The next interview in our stagey chat series is with the cast and creatives of JULIE: the Musical; Abey Bradbury and Sam Kearney-Edwardes. JULIE: the Musical is set to open at The Other Palace on 12th June.

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

Hi Sam and Abey, how are you both? Thanks so much for chatting to Stage to Page today! Would you mind introducing yourself and telling our readers how you first got into the theatre industry?

Sam: Hi! Thanks for having me I'm doing great thank you. So hello everyone I'm Sam Kearney- Edwardes, I studied musical theatre at college before moving onto studying musicianship at university. After a break from theatre and being a 9-5 grown up for a while, Abey asked me to come along to the very first Julie R&D and so the chaos began!

Abey: Hello! It’s lovely to chat to you! My name is Abey - I’m a Gemini, I have 2 cats and I write Big Gay Musicals, including JULIE: The Musical I started as an obnoxious theatre kid when I was young - I would perform the whole of CATS by myself in a one-person show when I was 10 for my very patient family - and then for the past 10ish years I’ve been working as an actor and musician around the UK. I’ve now moved into writing and making my own shows as well, because I want to make the shows I’d like to see, and be part of positive change in the musical scene in bringing more celebratory queer representation to the stage!

Abey, how does it feel to be bringing your incredible show, JULIE: the Musical back to the Other Palace next month? And Sam, how does it feel to be reprising the role of Julie? And can you tell us about the story?

Abey: It’s extremely exciting, a bit bizarre and just a touch terrifying! We toured the show last year, including to The Other Palace, and had such an amazing response, I can’t wait to be back for our extended run this year and introduce JULIE to a whole new audience again, and hopefully see some familiar faces back to see how the show has evolved this year! Without giving too much away, the show is about the life and adventures of Julie D’Aubigny - a 17th Century Opera Singer, Swordswoman and one of the first public figures to live openly as a Bisexual woman. Everything (almost!) you see on stage is true - including burning down convents, sword fights, Opera shenanigans and twerking Nuns…and it’s all played by 4 actor/musicians running wildly around the stage wielding guitars and kazoos.

Sam: It feels wonderful and surreal to be playing my favourite character once again on the other palace studio stage! Julie is about historical swordswoman, opera singer and proud bisexual; Julie D’Aubigny and it takes you through her crazy (true!) story. It's a story about queer love, found family and creating a space for yourself in a world that's not quite built for you.

Abey, what inspired you to write a musical around a lesser known LGBTQIA+ icon, Julie D'Aubigny?

From the first moment I heard about Julie D’Aubigny I was fascinated and awe-struck by this chaotic, unapologetic, flawed and wonderful person - her life really was as big and wild as Opera plot, and it’s almost hard to believe that she was a real person and not a character in a musical already. There’s also not a huge amount of queer, and especially bisexual, representation in mainstream theatre and media, and also not a lot that is really joyful and celebratory of queerness and all that comes with it - so I wanted to create a show that is as chaotic and unapologetic as Julie herself was, and amongst the heartbreak and flaws she had, also celebrates queer joy, found family and carving your own space in a world not built for you.

After JULIE's run at the Other Palace, you're both heading to Edinburgh Fringe with your new show TIT SWINGERS. How was the writing process with one another?

Sam: Writing with Abey has always come really easily as we work in very similar ways and often thinking the same thing. A lot of scenes were created by us improvising in Abey’s living room over a brew and the songs normally come from mumbling voice notes sent at 3am that we then have to decipher the next day.

Abey: I love writing with Sam! We have a very similar brain and way of working so ideas flow very easily between us (mostly over cups of tea and while crocheting). We’re both really passionate about creating theatre in a way that’s accessible as well - we’re both neurodivergent and neither of us have taken a traditional path with our careers, so it feels very right we make shows in a slightly unconventional and untraditional way! TIT SWINGERS is our first show we’ve written together, but it’s definitely not going to be last, so watch out West End, we’re coming for you one musical at a time!

Sam, if you could play any role in musical theatre, regardless of suitability, who would it be and why?

One of my favourite shows in the world is Hedwig and the Angry Inch and Yitzhak is one of my absolute dream roles. Queer theatre is taking over and I am HERE FOR IT.

A question I ask everyone we chat to - my blog is called Stage to Page. But if you could turn any book, from page to stage, what would it be and why?

Sam: It has to be Stardust by Neil Gaiman. What a dream that would be!

Abey: I literally have a list of books I’d love to adapt for stage so this is a very difficult question to pick just one - I’m a big fan of the slightly strange and dark so I would love to adapt some lesser known Roald Dahl books like George’s Marvellous Medicine or The Giraffe and The Pelly and Me, and if Neil Gaiman is reading this I know me and Sam REALLY love Stardust if they happen to be looking for a writing team…

And finally, why should anyone reading this book tickets to see JULIE: the Musical?

Sam: JULIE isn't only a fantastic story with a great book and catchy tunes, it has a huge heart, and tells the story about this truly chaotic and iconic historical figure that more people should know about. JULIE has live music, Twerking Nuns and more kazoos than you can shake a stick at.

Abey: If you’re looking for great night out, filled with live music, comedy, swords and amazing performances, that also has so much heart and love in it, then JULIE is the show for you! You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll wonder where all these kazoos are coming from, but most of all you’ll have a cracking good time!

You can book tickets to JULIE: the Musical at The Other Palace, here.

No comments