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Friday 07 June 2019

Interview: Actress Daisy Wood-Davis On Landing A Starring Role In Hair The Musical @ Theatre Royal Brighton

This summer Theatre Royal Brighton will welcome attendees to the Age of Aquarius. It's 1967 and Hair's hippie 'tribe' youngsters in the East Village of New York are yearning to change the world, questioning authority and the American flag. 

Wild, colourful, sexually liberated and free, they are united in protest and song, under the shadow of the Vietnam War.

Hair, which is known for its Grammy award winning score featuring iconic hits such as Aquarius, Let the Sun Shine In, I Got Life and Good Morning Starshine is written by Gerome Ragni (book and lyrics), James Rado (book and lyrics) and Galt MacDermot (music). 

Singer and actress Daisy Wood-Davis tells us about returning to her musical theatre roots for this 50th anniversary tour.

Q/ Tell us, Daisy, what's Hair about?

Daisy Wood-Davis (DWD): Hair is about a commune of people called The Tribe. They're all for free love and peace. They're anti-war, anti-bombing and believe in rights for all types of people. 

They love the moon and the earth, and they get energy from each other. They're all making love and having an incredible time, but it's set against what is going on in the 60s, which is really no different now. There are still people fighting for peace and love today. 

Q/ Why did you want to be part of the production?

Daisy Wood-Davis (DWD): Before I joined Hollyoaks, I'd been in musical theatre. That's where my career was. I learned so much having a break from that and working in another part of the industry, but hearing that there was a great part in a world renowned show, it was a no brainer to go up for it and get back into what I knew. 

That decision was about pushing me out of my comfort zone again and be part of something that's got a lot of excitement about it. 

Now, I feel like I'm learning it all again. I felt a little bit like a fish out of water on my first day. I didn't think it would be like that because it used to be all I knew, but I've realised now how comfortable I'd been for the last few years and how settled into that TV life I was. 


Q/ You're playing Sheila. What"s she like as a character?

Daisy Wood-Davis (DWD): Sheila is in her second year at NYU. She's a protestor and a political activist. I'm really enjoying playing her. I'm by no means an activist, but I'm quite into my politics. 

I like to know what's going on and I'm a very passionate person. But there's also part of her that is so different to me, which is what I'm really enjoying. And there are things I'm doing on stage that I've never done on stage before. It's a really unique piece.

Q/ One of those things is Hair's famous nudity. How do you feel about that?

Daisy Wood-Davis (DWD): I feel quite confident about it. As an actor, something like this is going to happen, whether it's a naked scene on stage or a sex scene in a TV show. With theatre, it's a really intimate, respectful space. 

I think it's also important from a body confidence point of view. We're all just real people. It's kind of crazy that we're all confined to this view that bodies shouldn't be seen. I hope it"s a liberating experience.

Q/ How are you finding working with Jake Quickenden, Marcus Collins and the rest of the cast?

Daisy Wood-Davis (DWD): I'd forgotten how friendly and open people are who work in theatre. You're an ensemble together and you support each other and you get to know each other so well. That's incredibly important for this piece. 

Jake in particular has got so much energy; he bounces off the walls. He's making us all laugh.

Q/ Are you excited to be touring?

Daisy Wood-Davis (DWD): I am. I toured with Dreamboats and Petticoats 10 years ago when I was 18 and loved seeing all the country, but I do miss my boyfriend and my cat.
 
Q/ How important is touring theatre?

Daisy Wood-Davis (DWD): So important. Last time, I don't think I felt passionate about this in the way I do now because I'd never lived outside London before. 

Living in Liverpool while I was working on Hollyoaks for the last four years, I loved it when a really good show came to the city. 

It's so important, not only with the message of the show you're spreading, but also for young, aspiring actors to be able to see top notch performing. That's one of the main reasons I'm so excited to be out on tour.

Q/ You also run a supper club, Dining with Daisy. Are you doing all the cooking on tour?

Daisy Wood-Davis (DWD): I really miss being away from a kitchen, so when I'm in digs I'll invite people round and do little dinner parties to exercise that passion. 

I did a supper club in London in February and I cooked myself out, so maybe this will be a nice break. 

But I'm hopefully going to take up a biannual residence in Little Blue Door in Fulham. 

When I finish Hair it would be great to do a 60s, hippy food revolution supper club. I'll think about it during the tour.

Q/ With so many ways to entertain ourselves, what makes theatre special?

Daisy Wood-Davis (DWD): There's nothing more immersive and moving than seeing a piece of theatre that pulls you in and connects with you, especially with this show. 

It's not just a musical where you've got the actors on stage and that's it. It's so immersive and it"s an experience seeing Hair. It is bonkers. People need to come and see it because I know for a fact.

Hair The Musical at Theatre Royal Brighton from Monday 8th - Saturday 13th July 2019. For info & tickets CLICK HERE.

by: Mike Cobley & Matthew Amer




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