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Meet London’s Christine – part two  
Read the second instalment of our interview with Gina Beck, who plays Christine in the London production of Phantom.
Gina Beck

What’s your dream role?
Dream role… I’d love to do My Fair Lady or Maria in West Side Story or Mary Poppins… any of these…

You’re too young to play Mary Poppins now…
Yeah, I don’t know, I think I might just be too small generally and I’m not going to get bigger, sadly! I think you have to be slightly taller than the kids!

What’s your favourite musical number of all time?
The quintet finale from West Side Story, when they’re all singing at the end of Act 1 – that and ‘One Day More’ from Les Mis, just anything which has interweaving lines building to a crescendo just gets me every time – it’s so clever that songwriters can write like that, amazing.

Where would you like to be in 5 years time?
Still working! I don’t know, in this current climate – any job is sacred but I’d like to be doing something new, a new show, originating something – getting on a cast recording and everything that goes along with being an ‘original’. That would be fun. I’d also love to maybe work abroad…

Do you have ambitions to work on Broadway?

Oh yes! I mean obviously the grass is always greener – everyone thinks that Broadway is this magical place, which I’m sure it is – but a change is often better than a rest.

How do you like to spend your perfect day off?
Well, a lie-in – I do like my sleep. And also because I’ve got this new blackberry I can look at my emails in bed so there’s no reason to get up! Awful, isn’t it? (Gina laughs). Then definitely some sort of theatregoing, I’ve become obsessed with going to see shows now. When I started as Christine I thought this is great, I’ve got 2 nights off every week which I can use it to my advantage and go and try and watch a lot of stuff because when you’re doing 8 shows a week you obviously don’t get to see a lot. But although it started as ‘oh I should go and see more theatre,’ now it’s become like I HAVE to go and see shows and plays. Literally I will go every Monday and Thursday, I’m going to see something at the National tonight…!

What’s your favourite track at the moment on your ipod?
Yes, my boyfriend got me an ipod for Christmas… I’m listening to a lot of Michael Jackson at the moment because I got Michael Jackson tickets! I also listen to a lot of Jersey Boys – well I listen to The Best of Frankie Valli in my dressing room before the show…

Have you seen Jersey Boys?
Yes, I worked as an usher on it when it first opened for two months and so I know it practically back to front… I absolutely loved it, every moment. I’ve got friends in it but I loved all the cast and the whole concept, the music, everyone loves it – it’s a great show.

If your house was on fire and you could grab just one thing, what would it be?
My cuddly gorilla! I’ve got this white gorilla called – would you believe – Lotty who I’ve had since I was ten! It’s because I bought her with the money I won from the school lottery that my mum used to run, not that it was a fix! When my friends come to see the show they always think it is funny that I now sing about ‘Little Lotte ….!”

Who is your biggest fan?
My dad.

How many times has he seen you in Phantom?
Three times, and he saw me in Les Mis as well. He was so funny on first night, he sat next to my boyfriend and my stepmother – my dad said that as soon as I started ‘Think of Me’ he just sort of went…(Gina takes a deep breath) and completely welled up. My boyfriend saw my father feeling so emotional that he was overcome too, so they both set each other off and were both like… ‘oh… oh….sob!’ Even afterwards at the party my Dad was saying things like – ‘I just, I’ve never heard you sing like that!’ When I was in Les Mis he was the same – he goes on all the forums, he knows everything, he knows what all the fans say, he looks at all the YouTube videos and that’s even worse now… he’s hilarious.

Who would make you starstruck if you met them?
Julie Andrews. Yep, that would be good. She’s played every part I want to play! And originated a lot of them… oh and Judi Dench of course.. I waited and got her autograph at stage door the other day after seeing her in Madame De Sade, she’s phenomenal.

Do you want to play Maria in The Sound of Music?
Yeah, definitely. A classic part…

Where’s your favourite place to go in London?
Any theatre…! I used to work at The Coliseum as an usher and they’ve got a room at the top called The Trafalger Room that looks out over Trafalger Square and London… and sometimes I also just like to go into the auditorium… have you been in the Coliseum? They had it refurbished about five years ago and if you go up to the Balcony and look out at the Auditorium, it’s the most beautiful design, it’s absolutely stunning…

What’s the last book you read?
The last book I read – I’ve been reading these books by an author called Kate Morton – The Forgotten Garden, she’s obsessed with 1940’s stately homes and the people who lived in them and the servants and the hierarchy of people, it’s quite interesting. And I’m reading one at the moment called The Cellist of Sarajevo, about a cellist who, in the middle of the war in Sarajevo, goes out to this one spot even though he’s in the line of every sniper in the city and just plays the same piece every day… It’s about how people survive during war time.

And now it’s time for the Quick Fire round…

Paris Opera House or Her Majesty’s?

(Gina laughs) Her Majesty’s! The Paris Opera House – the stairs were amazing, but the actual inside is not as ornate as Her Majesty’s, with all the gold statues.

Facebook or Twitter?
Facebook. At least it’s more communicative.

West End or Broadway?
West End

Flats or heels?

Flats, I’m still bad at wearing heels.

Beach bum or culture vulture?
Culture vulture.

North or South of the river (Thames, in London)?
North, only because I live North, but South because my mum lives South… ooh it’s hard!

Johnny Depp or Orlando Bloom?

Johnny Depp

Matinee or evening?
Hmmm… evening

Early bird or night owl?
Night owl

Phantom or Raoul?
(Gina laughs) Raoul… because he’s who I end up with! Got to say that!

Buy tickets for the London production of Phantom to see Gina as Christine.

Posted on: 11th May 2009

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