We were lucky enough to catch up with the extremely talented leading ladies of Side Show, which is set to open at The Hayes later this month.
This production, directed by Richard Carroll, is the Australian premiere of the 1998 Tony nominated musical that launched the careers of Emily Skinner and Alice Ripley, the original actresses to portray Daisy and Violet Hilton. Side Show had its first Broadway revival in 2014, led by actresses Emily Padgett and Erin Davie. Now, it’s Laura Bunting and Kerrie Anne Greenland’s turn to take on these iconic roles, based on legendary Vaudeville performers, The Hilton Sisters.
How have rehearsals been going so far?
K: We are speeding through. We’ve nearly finished staging the first act. Everyone is just so incredibly talented. It’s amazing to watch everyone taking on these characters of the freaks in the Side Show. This show is going to be really nice and dark, as well as moving and inspiring.
What are you most excited for in this production of Side Show?
L: The final outcome I suppose. To see if we pull it off or not. I mean, that’s always the thrill isn’t it, with any production. And, you know, hopefully not just pull it off, but do it real justice, and I guess really give the audience a sense of truth and that this is real. You know, it was a dirty place being in the freak show back then.
K: I’m mostly excited for the audience to see the story of these sisters – I mean, I can’t imagine many people knowing a conjoined twin, they’re very rare and wonderfully brave people. Especially ones that have gone on to exhibit themselves in some way, like the Hilton sisters did in the 20’s and 30’s. And, to see that journey of love and acceptance of the twins and everyone in the show. It’s going to be really cool to see how we can affect the audience.
How would you describe Daisy?
L: I mean, there is an element of her being the more protective one out of the two…she’ll always have Violet’s back and has definitely got quite a big personality, I’d like to think. I mean, she’s a bit funny, a bit cheeky. I guess Daisy has a bit less fear than Violet, who is understandably more shy as she doesn’t really want to be on the stage. Violet doesn’t want to be doing Vaudeville but, I mean, Daisy can convince her that it’s going to mean such a better life for them.
How would you describe Violet?
K: As the music tells us, she just wants the simple life. Love and a family, and she would be happy and content, so I think she’s very gentle in that way. And then her relationship to Daisy then, you know, who is much more outgoing and wants different things for her own life, is just once of acceptance. Especially at the start of the show when we first meet these girls, it’s that they have to go through life together…accepting each others dreams and wishes and having to go along with them because you’re literally stuck at the hip and have no choice.
What is it like being back at The Hayes?
L: I love doing anything at The Hayes. It’s so cool because it’s just such an intimate space, and it’s kind of the right amount of people for them to feel involved. It’s kind of scary too because you know that they are right there and it’s kind of learning to gauge how far you go with something as the actor, because it is closer – so I just love doing anything at The Hayes. And, I mean, the people, our director (Richard Carroll) and everyone running The Hayes is so close knit and so generous. It’s a really special community of people.
What do you think audiences will take from this production of Side Show?
K: There are so many different styles of music within the show: the Vaudeville and big dance numbers with lots of sparkles, and also the big ballads, so there is literally something for everyone in this show. It is a real spectacle that Richard Carroll (director), Lauren Peters (set designer), and Angie White (costumer designer) have created within the tiny space that is The Hayes. It is going to be really magical and really spectacular.
L: I think it’s just a reminder for, you know, in our day and age, we’re a lot more aware and we try to be a lot more accepting of people. I think it just reminds us of how tough it is for people who are different in any way, and will hopefully be a nice reminder to be empathetic and that you never really know somebody’s story . You know, just to not judge and to really embrace everyone’s differences.
Bookings: hayestheatre.com.au | (02) 8065 733
Venue: Hayes Theatre Co, 19 Greenknowe Ave, Potts Point
Season: September 23 – October 16 2016
Times: Tue 6:30pm, Wed-Fri 7:30pm, Sat 2pm & 7:30pm, Sun 5pm
*Opening night Tue Sep 27 at 7:30pm
*No performances Sat Oct 8
*Extra performances Thu Oct 6 at 2pm & Sun Oct 16 at 1pm
Price: $49 Cheap Tuesday
$55 Previews (Sep 23-25)
$60 Wed, Thu, Sat matinee & Sun
$68 Fri & Sat evening
*Prices subject to change without notice