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As part of our Socially distanced Season, we’ll be catching up with all of our cast members to find out what they’ve been up to over the past months, and how they’re feeling about returning to Curve. First up is Ria Jones, and we are delighted she is returning to Leicester as Norma Desmond in performances of Sunset Boulevard in concert.
How do you feel to be returning to Leicester to reopen Curve with these performances of Sunset Boulevard?
This show and its personal history for me, means so much to me. One of the main reasons is that it re ignited a flame for performing in me that had become jaded in the previous few years due to some of life’s circumstances. It also reminded me of the age old saying, that is so true, “What’s for you, won’t pass you by”.
What is your favourite memory of the 2017 production?
My favourite memory for me was performing the role of Norma Desmond in my hometown’s theatre, The Swansea Grand. It was the first time in my career I had appeared in a professional musical there. Having performed many times on that stage from a very little girl. When I sang the line “I’ve come home at last”, the audience went crazy! I was and still am so proud of this production. It was a wonderful week full of many memories I will never forget.
Which moment are you most looking forward to this time around?
I think the moment I’m looking forward to most, after seeing and re connecting with all the amazing cast, crew, musicians, technicians etc, is singing As If We Never Said Goodbye again with the 16 piece orchestra, a live audience and on the stage where this amazing team, show and journey started.
Which song is your personal favourite?
A personal favourite song of mine is With One Look. It sums up her story so brilliantly in a few short, powerful minutes. It’s her first full song on stage not long after her first entrance… Such a great introduction for her to the audience and Joe Gillis.
How has this year been for you? What have you been doing?
This year has been really interesting. Yes, so terribly sad for so many. Health really does come first and if we ever needed reminding, this was the time. But, I’ve tried to remain as positive as possible. Count my blessings, even more genuinely than before. Sit back, re focus and make sure to be physically and mentally ready for when theatre and life re emerges stronger and more united than ever before. I’ve bean learning more about recording, editing, mixing, video and audio at home. I now have my own lighting and sound system at home for concerts etc. I even filmed a live stream to Singapore. Where I did my own sound, lighting, filming, make up, wardrobe, video queuing for links and it was such an adrenaline buzz that I had so missed.
What films have you been watching during lockdown?
I’ve watched way too many films to list here since March. Many series too. My favourites so far are; Schitt’s Creek, Emily In Paris, Ratched, Designated Survivor and Call My Agent.
What do you hope audiences will take from these performances?
I hope audiences will be whisked away during these few hours and lose themselves on a journey filled with love, laughter, drama, stunning music, and join us in reminding ourselves the magic that live theatre brings to the mind, body and soul.
Bringing the magnificent cinematic score of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s stunning musical to life, you can once again enjoy Ria’s powerful, emotional and stunning vocals of Ria Jones and Sunset Boulevard with songs including ‘As if we Never Said Goodbye’, ‘With One Look’ and ‘New Ways to Dream’.