really wasn’t an overnight success. I’d been doing this for 17 years and for most of that I wasn’t really working.’
She chooses a song from Les Miserables because a VHS recording of Hey Mr Producer about Cameron Mackintosh whet her musical theatre appetite when she was young.
‘I was really shy and wouldn’t speak to anyone. I used to dance a lot on my own, I was a bit of a weirdo but I did am dram and started to feel more confident. My grandma bought Hey Mr Producer for a birthday or Christmas and I thought ‘people are doing this for a job’.’
She sings Don’t Rain On My Parade from Funny Girl because it reminds of the BBC Radio 2 Voice of Musical Theatre competition which she won.
During lockdown she also learned to play piano and she performs her own composition during this half-an-hour-plus session of songs and chat.
Asked what she would change pre-COVID if she was prime minister for the day, she says: ‘I think I would make it so people didn’t have to do so much work, maybe 6 shows a week rather than 8. So maybe a 4-day week.’
Her own song is just one of many she has written and she hopes that they will eventually form a musical.
She advises those who would wish to follow in her footsteps to be persistent. ‘So many times in my career I wanted to give up but I haven’t for whatever reason. There have been times in my life where I wasn’t doing anything apart from banging on doors but it has worked out.
‘Just keep on going. If it brings you joy, you’ve got to keep doing it. Every day just do something, however small, towards your dream.’
- Picture courtesy of the Theatre Cafe via Facebook. Tickets
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