Rub­bing shoul­ders with theatre roy­alty

The Tribune (NZ) - - OUT & ABOUT - MAL­COLM HOP­WOOD

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.

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