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My Top 5 Showtunes: Ria Jones

The actress tells us the musical numbers she couldn't live without

Ria Jones
© Dan Wooller for WhatsOnStage

Ria Jones is a musical theatre icon, with roles in the likes of Evita, Chess and Cats and most recently in the award-winning UK tour of Sunset Boulevard.

From 21 August she will be appearing in Don't Tell Me Not To Fly, a solo concert in Edinburgh's McEwan Hall, celebrating women in musical theatre.

We caught up with Ria and asked her: "If you were stranded on a desert island which five showtunes could you not live without?"

1. "Overture" from Gypsy

I listen to this often. Always when I fly. I'm not a fan of flying. If I get scared I blast this through my headphones. The brass and string arrangements are fabulous. I can often be heard singing along whilst cleaning!!

2. "I'm Still Here" from Stephen Sondheim‘s Follies

I saw this show five times in 1987. It blew me away. I especially love the lyrics... "first you're another slow-eyed vamp, then someone's mother then you're camp", is my favourite line. It's also a song on my bucket list to perform.

3. "If He Walked Into My Life" from Mame

It has to be Angela Lansbury's version. I'm a huge Jerry Herman fan. It's hard to pick just one song. There are SO many. He's written such great roles for older women and this musical is one of them. A role I'd love to play.

4. "And I Am Telling You" from Dreamgirls

When I first heard Jennifer Holliday sing this I couldn't believe the vocals I was hearing. Just Incredible. Talk about goosebumps! Such a powerful, passionate, rip your heart out ( and vocal chords) performance.. For me it never tires.

5. "Quiet Please, There's A Lady On Stage"...From The Boy From Oz.

I love this song. Again, the lyrics really reach out to me..."Put your hands together help her along. All that's left of the singer's all that's left of the song". I find it sad, but uplifting at the same time.

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