“I love seeing the joy on people’s faces when they’re having such a great time, particularly during the finale”. – Steph Parry
We sat down with Steph Parry (aka. Kate), heart and soul of the new immersive feel good phenomenon MAMMA MIA! THE PARTY; now available at The O2 London. Steph gave us an unique insight into her passion and love of theatre; where memorable experiences for her audiences are created through their exceptionally talented cast, and the music and lyrical genius talents of Benny Andersson, Björn Ulvaeus & Stig Anderson.
MAMMA MIA! THE PARTY is very different to the movies and stage show, Steph explains. She highlights how the whole experience is much more about making you feel like you’re part of the production during the numbers.
The Defining Moment
At the young age of 11, Steph remembers watching Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat and being completely mesmerised. Steph explains how Linzi Hately was playing the Narrator and she just wanted to be like her.
Steph decided to stay on at school to do her A Levels. though openly admitting her heart wasn’t fully in it.
“I’m of the mind of, yes get your qualifications as you never know when you may need them but really spend time doing singing, acting and dance classes too.”
MAMMA MIA! THE PARTY
For Steph. her favourite number is When I Kissed the Teacher. The choreography is beautifully simple, where the whole cast have guitars and you feel like the lead singer in a band which is hugely enjoyable!.
Musicals by their very nature are a raw expression of emotion through song and action, so the question begs as to how you begin the process of deciding how a character will best utilize the stage during the tracks. Steph explains how the team are directed throughout the show to be in certain places during each song and it’s up to her as the actor to ensure she is in the right place for the performance.
For Steph, the real beauty is seeing the joy on people’s faces when they’re having such a great time, particularly during the finale. Despite the grueling schedule, Steph maintains a very positive outlook, highlighting that the energy of the audience is what carries you through.
Finding the Right Qualities
For those keen to follow in Steph’s footsteps, Steph strongly recommends instilling within yourself a sense organization, be hardworking and having the ability to compartmentalize. Something otherwise referred in the theatre world as “Swing Brain”.
“I was a swing on the UK tour of Annie in 2005, it definitely helps keep you on your toes during a long run. Swings are the backbone of theatre, without them we’d have no show.”
In addition, aspiring students should look to be a great company member! To keep your head down, don’t complain, turn up on time, have fun, work hard and do your best in all that you do. The result will be placing you in a position where you’ll more likely to be called upon as someone they can trust to do the job.