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A Kind of Magic: An Interview with We Will Rock You Actress Erin Clare

6 October 2016

Claire Miller

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Farrago caught up with actress Erin Clare, who’s currently performing one as the rebel bohemian Scaramouche in the Melbourne season of the rock musical We Will Rock You. Written by English band Queen and actor Ben Elton, the Olivier award winning production is known for being comprised wholly of Queen songs. Set in the year 2350, the musical follows the plight of a group of outcasts who rebel against a system that prohibits live music and forces its citizens to endure synthesised pop. Before being cast as Scaramouche, Clare previously played lead roles in Australian productions of Heathers and Phantom of The Opera.

Claire: Hi Erin! How are you finding the show so far?

Erin: It’s been so much fun! It’s been challenging from a singing perspective, but every night there’s one new thing you want to achieve.

C: What drew you to the role of Scaramouche?

E: She’s extremely self-deprecating, quick witted and a misfit-and unapologetic too. She’s so different to other characters I’ve played.

C: How does this character compare to previous roles you’ve performed?

E: She was the antithesis to my last role which was Heather McNamara in Heathers, who was this tragic and popular girl. It’s also very vocally different doing this show as opposed to a classically ‘legit’ musical. I’d never done a job like this before.

C: Do you have favourite moment from the show?

E: My favourite song is Somebody to Love and I sing it with five girls who sing the different parts and it’s amazing when we’re performing and in the zone.

C: Do you think there’s a particular message or feeling you think the audience can take away or that can be evoked?

E: In terms of messages, I guess they can be immersed in the music of Queen which is theatrical and dramatic and particularly effective in a futuristic context. The audience can really enjoy the suspension of disbelief and ridiculousness.

C: Are there also moments of poignancy where the mood of musical shifts?

E: Yeah, there are moments where the show really slows down and the audience is shown different sides of Queen’s music -which is their amazing ballads. One of the songs which is sung at the end of Act One, Live Forever, was written by [-Queen’s] guitarist Brian May after his father died. Scaramouche and Freddie also sing a duet called Live Forever which is a reflection about losing close ones too soon- in particular Freddie Mercury, as well as family members or celebrities.

C: As a performer, you’ve toured in several shows in Singapore. How did you find that?

E: It was really interesting! Culturally it took some adjusting to, I found Singaporean audiences were accepting of western material but also their own sensibilities in terms of staging and theatre which they were proud of. Also I definitely grew as a performer, having gone on a scholarship [To LASALLE College of The Arts in Singapore]. Being away from my friends and family was part of the experience as well.

C: Finally, in terms of students being able to see the show, can you explain the ticket lottery the show is doing?

E: Sure! From 7 September onward for audiences have the chance to enter a lottery for $35 tickets two and a half hours before the show starts. All they have to do is submit a form which is then put in the lottery barrel. After that, the winners are announced an hour and half before the opening of the show and whoever is chosen gets two tickets each!

C: That’s super useful for students!

E: Yeah, when I was a student, it’s how my friends and I saw several shows including Wicked when we were skint!

C: Cool, thanks so much for your time and chookas for the rest of the season!

E: Ah cheers, thank you!

Special thanks to Christian Tsoutsouvas for his contribution.