STAGEY CHAT WITH LUCIE-MAE SUMNER

The next interview in our stagey chat series is with the incredible Lucie-Mae Sumner, who's currently playing the leading lady, Ella, in brand new musical, I Should Be So Lucky. I Should Be So Lucky is currently on a UK tour - their next stop is New Victoria Theatre in Woking. You can book tickets here.

Get yourself comfy and join us for the next segment of Stagey Chat!

Hi Lucie-Mae, how are you today? Thanks so much for chatting to Stage to Page! Would you mind introducing yourself and telling us how you first got into acting?

Hi there! So I was always a bit of a performer - I vividly remember forcing my entire extended family to sit through my “circus” show when I was around 4. I think the main crux of it was that I was a lion tamer (Funnily enough, 20 years later I did play a lion tamer in Barnum). Then we moved to a bigger town and I saw my friend perform in a local amdram show. I couldn’t get over the fact there were kids, just like me, on stage. And then I found out that grown ups actually do it as a job and that was it for me. My mind was blown. There was no plan B.

You're currently touring the UK in I Should Be So Lucky as leading lady, Ella. Can you tell us about the story and the character you play?

I Should Be So Lucky is a fast-paced romp through a high-end all-inclusive in Turkey with Ella and her family. She gets let down in the most spectacular way by her fiancĂ© and the people who love her (including Kylie!) decide to take the steering wheel of her life and her honeymoon, resulting in an adventure for all the characters. Ella, my character, is a girl many of us will find familiar. She grew up watching chick flicks and creating Pinterest boards of wedding dresses. She’s put her own life on hold believing that getting married would be the thing to finally make it begin; and now she has to find who she actually is, and how to be a whole person on her own. It’s a celebration of the different kinds of love we can receive - family, friends, romantic - and how they’re all relevant and special.

The soundtrack is absolutely bursting with iconic pop hits. Do you have a favourite number to perform And if there was any track you could add to the soundtrack, what would it be?

My favourite numbers to perform in the show would probably be the songs I do with Billy Roberts and Matt Croke. Singing is fun but sharing the stage with performers as good as they are, getting to hear their voices every night... that’s a privilege.

You'd not long finished Titanic before jumping into the role of Ella. How has it been transitioning from a show like Titanic to I Should Be So Lucky? I imagine it was quite a polarising experience!

Both myself and Billy actually jumped ship (pun intended) to Lucky, but actually with the recent release of the filmed Titanic production it’s felt oddly like we’re in both at the same time! I nipped into a cinema to catch Titanic last weekend in Oxford, and there were actually a couple of people there who’d seen Lucky when we were at the New Theatre there a couple of weeks before. I’m so glad Billy gets chance to use his brilliant pop vocals now - on the other hand it’s very unusual for me to be in anything set after 1923! I can’t tell you how strange it feels to be wearing a hoodie onstage!

I'd imagine preparation for a role is different for every actor. Is there a process you follow, or does it vary dependent on the character you're portraying?

In terms of preparation, I do have a process which gets tweaked dependent on character. Being a yoga and meditation teacher I will usually try to do some mindful movement - I find this helps me to be present with the other actors on stage. I nearly always listen to music to get my energy in the right place: chart hits for Ella, feminist icons for Mary Poppins, sexy r’n’b for Roxie Hart. I will do a warm up created with a vocal coach. Outside of the theatre, I like to work on physicality too: an actor always needs to be fairly fit, but the characters need to move differently. For Kate McGowan, I did lots of boxing and strength work - I wanted her to be believable as a woman that got things done and crossed boundaries in a time when women weren’t thought of as capable. Ella is much softer, fragile even, so I do a bit of ballet and Pilates to give her a little grace and a feminine energy, whilst also creating a strong core for the dancing and physical comedy I do.

My blog is called Stage to Page. But if you could turn any book, from page to stage, what would it be and why?

If I could pick one book to be turned into a stage show, I think it would be Susanna Clarke’s Piranesi. It’s funny, moving, mystifying and completely fantastical. It works so well within the realms of one’s own imagination but with what’s available to us nowadays in terms of technology, it seems so full of theatrical potential to me. I love work with that darker undertone - Ocean at the End of the Lane has to be one of my favourite plays.

And finally, why should people book tickets to see I Should Be So Lucky?

Look, I Should Be So Lucky is likely to be the most fun you’ve had this year. It’s still cold outside, but you don’t need a plane ticket: come and spend a couple of hours in the sunshine with us!

You can book tickets to the I Should Be So Lucky UK tour, here.

**photo credit to: Marc Brenner**

No comments