In the second instalment of our interview with Connie Fisher, we speak toUK tour’s very own Maria about the first time she appeared in the role – as the winner of How Do You Solve A Problem Like Maria? – onstage at one of the UK’s best-loved theatres, .
The fans support must have been amazing. Was it obvious to you that TV casting brought a completely different kind of audience to the theatre?
Yes, even though it was my first job out of college I was a regular theatre goer and there was a completely different atmosphere. I am not sure that some of the other more experienced actors were quite prepared for how different the audience would be. But having gone through the TV experience I knew how supportive the crowds were and I loved it. I loved the singing along during numbers, just the roaring of the cheers is completely overwhelming. You just want to cry with pride that you have made it this far!
What’s the oddest request you received from a fan?
Lots spring to mind! I sang with Japanese Maria outside the Stage Door once with the children from Japan who had come all the way over to watch the show. They loved it. I had a LOT of parents asking me to get their child into the show. “Can you get him/her an audition?”, I would tell them “No, I am just some girl off the telly who was lucky but I have no say in the casting whatsoever!”. But people would say, “But you must do, you are Connie!” People didn’t realise I am just a pawn on a chessboard getting pushed around the stage singing songs and acting to the best of my ability! People think you have more power because you are a leading lady in a show – which does sound powerful though doesn’t it? (Connie laughs). I had a few strange requests asking me to give someone a wave in row 7, or sing Happy Birthday to their child halfway through the show. But if anyone let me know they were celebrating a special occasion, I always invited them to my dressing room so I could I meet them. I was always happy to do that, because those were the people who voted me into the part.
What’s the strangest thing you received from a fan?
A lemon fresh handwipe with a letter from a fan telling me how much he loved me. I had a lot of “I love you” mail and poems and stuff which I found a bit weird.
Whilst performing in London you must have met some well known faces… did anyone in particular make you starstruck?
Matt Damon! Nicole Kidman came to see the show but she left without coming to my dressing room but Matt did and he was lovely. Tony Blair when he was Prime Minister.. Obviously I met Julie Andrews too which was wonderful. I have met some amazing people. But to be completely honest the nicest people to me are the real people! I do get starstruck – if you go to a premiere and see Tom Cruise – but after you have seen them they are just people in a room. It is lovely to meet real people who have real stories. For some people to even get to the , or any theatre, to see a show they have had to climb their own mountains, so to speak, and it is nice to hear their real stories.
To win the role of Maria is prestigious in itself, but to perform at the London Palladium must have been incredible.
Absolutely! It’s every girls dream. And to have done that at 23!
Check back for more from Connie later this week…
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