Phoenix Productions are staging the hit musical Summer Holiday, based on the classic Cliff Richard film at Newport's Dolman Theatre from February 25.
Phoenix Productions are a newly named company, previously National Academy of Performing Arts, brought you award winning shows such as Jesus Christ Superstar, Footloose, Les Miserables and many more. Now under new management, the company are set to wow the audience with their interpretation of the feel good Cliff Richard musical. With their incredible cast, directors and set (including a full scale Red London bus) the group are all set to start their new theatrical journey.
Andy Howells recently put questions to four of the leading stars of Summer Holiday, Conor and Ben Donovan, Laura Honeybun and Geri McNamara.
Which role are you playing in Summer Holiday?
Conor: I will be playing the part of Cyril, he always wants to have fun and is the more childish one out of the 4 boys!
Ben: I'm playing the role of Edwin in this production. He's the intelligent and more sensible character out of the three boys. He knows a lot about everything and is the love interest of Alma. He gets along well with all of the characters and is very fun to play.
Laura: The role I am playing in Summer Holiday is one of the trio called Angie who is in charge of the group and the girls look up to and also has a great and comical connection with Cyril.
Geri: I play the character Barbara Winters.
Conor: I love how you can explore a characters life and emotions through musical theatre. Becoming a character that is the complete polar opposite to you is so much fun and allows you to get a bigger insight on how different people react to different situations. There are so many musicals that teach you about current problems and it makes you more aware of things that are happening in today's society; while having SO much fun!
Ben: I love the creativity behind it and as cliché as it sounds the way you can express yourself. I love becoming different characters and taking on different roles to make an audience believe that I am that character.
Laura: What I enjoy about musical theatre is performing to an audience and getting an amazing atmosphere in show week and putting smiles on people's faces.
Geri: I love that I can do what I enjoy in front of an audience. Being able to communicate through song and dance is just so amazing.
What is the most exciting aspect of Summer Holiday for you?
Conor: I'm really excited about seeing the set, especially the bus and for the first time being in full costume and running the show! It's crazy how much costumes and set make your character stronger and make you feel like you ARE the character.
Ben: I love seeing a show coming together in general and this show hasn't been an exception. I love seeing songs and scenes coming together a whole and other cast members characters developing. I am also extremely excited about having a massive red London bus on stage too; it’s going to be so fun!
Laura: Performing Summer Holiday! I'm dedicating my performance to my auntie as she loved Cliff Richard and I love all his films so when I found out we was doing Summer Holiday I was thrilled to pieces. I love all the songs with the cheesy dancing numbers, it would be nice to still have films like those today.
Geri: The most exciting aspect is being able to potentially play two characters in one. I find it exciting how my character has a secret lifestyle I also love all my characters songs and Barbara’s light-hearted personality.
Whats your favourite song from the show?
Conor: Time Drags By because it's such a calming, lovely song and the harmonies are (normally) spot on! Or, Let Us Take You For A Ride because it's such a dynamic, fun number.
Ben: My favourite song from the show has to be Let Us Take You for a Ride. Its a comedy number where the boys help fix Do Re Mi's broken car. I love the harmonies in the number and the overlap. It’s so fun to sing and sounds so good when all seven of us sing it.
Laura: Dancing Shoes as it is an upbeat song sang by the trio and it makes me happy and want to dance. Also Big News because I love the song and how it incorporates the characters and the journalists.
Geri: My favourite song would have to be Living Doll. It's so fun, upbeat and quirky and being able to do it accapella with the other characters gives it that extra edge.
Where would your dream Summer Holiday be and why?
Conor: New York! I'm so obsessed with the city after going there a couple of months ago, I'd love to go back!
Ben: I've recently travelled to New York in the USA, and absolutely loved it, so would love to go back again. I love the hustle and bustle of the city, the bright lights, huge buildings and Broadway!
Laura: Athens, like they do in Summer Holiday as I have never been there and that is the birth place of acting and musical theatre as well as exploring more parts of Italy as it is filled with many places to visit, packed with the finest food which I love to eat.
Geri: Florida, it's always somewhere I've wanted to go since I was little and it seems so enchanting and magical.
- Summer Holiday takes to the stage of The Dolman Theatre, February 25th, 26th and 27th. Tickets available at The Dolman Theatre box office or online at www.dolmantheatre.co.uk.
- A version of this Q&A by Andy Howells appeared in The South Wales Argus entertainment section The Guide on February 19, 2016.