“She’s jived in Japan, indulged in Italy, feasted in France… and suddenly woken up to find she’s now a woman of a certain age. When you have to sit down to put your tights on, it’s obviously time to take stock. So what’s the next move, Sarah? Gay Paree has been magnifique but maybe it’s time for a change?”
After a successful Edinburgh season, Paris London Roam is back in Paris for one night only… Sarah Tullamore tells Ruby TV a little about the show’s creation, her globe trotting career and what audiences can expect in her musical one woman show.
Tell me a little about the creation process of London-Paris-Roam!
It was very organic. I knew the show would be about taking stock of one’s life and living in (and maybe leaving) Paris. With humour, emotion and sincerity. I’d already written a one-woman musical before called “Estelle Bright”. However, the music wasn’t original. I knew this time that I wanted all original music and the show to be in a more informal “staged cabaret” format where I could break the fourth wall.
Meeting James was a musical match made in heaven. An English composer who had lived in France, James understood the bicultural duality. He seemed to know instinctively how to help me develop my mad thoughts and ideas into the songs and script that are the show today. Once the show began taking shape, I made sure the director of Estelle Bright, Frédéric Baptiste, was on board. Although French, Fred has an instinctive feel for “anglo-saxon” musical theatre and cabaret and I knew he would bring the extra dimension required to James’ and my writing.
The last person to join the team was pianist John Florencio, based in Paris. I knew that James would not be available to play for me all the time and so I needed to get an associate pianist on board very quickly. I had already worked a couple of times with John in Paris and was convinced that he was the guy for the job and lucky for me, he accepted ! John will be playing for me in Edinburgh.
Can you share some of your your most memorably moments singing around the globe ?
Well, “memorable” include:
On the good side :
– Performing the première of Sister Act in Paris in front of Whoopi Goldberg and an absolutely packed, hysterical Parisian audience. Such a magical experience;
Being nominated for a Moliere Award for the production of La Vie Parisienne;
Singing, flying 8 metres high above the stage on tour with the Française Des Jeux summer road show in France. (I had a harness under my costume and was winched out from under the stage, through a trap door and high into the sky, in about 15 seconds’ flat – amazing!);
I don’t normally sing backing vocals but I sang with Bjork Iive on French TV for Les Victoires de la Musique and that was pretty special;
– During above FDJ summer tour finding myself singing in front of 25,000 people one night who had turned up to see our outdoor show on Valras plage in the south of France;
– Doing a concert in a small jazz ‘cave’ in Paris and at the end of the song “Calling You” looking up and realising that the audience was in tears…
On the not so good/funny side :
Throwing myself into a black wall from the stage when I thought it was the curtains on the side of the stage and almost knocking myself unconscious in the process and having to get up and continue;
-Slamming the confessional box shut onto my finger during the confessional scene in Sister Act (when I was playing The Mother Superior) and almost passing out on stage because of the excruciating pain. I had to carry on as if nothing had happened and sing my big solo number straight afterwards;
– Forgetting to put half my costume on under a big raincoat for The 42nd Street Tableau on tour in Japan and finding myself only in a skimpy leotard when I took off said raincoat during the number. In front of 2,500 people…
How was performing your first one woman show in Avignon in 2005 ?
I had never done anything like it before but I decided to give myself the ultimate challenge : write my own one-woman musical (called Estelle Bright), be on stage by myself for an hour, see if I could make people laugh and do it in a foreign language ! I must have been crazy… but it worked and it went down really well with audiences and critics alike. I then performed it in various venues in Paris, did regional dates and festivals in France and Luxembourg and even adapted it into English and performed the new English version in the UK where it went down really well as well.
What are the themes and message behind London, Paris, Roam?
Taking stock of one’s life, Paris, suddenly being a woman “of a certain age” … but I would say if there is one over-riding message I’d like the audience to walk away with then it’s a lyric from the very last song in the show which is :
…BUT KEEP ON MOVING ALL THE TIME YOU’RE JUST IMPROVING, ON AND ON YOU GO
THINGS UNRAVEL AS YOU TRAVEL THAT’S FINE, DON’T MIND.
NO ONE’S COUNTING YOUR MISTAKES, MAKE A FEW, MAKE THEM YOURS
GRAB YOUR CHANCES, TAKE THE BREAKS AND WHEN YOU SEE OPEN DOORS…TAKE ONE STEP FORWARD…
It’s all about still having hope and excitement about what you can achieve in the future whatever your age and of course being open for that.
What do you hope your audience to get out of the show ?
I hope that the audience will go on a sincere journey with me from beginning to end. Each person experiences the same thing differently but I hope that each audience member in his/her own way will be able to identify with the humour, nostalgia and emotion of the show and say to me at the end “not only was that a great show but I know and feel exactly what you’re talking about” !
Paris London Roam
Théâtre Les Feux de la Rampe
13th November at 8pm
Tickets 15 euros full price/12 euros reduced price (intermittents’ price!)
Billet Réduc : http://www.billetreduc.com/197320/evt.htm