Jodie Prenger - More Please!
          Interview with singer and thespian Jodie Prenger by Mark Sean Orr.

Jodie Prenger, born in Blackpool, Lancashire is an English actress and singer. She was the winner of BBC
talent show-themed televison series "I'd Do Anything" on 31 May 2008, thus giving her the opportunity to
play Nancy in a West End revival of the British musical Oliver! at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane and
produced by Cameron Mackintosh.

Prenger attended auditions for the show in Manchester in January 2008, and made it through to the final
42 at "Nancy School" from where she was eventually chosen as one of the twelve finalists to perform in the
live shows each week.

Panelists on the show included; John Barrowman, Scottish-American singer, actor, dancer, musical
performer, best known on British televsion for his acting and presenting work for the BBC and for his role
as Captain Jack Harkness in the science fiction series Doctor Who and Torchwood., Denise van Outen, an
English actress, singer and television presenter best known for role as Roxie Hart in the musical Chicago
on both the West End and on Broadway, and Barry Humphries (a.k.a. Dame Edna Everage). In 1967
Humphries starred as Fagin in the Picadilly Theatre's revival of Oliver! which featured a young Phil Collins
as the Artful Dodger.

Rounding out the panel as head judge was Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber. Webber has achieved great popular
success in musical theatre, and has been referred to as "the most commercially successful composer in
history. He has also gained a number of honours, including a knighthood in 1992, seven Tony Awards,
three Grammy Awards an Academy Award, a Golden Globe Award, and the Kennedy Center Honors in
2006. Several of his songs, notably "The Music of the Night" from The Phantom of the Opera,  "I Don't
Know How to Love Him" from Jesus Christ Superstar, "Don't Cry for Me Argentina" from Evita, "Any Dream
Will Do" Joesph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, and "Memory" from Cats have been widely
recorded and were hits outside of their parent musicals.

The show was hosted by Graham Norton, Irish actor, comedian, televison presenter and columnist. He is
the host of the comedy chat show The Graham Norton Show.

My wife and I watched this series devotedly and we thouroughly enjoyed each episode. It was especially
interesting to me as I had been in a local production of Oliver! in 1972, playing the roles of an orphan and
a pick-pocket. It was a great experience and one that I never forgot.

I picked Jodie as the winner early on...she was beautiful, could sing amazingly and she seemed to have the
guts and determination that Nancy had. She was also great with the the young Olivers and had a wonderful
sense of humor.

                                   And win she did!

The following is an interview I conducted with Jodie in January of 2011. I hope you enjoy it.
Thank you Jodie for taking the time to answer a fans questions!
Mark Orr
1/18/11

Hi Jodie...thanks so much for agreeing to answer some questions for my website section of
interviews with my favorite artists!
You were born in Blackpool, Lancashire, England. What is Blackpool like?

Hi Mark....they call Blackpool the "Vegas of the north".  It boasts a large tower, just as big as the Eiffel. It's a
great seaside town, with lots of friendly people and with its large theaters and cabaret shows, I feel like this
had somewhat of an influence on my career.

What/who were your influences in music, acting and the arts? Any favorites?

I have an old heart when its comes to music, i love Vera Lynn, Bette Middler, Liza Minelli but also love such
a wide range of music, i think i would be arrested if they took my ipod off me and found what was on there,
there is everything.


Were you in school plays, choir or other artistic activities in your school days and when did you
know that you were destined to be in the business?

I went to an all girls school ( Elmslie Girls' School in Blackpool  and Blackpool and The Fylde College )
hence I always played the boy roles.


How did you come to find out about the BBC show "I'd Do Anything? Where were the auditions
held and how many tried out to be Nancy?

My mum heard it on the radio and the rest was history. Auditions for the show began January 2008.
Auditions were in Belfast on 24 January, Manchester on 26–27 January, London from 1 to 3 February and
Glasgow on 6 February, with the show airing on BBC One throughout March, April and May 2008 and
again in 2010.
(The first programme, which aired on 15 March, charted the journeys of the thousands of auditionees as
they begin their quest for stardom in the regional auditions).


Once you made the finals....where did the "Nancy's" stay while participating in the show. Did you
make strong friendships with the other girls and are there one or two who you really bonded
with?

Cause we did, they are a great bunch of girls, love em to bits and we still stay in touch. We all lived
together and had a great time.


Who chose the songs you sang in the competition and were you happy with the song choices
for you?

It was a rather big collaboration.
* Jodie's song performances included:
Chasing Pavements, I'm Every Woman, Send in the Clowns, 9 to 5, I
Have Nothing, Luck be a Lady, If I Aint Got You, Holding Out for a Hero, Out Here on my Own, Son of a
Preacher Man and As Long As He Needs Me.


The panelists and others worked with the Nancy's during the competition. Living legend Liza
Minelli was one of the coaches. What was it like to work with Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber and Liza
Minnelli?

It was like having a dream but afterwards realizing it was real. In week 10 of the competition the three
finalists were taken to Paris in the week leading up to the show. In London we met and had a "Master
Class" with Liza Minnelli. Amazing!


At what point during the shows did you feel "I could really win this!".

Honest.... i didn't really, I just had an amazing time, and did what i love to do, thats sing and have fun.


Can you describe the feeling you had when they announced your name as the winner of I'd Do
Anything? Were you "in the moment" or was it kind of surreal? If surreal...when did it sink in that
you won the show and the role of Nancy?

I really don't nor ever really have discovered words to describe how I felt,, it was a feeling to make your
heart smile and your soul sing!


What is your best memory of being on I'd Do Anything? Favorite panelist? Favorite song that
you sang? I thought you did a fantastic job with all the songs. My favorites were "Chasing
Pavements", "Send in the Clowns", "Out Here on My Own" and of course "As Long as He Needs
Me"
.

I loved singing
Send in the Clowns, I got to show another side, and I loved all the panelists, they were such
lovely people.


What was being in the West End Production of Oliver! like in a few sentences?

Only one sentence can describe this, and that's......
I got to live my dream.



What was singing the last song in the last performance of Oliver! like? You must have had many
strong emotions.
I always sing from my heart but that night.... even more so.



During the competition, everyone kept talking about how grueling the schedule would be. Was
it as bad as they implied....worse....ha?

You know, honest it was hard, but its a great thing to say it never felt like work... I just had the time of my
life.


How did the competition and resulting production change your life?

Totally! I'm still working on new exciting projects.... doing new things all the time.


What are you doing currently and can you tell us about any upcoming projects?

Currently coming up is Candy Cabs, a new BBC comedy drama, also I've recorded the theme tune Please
Don't Let Me Fall in Love
which is released on the 28th February, Also Ive done another BBC drama called
Waterloo Road, (Waterloo Road is an award winning BBC television drama series set in Rochdale, Greater
Manchester, England, about a troubled comprehensive school. The programme focuses on its teachers
and students and confronts social issues, including affairs, abortion, divorce and suicide).

Also I'm currently in the musical
Spamalot playing "Lady of the Lake". (Monty Python's Spamalot is a
musical comedy "lovingly ripped off from" the 1975 film Monty Python and the Holy Grail. Like the film, it is a
highly irreverent parody of the Arthurian Legend, but it differs from the film in many ways, especially in its
parodies of Broadway theatre. Eric Idle, a member of the Monty Python team, wrote the musical's book and
lyrics and collaborated with John Du Prez on most of the music).




Thank you so much for the interview! This has really been a thrill for me.
"It's a Fine Life" (Jodie's autobiography published in 2009).
http://www.jodieprengerofficial.com/ (Jodie's website)
http://www.oliverthemusical.com/ (Oliver! Website)

Mark Orr
1/19/11 - 2/16/11
Jodie
Prenger
West End
Leading Lady
and More!©
An Interview
by Mark Sean Orr
1/19/11 - 2/16/11
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