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Julie Atherton On...Band on The Wall

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Preston born performer Julie Atherton performs at Band On the Wall this weekend. She is perhaps best known for originating the roles of Kate Monster and Lucy the Slut in the popular smash hit musical Avenue Q. She is also an experienced concert artist, having performed at The Donmar Warehouse, The Royal Albert Hall and many playhouses on Shaftesbury Avenue. She showcases her new album "No Space for Air" at the event on Friday, 8th October.

For anyone who doesn't know, can you tell us a bit about Band On The Wall?
Band on the Wall is a very prestigious venue to play as an artist so I'm very privileged to be there this week. Most of the musical elite have played there at one time or another. It was important to me to take my album "No Space for Air" to an intimate venue in the North that had a pedigree, and Band on the Wall was my first choice.

What are your favourite songs on the album and why?
This changes on a weekly basis but at the moment its "Weak" and "Lost in Translations." "Weak" was the first one we tackled, Craig Adams and I sat round the piano and a few coffees later we knew this album was gonna be very special!
"Lost in Translations" was written by craig and the more i sing/hear it the more I love it! The story/lyrics/orchestration...he's a clever boy!
How did you go about choosing the tracks to include?
I wanted to show people that musical Theatre isnt how its portrayed to be on the tv. There's so many new writers on the scene, with a fresh and relevant sound, that done get to showcase their work in the west end. I wanted give people a taste of that and I also picked songs that I've loved over the years but only if i could give them a fresh twist!
What artists have influenced you over the years and why?
Hmmm... To be honest I was into such a wide range of music that this may seem an odd selection! Tori Amos, Jeff Buckley, Guns & Roses, Dolly Parton (Dont judge me!), Alanis Morrisette, Lea Salonga, Pink Floyd, Damien Rice. I used to listen to alot of celtic music when was a little girl too as my mum is irish.

Notes From... is incredibly successful. Why do you think these one nighters have been so popular?
Because like I mentioned before, there arent many outlets for new writing in the west end and at the time we began the series it seemed to be the only one! Musical Theatre is just as wide an artform as film but for some reason the west end was stuck in a time warp. Notes was just a refeshing change from all this so I think thats why it became so popular!
Avenue Q is closing soon and then going on a UK tour. Would you like to go back to the show? How was it for you? 
I just adored Avenue Q. As an actress is was a fantastic challenge; I got to play 2 roles and learn a new skill. I loved it so much that I did go back to it but would I go back again?....I really dont think my body could take it! We had alot of physio on that show and my shoulders never really been the same since..it now clicks when I move it! ha!

What shows would you kill to be in and why?
I always find this question difficult because I really love new writing and creating roles so I suppose the real answer is that it hasnt been written yet! But I would LOVE to be in Legally Blonde (although I'm not famous enough right now) and Next To Normal is amazing but I'm not the right age bracket. I would also love to be in anything at the Donmar or The national as they always churn out great work and to be involved would be so exciting!
What are your plans following Band On The Wall?
The following week I open in Tomorrow Morning at the Landor Theatre. Its a new piece by Laurence Mark Whyte about two couples; For one couple its the night before their wedding and the other, the night before they get divorced! I will be in that till november with the lovely Jon Lee who will also be guesting at my album launch at Band on The wall this Friday!
Julie Atherton was speaking to Glenn Meads

Julie performs at Band On The Wall on Friday 8th October. For more details, please click here.


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