Rogers and Hammerstein’s iconic score of the classic fairytale Cinderella is being brought to life at Cadogan Hall this autumn.
After the huge success of Take Two Theatricals previous concerts such as Carousel and West End Christmas, they are taking on the mammoth task of bringing an extraordinary musical theatre score to life in one of London’s most beautiful concert venues.
With a star-studded cast including Christine Allado, Dean John-Wilson, Dianne Pilkington and more. I spoke to Zoe Rainey and Jodie Jacobs who are taking on the roles of Cinderella’s evil Step-Sisters Gabrielle and Charlotte.
“I think the best way to describe it is just legit musical theatre,” said Zoe. “Nowadays we have really evolved into losing that really pure soprano, vibrato sound. The more musicals you do these days want to lose the vibrato and make it sound more modern. This is a really classic way of singing that you don’t get to see that often.”
Jodie added: I feel like the songs have a more contemporary feel. The base sound is more legit, but the songs are so brilliant, they are lending themselves to different styles of singing. They are all very story-led. Remember the movie version starred Brandy, the late 90s singer. So I think it will really appeal to people who love pop music and musicals.”
With a 21-piece orchestra, it is going to be something truly special. Zoe and Jodie have both always been such huge fans of the score and can’t wait to take on the music in such an epic way.
“It is just stunning. It will sound so gorgeous in Cadogan Hall because the acoustics in there are amazing. It’s one of the lesser-done shows and I think it will be a really beautiful event,” Zoe said.
“The music really brings the story to life,” said Jodie. “We all know the story and we all love a fairytale, especially when you’re creeping a little bit closer to Christmas. This is an old fashioned, magical fairytale score. To sing with a massive orchestra and to sing songs that were made to move the story forward the way they do with that scale is just going to be outrageous.”
Zoe emphasised how much the music brings to the story. “The music is gorgeously magical, so sweeping and so romantic. It is basically the epitome of romance and magic put together,” she said. “Prince Charming is the original prince and it’s such a charming story about a girl who is treated so badly at home but ends up being the chosen one.”
It’s exciting to be putting this show on as a concert, as it really shines a light on the beauty of the score. “What is so lovely is that it is one night, so it becomes very special because it all climaxes into one evening,” Zoe said. “What you get from a concert version of something more so than a sole production is that you can really concentrate on the words and the voices. You don’t have to fill it in with big dance numbers and show-stopping moments, you can really get down to the real heart of something and the musicality of it.
“We have a 21-piece orchestra and a classic style show that will lend itself really well in a concert. There is so much complexity and beauty in the music which you can really fully enjoy with this version.”
Jodie is excited to take on the challenge of a completely different style of singing. “I am a massive Rogers and Hammerstein fan,” she said. “When you’ve done nothing but rock musicals for 17 years, no one expects you to suddenly burst into a gentle soprano. It’s such a great opportunity because the music is amazing, so to hear it with an orchestra will be something else – I can’t wait.”
Excited to take on the double act together, the step-sister are fantastically funny roles to play. Zoe plays Gabrielle, who is the sister that is slightly warmer towards Cinderella. “It is nice to explore when you’re playing someone who isn’t the hero, it’s great to still have some compassion in your outlook,” she explained. “I think there is lots of fun to be had with this, it isn’t nasty and more just fun.”
“There are two step-sisters, one has the capacity to be a much nicer person and one is such an idiot and that’s the one I’m playing,” Jodie laughed. “I have made a very lucrative career of playing comedy best friends but I love it.”
The semi-staged concert, directed by Johnathan O’Boyle features some of Rogers and Hammerstein’s most beloved songs, including ‘In My Own Little Corner’, ‘Impossible/It’s Possible’ and ‘Ten Minutes Ago’.
“People can expect a really beautiful story and sensational voices because the cast are truly mind-blowing,” Jodie said. Zoe added: “I think the best thing about this particular piece is that people can expect an evening of true romance and magic, and a way of escaping the world for a couple of hours and indulging in love and the happy ending.”
Cinderella is on at Cadogan Hall on Sunday 20 October, tickets and information can be found on their website.