Jodie Prenger is back on stage doing what she loves
Musical theatre star Jodie Prenger loves being back on stage after the Covid pandemic brought live entertainment to a grinding halt for more that a year.
Jodie, who stars in Tell Me On A Sunday touring to Sheffield this month, said: "The pandemic ripped away something we all loved and have grown up with, so it’s great to be able to experience these things together again.
"The first performance back was emotional, and also strange to see people sat physically in front of me again. However, it was like taking a duck to water and audiences seemed to feel the same way. We were both just really happy to be there.
“There is a two-way relationship between everyone involved in the show and the audience. I’m so glad that that relationship is back on! I have felt like a jilted girlfriend, just desperate to go back out with everyone again."
Tell Me On A Sunday is an iconic musical charting the romantic misadventures of an English girl in New York and features Andrew Lloyd Webber’s score including the chart-topping Take That Look Off Your Face, previously performed by Marti Webb.
Jodie said: “The songs are beautiful, little gems. Years and years ago I had a “best of the musicals” double cassette and it had Take That Look Off Your Face and Tell Me On A Sunday on it. I loved it and played it over and over. But all the songs together create a journey that every woman has gone through at some point in her life. Tell Me On A Sunday is a song that really affects people – I can hear them sniffing!”
Created in the late Seventies before a time of text messaging and social media, the one-woman musical revolving around a character called Emma includes a storyline of her sending letters to her Mum. Jodie said: “I think there’s a certain old-fashioned romantic element to the way Emma sits down and writes to her Mum and waits for her response. If she was emailing or chatting on Skype it wouldn’t have the same effect. Communication is so instant nowadays, but it was so different for Emma to be out in New York, without a mobile phone, not able to call her Mum for advice as soon as she has a problem. That element of being out there and having to fend for herself really adds a heightened sense of emotion to the piece.”
As the person carrying the show, Jodie has a big responsibility on her shoulders. She said: “It is a huge amount of pressure when it’s just you, you’re incredibly exposed, and it’s physically and emotionally draining. Apart from getting bludgeoned to death as Nancy (in Oliver!), I’ve never come off stage so ready to sit down.”
Jodie rose to fame in 2008 through the TV talent show I’d Do Anything, winning the role of Nancy in a West End production of Oliver! She went on to star in a string of touring shows including Spamalot, Calamity Jane, Annie, Shirley Valentine and Abigail’s Party.
Tell Me On A Sunday runs at Sheffield Lyceum from August 31 to September 4, 2021. For tickets, go to www.sheffieldtheatres.co.uk