Interview with Claire Sweeney
We love a musical, we do. And – almost as much as we love a musical – we love musical-lovers, especially those who can sing, and who choose to put on shows composed of all our favourite show tunes.
So, star of stage and screen, Claire Sweeney, is already doing pretty bloody well.
Having come up through performing in Liverpool’s social clubs, to doing pantos and cruises, Claire shot into the public eye after landing the role of Lindsey Corkhill in Brookside. She held the role for nearly ten years but finally got back to her musical theatre roots in 2001 when she played Roxie Hart in a West End production of Chicago.
Since then, she has made the West End’s stages her regular stomping ground, starring in Guys and Dolls, Legally Blonde: The Musical, and Crazy For You. And this July she is bringing a one-woman cabaret extravaganza to Live at Zédel, to share her favourite music, as well as reflections on her career so far.
In preparation for her opening night on Monday 2nd July 2018, we managed to grab a few minutes with Claire to get a sneak peek.
VBO: What can people expect from your show at Zedel? And why did you decide to do it?
CS: "Mostly because I love performing cabaret! I started doing it when I was 14, so this show is about going back to my roots really. I’ve collected lots of great songs along the way, as well as some funny anecdotes to share."
VBO: Can you remember what it was like the first time you performed in the West End?
CS: "It was a truly amazing experience for me because I had spent years singing the songs from Chicago in all the social clubs in Liverpool with an organist and drummer. And then getting to perform that same music was incredible. But I never lost sight of how I began - I still have the original sheet music with drink marks where they placed the pint of beer on it!"
VBO: Can you let us in on one of the funniest/silliest moments you’ve had on (or back) stage?
CS: "During the opening of Act 2 of Guys and Dolls I had to sing “Take Back Your Mink” whilst slowly stripping down to my pink frilly knickers (which I’ve kept - I always like to steal something from a show!) And I was supposed to end up on stage with just the pink frilly knickers on, a string of pearls and a mink stole strategically covering my boobs. Then, one night, suddenly the pearls broke, went all over the floor – making the stage like an ice rink – and I ended up on my back with my baps out, spread-eagled in front of 2,000 people with the mink stole nowhere to be seen…"
Well, you shouldn’t come expecting a re-run of that! But there will be plenty to keep you entertained without any partial nudity. Stay tuned for our review of opening night and head over to our main website now to grab a ticket for “An Evening with Claire Sweeney”, on the 2nd, 3rd, 5th and 9th July, 2018.