The show’s aim is to highlight the intrinsic strength in many of R&H’s women by placing their songs in the context of the events of the Me Too movement whilst also using the historic sexism in some of their work and turning it on its head. I’m interested in the music of early musical theatre typically being labeled as quaint and simple and extremely feminine when so many of the lyrics and stories dealt with complex female issues such as domestic abuse, consent and race. I’m also passionate about the style of singing used in these shows and how it is, again, not often aligned with female empowerment. In theatre we often associate the female belt voice with a rebelling, ‘feisty’ woman. However, Rodgers and Hammerstein used the female voice in all its forms and with all of its range. The notes they sing and the timbre they use celebrate the female voice in the same way they celebrate the female spirit; its richness, its extremes, its height and power are all highlighted simultaneously.
The Me Too movement is also becoming solidified for the history books and I would like to chart the various events that made it progress through real words spoken by women who were brave enough to add their voices to the narrative. I am determined to not spend too much time parodying or mocking the male voice within the Me Too story and aim to instead highlight the female experience from many angles, from women who stood by men being accused of sexual harassment, to women going on Amber Rose’s slut walk, to Melania Trump. All of the text used will be directly transcribed and constructed from interviews with the women in question and from world famous events such as the Brett Kavanagh hearing and the trial of Larry Nassar. It will be a mix of verbatim and spoken word style.
The show will comprise of one solo performer and one pianist with roughly twelve -fifteen songs, interspersed with dialogue and should have a running time under an hour. The size of the stage is totally flexible. Small changes in costume and/or lighting maybe needed but they would be subtle and the aim of the staging will be to make it compact, portable and adaptable.
I am a musical theatre performer who accidentally ended up working within the intersection of Opera and Theatre. I studied for my Bachelor in Music in Cork, Ireland where I was born and raised and went on to The Royal Central School of Speech and Drama to study for an MA in Music Theatre. As a music and vocal geek I am fascinated with how Musical Theatre uses the voice and as a passionate feminist I am interested in how the female vocal in MT can be used to tell the stories of women today. My experience in theatre in the UK includes playing Chava inFiddler on the Roof at Grange Park Opera and BBC Proms along side Bryn Terfl, understudying Katherine Jenkins in Carousel at ENO, ensemble and cover Johanna in Sweeney Todd at ENO, Betty Schaefer in Sunset Boulevard in the UK/European Tour and Anne Bronte in Wasted at Southwark Playhouse. In May I begin rehearsals for The Light in the Piazza with Renee Fleming as understudy Clara. Other credits include workshop performances at The National Theatre, Corcadorca, Theatre Royal Stratford East and soloist with orchestras such as The RTE Concert Orchestra and The Oxford Philharmonic.