Interview: Louise Redknapp's life is a Cabaret ahead of Milton Keynes visit
It is one of the most beloved musicals of all time, but the nerves are not putting Louise Redknapp off from playing a role made famous by Liza Minnelli.
She plays Sally Bowles alongside Will Young in Cabaret coming to Milton Keynes Theatre from Tuesday, October 31, to November 4. It is her first role in a musical.
She said: “The film is very different because Sally is an American in it and, of course, she’s played brilliantly by Liza Minnelli.
“But the show is based on the original book where she’s very British, very well-spoken, and she’s gone over to Berlin to be a cabaret star.
“I’ve watched the film many times and I’ve loved it since I was a young girl, but I’ve tried not to watch it now I’m doing the show because the stage musical has a very different take on Sally Bowles to the film.”
It is also a show which she feels women will be relate to, especially with her character.
Louise said: “I think lots of women will relate to how she puts on a brave face and always soldiers on, even when she’s terribly wounded and terribly hurt and insecure and unsure.
“I think many women can relate to elements of that, though maybe they don’t go as far as Sally does.”
And the character is one that she is relishing playing.
Louise added: “She’s such a different character to the person I am. She’s very ballsy and sexy, very over-the- top and eccentric. That’s one of the reasons the role was so appealing, but also she gets to sing some of the most incredible songs.
“And because of the political and historical setting the show has such a lot of grit to it as well as the jazz hands, the big notes and the sexy outfits. It’s got a really strong story that gives it such a lot of depth.”
It is Louise’s first role in a musical theatre production but despite her many years as a singer, she admits to still having nerves.
Louise said: “I’m so nervous. It’s a massive role with massive songs, a huge storyline and a huge script, with dancing thrown in.
“I don’t want to let myself down and I don’t want to let down the people around me.
“I want to do everyone proud and I want to do Sally Bowles proud.
“But I think nerves show you care and that it means a lot to you. I don’t take this role lightly and I don’t take being in the theatre lightly. I know it’s hard work and you have to give it everything you’ve got.
“People are spending their money to come and watch you and you don’t want to disappoint them. You want them leaving the theatre really satisfied.”
And a certain popular dance show has helped Louise prepare for this role.
She said: “Strictly helped me hugely and it reminded me more than anything how much I love to perform.
“When you have a family you don’t do it for a long time.
“It’s very easy to fall into a comfort zone, thinking I used to do that.
“Strictly reminded me how much I love playing characters.
“For all of my dances I was always a character, with a bit of a storyline to invest in being someone else for three-and- a-half minutes.
“I realised again how much I love singing, dancing and performing.
“The thought of not having the opportunity to carry on doing it was kind of devastating for me, but luckily this opportunity came along and I thought ‘Right, I need to give this a go’.”
Tickets for the show cost from £15.
For further information about the musical, or to book tickets in advance, call the box office on 0844 871 7652 or alternatively visit www.atgtickets.co.uk/miltonkeynes.