Rubbing shoulders with theatre royalty
A Palmerston North actress and writer celebrated the recent 30th anniversary of Phantom of the Opera at the show’s exclusive London gala performance and after-party with its creator Andrew Lloyd Webber.
Launched in 1986 at Her Majesty’s Theatre in London’s West End, Phantom of the Opera quickly became a phenomenon - awarded the much coveted Best New Musical Award, while its first Phantom, Michael Crawford, took out Best Actor in a Musical.
Now the longest running show in Broadway history is back at Her Majesty’s where 29-year-old former city woman Brooke Tietjens has been working with the theatre front-of-house team.
Twelve months ago, Tietjens arrived in London determined to break into showbiz. With hundreds of hopefuls pouring out of drama schools, she was confronted with the fiercest of competition.
The Massey University arts and communications graduate, who played the female lead in 2012’s local production of Buddy in the Regent On Broadway, went on to further her TV experience, which included a stint on Shortland Street.
To make it in London, Tietjens recommends feet on the ground in sensible shoes.
‘‘Invest in some cute flats and pound the pavement. I handed my CV to Her Majesty’s Theatre in person. You’re always chasing something here, be it your bus or your dreams,’’ she said.
Working at the theatre, attending the Phantom anniversary celebrations along with meeting the man responsible for the show, have their own resonance for Tietjens.
‘‘The original soundtrack was the first musical theatre CD I owned and inspired my career.’’
To the after-party, Tietjens wore a Phantom-inspired frock from her favourite vintage fashion store Collectif, and a necklace gifted to her by British actress Su Pollard.
Tietjens was befriended by the ’’Queen of Bling’’ in New Zealand when Pollard played Miss Hannigan in the 2014 UK touring production of Annie.
Tietjens, who describes her own style as ‘‘Dita Von Teese with a Miss Su twist’’ is about to launch her own blog based on her experiences of living, working and playing in London.
Palmerston North actress and writer Brooke Tietjens celebrated the 30th anniversary of Phantom of the Opera in London.