Theatre News

My Top 5 Showtunes: Cat Simmons

The actress picks the musical numbers she couldn’t live without

© John Clark

Cat Simmons is currently starring as Nancy in Oliver! at the Curve, Leicester.

Her previous theatre credits include Hopelessly Devoted (Paines Plough), Macbeth (Shakespeare's Globe) and Been So Long (Young Vic).

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

5. "My Friend" from The Life

CS: I've never had the opportunity of seeing this production but back when I first moved to London, I was introduced to the musical The Life, music by Cy Coleman and lyrics by Ira Gasman. Extraordinary score but the one that toasted my toes was "My Friend" a duet between Queen & Sonia. The mere mention of this song or production and I'll be singing it all day.

4. "Make 'Em Laugh" from Singin' in the Rain

CS: A fan of the stage production but a fanatic of the film and Donald O'Connor's performance. Need I say more?

3. "Près des remparts de Séville" from Carmen

CS: Maria Ewing's performance of Bizet's Carmen at Glyndebourne directed by Sir Peter Hall. Wow. I was not there (far too young) but there was a recording of the production on VHS that my mother borrowed one day from the library. That was it. I was six years old and watched Carmen nearly every day for a year, there were quite a few library late charges and I think I was banned from renting it eventually. I think part of me still wants to be Maria Ewing, in Carmen. I taught myself this song and can often be heard serenading it.

2. "A Boy Like That" from West Side Story

CS: I think in life you're either an Anita or a Maria. I'm an Anita. This song coupled with "I Have A Love" is one of my favourite musical moments – although there are many in West Side Story. For a long time Bernstein and Sondheim's score transcended anything I'd ever heard.

1. "Secret Love" from Calamity Jane

CS: My Nana loves Doris Day, so do I. Growing up there were many fun filled moments of laughter hearing my Nana try and sing "Nooooowwwww I shout it" (I'd reply with an "ow"). All secretly a ploy to make me sing it, methinks. Jokes aside, what a beautiful number, there will always be a cheeky glint in my eye when I hear this song.

Oliver! is running at the Curve, Leicester until 16 January 2016.