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Behind the Curtain: An Interview with Fantastically Great Women Who Changed the World star Georgia Grant Anderson


Photo credit: Pamela Raith Photography

 

The smash hit kickass-pirational pop musical FANTASTICALLY GREAT WOMEN WHO CHANGED THE WORLD, based on the award-winning picture book by suffragette descendant Kate Pankhurst and published by Bloomsbury, bursts to life on UK tour this winter 2023/24.


Remarkable – and often forgotten – women from history are lifted from the pages of Kate Pankhurst’s beloved book and brought gloriously to life on stage, including Rosa Parks, Amelia Earhart, Marie Curie, Mary Seacole, Frida Kahlo, Jane Austen and Pankhurst’s own relative Emmeline. When inquisitive heroine Jade breaks away from her school trip to the local museum to peek at the Gallery of Greatness, she meets iconic women from the past, whose actions and

lives changed the world as we know it, including explorers, scientists, artists and secret agents. This enthralling, heartwarming musical is full of incredible characters, inspirational moments and a soundtrack that packs a popstar punch.


I got the chance to speak to cast member Georgia Grant Anderson who plays Jade, about Fantastically Great Women who Changed the World.


Photo credit: Pamela Raith Photography

 

How would you describe FANTASTICALLY GREAT WOMEN WHO CHANGED THE WORLD?


A powerful, educational, fun, funny and fantastically great piece of theatre that touches the hearts and minds of the audience - no matter the age.  


What was the first day of rehearsals like? And what can the audience expect to take away from the show?


On the first day, we met the team - which was a tad overwhelming, however once we sat down for the script read through, I felt calmer and eased. Once we reached the end, the whole room had a sense of empowerment and air of excitement. It’s genuinely a gorgeous story which is most beautifully written, Ms. Johnson’s final line always gets me choked up! You can find our rehearsal process on my YouTube channel: Acting Up With G!


The audience can expect to take away newfound knowledge on some amazing women who have made such a grand impact throughout history. Also, they can take away a sense of warmth and pride as our show touches the hearts of many. 


What were you most nervous and excited about joining the show? 


I was mostly nervous and excited about being the main protagonist! Also singing! Jade has many pure qualities and I wanted to portray them as honest and real as possible, she is significantly younger than I am - so it was important to find and play the truth of a young girl. 


Because this show has been done before, I wanted to carry on the brilliance that I had heard about - so that was fairly nerve wracking!


Was there a show that started your love of musicals? And how old were you when you first saw a musical?


If I’m being honest, I cannot remember when I saw my first musical as it was so long ago! Haha. However, after being Elphaba in a school play, it opened me up to the love and magic of what a musical is! My favourite musical is Dream Girls and a close second is Wicked.


Where did you train?  What advice would you give to young aspiring performers? 


I trained at Kingston College where I studied musical theatre for two years, then went on to do many theatre courses as well as film and TV. My advice would be: There’s talent and there’s skill - talent only stretches so far - so train hard and build up your skillset and even when you think you’re the best, train harder because you can always learn more. Stay humble and curious.


Photo credit: Pamela Raith Photography


Tell me more about your character Jade?


Jade is a helpful and to some extent a confident young girl. She is going through a tough time at home which makes her feel invisible and unheard. 


Was there anything you did while in rehearsals to develop the character?  


My niece River is 10 years old, we’re very close. So, when given the chance, I would study her. I’d watch her body language when interacting with her friends vs with adults. I’d asses her reactions from when something excites her to when she’s most displeased. But most importantly, I’d see how she behaves when she thinks no one is paying attention. This helped me to find the truth in playing an 11-year-old. 


I also spoke with our director Amy a lot, identifying Jade’s back story, her thought process behind every scene and then tracking her character arc. 


What do you love about your character and what do you think is the biggest challenge in taking this character on? 


I love how inquisitive Jade is, she’s so open to all these fantastic stories and soaks it all in like a sponge - I guess that’s one thing we have in common, we’re sponges! My biggest challenge has been singing! I’ve never been the most confident singer, so I’ve had to immerse myself in singing lessons and then moving forward; diving into the character of Jade in order to find the truth – this is what drives me, delivering an honest performance.


What’s your favourite part of the show?


It will always be the finale! For every show, my favourite part is the finale because, we get to celebrate and have fun with the audience. This is the first time I can really see everyone’s smiling faces, so no matter how I felt the show may have gone, the joy the finale brings makes it all worthwhile. I must say, however, I am slowly falling in love with performing “Where do you wanna go” – there’s so much truth and conflict within the song. My 36-year-old brother Marcel said that he related to Jade. He said “Growing up, there’s always been the pressure to find what you want to do, which direction to head in. Even at my age, I’m still unsure, I don’t really know what I want to do, or where I want to go”. I found this so fascinating, because I would have thought he had it all planned out, I believe many people can relate to him.


Describe FANTASTICALLY GREAT WOMEN WHO CHANGED THE WORLD in one sentence.


It’s a journey for people watching Jade on her journey, to finding out what it truly means to be fantastically great. 


Photo credit: Pamela Raith Photography

 

One of the shows' producers Kenny Wax (responsible for the likes of SIX) comments: "What a thrill to have assembled our own team of fantastically great women to create this incredible show. No one is more excited than me for the curtain to rise on that first performance. And what an honour to be opening at the Mast, Mayflower Studios who are making a commitment to premiering such daring new work."


Fantastically Great Women Who Changed The World is touring until For full touring schedule of locations and dates, plus to book tickets visit: https://fantasticallygreatwomenthemusical.com/tickets/



Photo credit: Pamela Raith Photography

 


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