Louise is a lass who her work – and her

Sparkly frocks, big tunes and a full orches­tra com­bine in a show to cel­e­brate the world’s most fa­mous se­cret agent – 007. Jo-Anne Rowney speaks to a West End star about the show, her ca­reer and why she is look­ing for a new chal­lenge

Buckinghamshire Advertiser - - ON STAGE - Bond and Beyond is tour­ing the UK. You can see the show at Ayles­bury Wa­ter­side The­atre on Fri­day, Novem­ber 21 at 7.30pm. Ticket prices start at £22.40 (plus book­ing fee). For more in­for­ma­tion, visit www.at­gtick­ets.com/venues/ ayles­bury-wa­ter­side-the­atre.

LOUISE Dear­man is known for be­ing the first per­son to play both lead roles in Wicked – Glinda and El­phaba – but now the ac­tor and record­ing artist needs a new chal­lenge.

The show Bond and Beyond largely fo­cuses on the iconic mu­sic and songs from the sound­tracks of about a dozen Bond films, but also pays trib­ute to other es­teemed sleuths, by in­clud­ing sig­na­ture tunes from the likes of Hawaii Five-0, Berg­erac, The Avengers, Poirot and The Pink Pan­ther.

The London Con­cert Orches­tra, con­ducted by John Rigby, is joined on stage by Tim Howar, co-lead singer of Mike and the Me­chan­ics, and West End star Louise Dear­man.

Louise tells me: “The show will take you on a jour­ney through the Bond themes, the clas­sic ones and beyond.

“We also have cop themes and a med­ley of theme tunes. We get the au­di­ence to see now many they can guess. There’s ev­ery­thing from Poirot to The Avengers.

“You can hear the au­di­ence gasp some­times when they get it right – it’s good fun.”

The ex­cite­ment is clear in Louise’s voice as she pre­pares for the show, tak­ing on the best and big­gest Bond tunes.

“You can’t imag­ine Bond with­out the theme tunes,” she says. “There are about 15 of them.

“The orig­i­nal Di­a­monds Are For­ever is very dra­matic, then there was the Tinie Tem­pah ver­sion, which was more up­beat and in the clubs. It’s still got that drama though! They are just very ver­sa­tile.

“The majority of the show is James Bond. Even if peo­ple aren’t fa­mil­iar they can come along and hear them and ap­pre­ci­ate them as the­atri­cal pieces.

“You don’t have to be a huge fan of Bond – th­ese pieces are mu­si­cal suc­cesses in their own right.

“They are all very mu­si­cal, they feel epic.”

To match the feel of the oc­ca­sion Louise is plan­ning on wear­ing a Shirley Bassey-es­que dress.

“It’s an ex­cuse to put on a sparkly frock,” she says. “I haven’t got my out­fit yet, so I need to sort that!”

The con­cert is a step away from Louise’s usual mu­si­cal fare; she is known for play­ing both leads in Wicked, Glinda first, then El­phaba.

“Wicked was huge high­light both times,” she says. “It was the first time I took on a big role, and I had wanted to be in it for years.

“Then to go back and play El­phaba, well that was amaz­ing.”

Louise has since starred in Grease and Guys and Dolls.

“I loved play­ing Sarah Brown, prob­a­bly be­cause it was nice mix of straight and com­edy,” she says.

But now Louise is look­ing for a new chal­lenge.

“Mu­sic the­atre is chal­leng­ing but I do want to do some­thing fur­ther to push my­self and show what I can do beyond my voice.” Fans need not fear though. “I’d never turn my back on mu­si­cal the­atre. Off the back of Wicked it has been great, but I like to do some­thing new though. I’d quite like to do the­atre, act­ing with­out singing, Drama or com­edy, tele­vi­sion.”

The stage with­out singing beck­ons.

“When I went to watch a play over the sum­mer, I was wait­ing for them to burst into song!

“It’s a learn­ing process. I’d like to do some­thing mod­ern.”

It’s un­der­stand­able that Louise wants to spread her wings. She has al­ready re­leased a few al­bums and has a strong fan fol­low­ing.

“My first al­bum was just me and the pi­ano, and the­atri­cal clas­sics. Here Comes the Sun was in the the­atri­cal style. I’ve gone back and had pure drama with the full orches­tra, so I think I’d like to try a dif­fer­ent style with the next one.”

Her fans are also keen to keep in touch, with Louise set­ting up a page just to an­swer their ques­tions – all in good fun though.

She has a col­umn called Aun­tie Lou on her web­site ded­i­cated to the cause.

“Aun­tie Lou started be­cause was get­ting so many mes­sages ask­ing my opin­ion and ad­vice on things I just didn’t feel qual­i­fied to give ad­vice on,” she says.

“Some of them were funny, or more light­hearted so we thought why not have like an agony aunt sec­tion on my web­site for those ones.

“My man­ager came up with the name and it’s been re­ally fun to do.”

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