Curve in Conversation | The Osmonds’ Ryan Anderson, Dianne Pilkington, Leicester-born Ebony Feare, and more

Thu 27 Jan 2022

“It’s such a wonderful show – it’s full of heart, full of magic, and full of very eccentric people (both on-stage and off-!) so we’re having a brilliant time!”

– Dianne Pilkington (Eglantine Price, Bedknobs and Broomsticks)


The first Curve in Conversation episode of 2022 is out now, featuring interviews with The Osmonds: A New Musical’s Ryan Anderson, Leicester born-and-bred Ebony Feare and West End favourite Dianne Pilkington, plus Clive Anderson and Curve’s own Creative Venue Technician Apprentice Li Li Peberdy.

Released on the final Thursday of every month and hosted by former BBC Radio Leicester presenter Martin Ballard, the podcast from Leicester’s Curve theatre gives listeners insights into the work that takes place both on and off its stages.

Ryan Anderson, who last graced the theatre’s stage in Made at Curve productions Grease and West Side Story, returns next month for the World premiere of The Osmonds: A New Musical. The brand new musical tells the official story from Jay Osmond about the five brothers from Utah who were pushed into the spotlight as children and went on to create smash hits decade after decade and features a chart topping list of anthems including ‘Love Me For A Reason’, ‘Crazy Horses’, ‘Let Me In’, ‘Puppy Love’ and many more.

Speaking about the music, Ryan (who plays Merrill Osmond) tells Martin “When I started researching for the auditions I actually knew who they were without kind of knowing their name really because my mom had played ‘Paper Roses’ in the car all the time… [she] absolutely loves them and so I kind of grew up with them in my ear but not really knowing who they were.”

The Osmonds: A New Musical runs at Curve Thursday 3 – Sunday 6 February. Find out more and book now here.

Performing on home turf for the first time ever, Ebony Feare takes on the iconic Josephine Baker in Josephine, part of this year’s Spark Festival at Curve, in partnership with Spark Arts. The production serves to remember who the trailblazing entertainer-turned-activist was and what she stood for by following her incredible journey from the slums of St Louis to the icon she became as mother to the multicultural Rainbow Tribe.

Chatting with Martin, Ebony reflects on her own journey from humble beginnings in Leicester and discovering her acting roots, and shares her thoughts on playing Josephine: “She’s just a powerful woman; she’s a dancer; she’s an icon; and she’s an activist wanting equality for all… she is inspirational for young kids, I was inspired myself. I feel blessed to be able to play the role.”

Josephine can be seen as part of The Spark Festival for children at Curve on Saturday 12 – Sunday 13 February. Find out more here.

Also in the episode, listeners hear from Clive Anderson about his first ever solo tour with Me, Macbeth & I, which visits the theatre on Saturday 26 February, and Curve’s own Creative Venues Apprentice Technician shares her experiences one month into the apprenticeship programme, which is supported by The Andy Nairn Bursaries in Technical Theatre.

The scheme, established following the death of Curve’s much-loved Head of Production Andy Nairn in 2020, funds the theatre’s ongoing support and development of young people from backgrounds currently underrepresented in the theatre industry, aiming to open doors for young people who are passionate about pursuing a career in technical theatre.

Li Li Peberdy, the first recipient of the apprenticeship, tells Martin “you get to work practically and gain knowledge whilst on the job… what stood out for me with this apprenticeship was getting to work in all the different sectors of the technical teams and obviously Curve is state of the art theatre.”

The fund is open for contributions all year round. If you would like to read more about how you can support it, please click here.

And finally, to close this month’s conversation Martin speaks with Dianne Pilkington, star of Disney’s Bedknobs and Broomsticks, which will be enchanting Curve’s stage between Wednesday 9 – Sunday 13 February as part of its World premiere and UK tour. Dianne shares what audiences can expect from the new adaptation of the well-loved story: “If you love the film, you’re gonna see all of your favourite bits, all of your favourite characters represented on that stage, but there’s other stuff too that we’ve added in… there’s nothing more exciting than seeing something happen live!

Tickets for The Osmonds: A New Musical, Josephine, Me, Macbeth & I and Bedknobs and Broomsticks are all on-sale now.

Listen to this episode of Curve in Conversation in full and subscribe now, via Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google and Soundcloud.