Lauren Samuels is one of the most recognised actresses in London. She was one of the favourites on BBC’s ‘Over The Rainbow’ with Andrew Lloyd Webber (I’m sure all of you remember how she smashed ‘Popular’ from ‘Wicked’ with Danielle Hope). After her participation on the competition, she has developed a successful career and has achieved many roles in the West End such as ‘Vanities: The Musical’, ‘Bend It Like Beckham’ and ‘Grease’.
She is now stepping outside of the realm of musical theatre into a sexuality charged role in ‘La Ronde’ at The Bunker (London’s newest underground theatre). Collaborative Artists’ new bold reimagining of Arthur Schnitzler’s ‘La Ronde‘ embraces life’s game of chance as a roulette decides the cast’s roles every night and throughout the play. With over three thousand different versions of the show, four actors play the cast of ten in a gender-neutral adaption that distils the beating heart of London’s sexuality.
Samuels is pure inspiration and passion. I was very lucky to see her twice performing in ‘Bend It Like Beckham’ and I was amazed by her voice and hard work. I’d like to share with you my interview to Lauren Samuels, that she accepted to respond for me. We talked about ‘La Ronde’ and musicals, of course:
Cesar: How are the performances of ‘La Ronde’ going, so far? How is the audience reacting?
Lauren Samuels: It’s going wonderfully thank you. The audiences have been great and what is fantastic is that many audience members are returning again and again to see the different variations of scenes with different actors.
C: There are three thousand versions of the same show, how can you be prepared for that?
LS: Well the main thing is obviously just knowing the script inside out. I can tell you that backstage in the dressing room before every show, we are all sat there going through the script over and over again!
C: Every night will be a new experience for the audience and for you. It must be very scary to begin the show without really knowing what’s going to happen. How challenging is that for an actor?
LS: It’s very scary and extremely challenging, yes. The nerves certainly don’t ever stop with this show! In a “normal” show you are able to slowly get more and more comfortable in the role you play, but with this there isn’t ever a moment to relax. Which of course also makes it incredibly exciting!
C: The concept of this show is that you can play any role. Why you don’t have your own role and perform it every night?
LS: Because how dull would that be 😉
C: The original play, written in 1897, is about how sexuality transgresses boundaries of class. Max Gill’s new version is set in London in 2017. I’m sure that the perception of sex has changed in 120 years, but do you think there are some ideas or prejudices that have been maintained?
LS: I think we’re much more open when talking about sex and our bodies these days, but I think this also means there is now much more anxiety about what is “normal” and “acceptable” sexually. How do my sexual activities define me for example, and indeed, do I want them to? There is much more freedom of choice these days it seems.
C: You have been performing in many musicals but, this time, in ‘La Ronde’, you don’t need to sing. Do you miss it?
LS: I love singing and will always find much joy from it, but also as an actress I’m always searching for the next challenge, and this was certainly it!
C: And speaking of musicals, which show are you willing to perform, which one would be like a dream come true for you?
LS: I recently saw ‘Waitress‘ in New York, if that ever comes to London I would LOVE to play Jenna.
C: Last year you performed at the Olivier Awards with Natalie Dew, Sophie-Louise Dann and Natasha Jayetileke. How was the experience?
LS: Oh it was such an amazing experience. ‘Bend It Like Beckham’ had closed the month before so it was lovely to be back with some of the cast and creatives celebrating our musical. I miss the show a lot.
C: What song from a musical on your playlist do you never skip? Also, which duet is your favourite?
LS: Since seeing my wonderful friend Lucie Jones in ‘Rent’ I’ve found my love again for the soundtrack. It’s so beautiful! I love the whole album. So I’ll also choose ‘Take Me Or Leave Me’ as my current favourite duet 🙂
C: Apart from ‘La Ronde’ at The Bunker Theatre, which show do you recommend seeing in London? Is there anyone that you haven’t seen yet but can’t wait for it?
LS: I missed the chance to see ‘Yerma’ with Billie Piper when that was here, so I’m thrilled that it’s returning to London and I cannot wait to see it this time!
C: Thank you very much for you time. I wish you all the best in ‘La Ronde’ and in your career. You truly are an inspiration and an example of hard work, passion and talent. I hope to see you soon in a musical in London and I can’t wait to see where your career will take you in the future.
LS: Thanks for having me 🙂
I hope you enjoyed the interview as much as me. I would also like to say thank you to Suzie, for all your job and help.
Don’t miss Lauren Samuels and the rest of this extraordinary company performing every night ‘La Ronde‘ at the Bunker Theatre, until the Saturday 11th March 2017. Book your tickets now here: The Bunker