FOR those of you going to see the Beyond the Barricade West End show in Palma tonight, you may recognise Jaime Farr - she sung for the Queen, Jacques Chirac and Tony Blair at Windsor Castle last year and was featured in last Sunday's The Queen's Castle on BBC1.
Farr was one of the privileged West End names invited to perform a special Les Miserables show at the castle during Chirac's state visit to Britain and said yesterday that performing in front of such a grand audience, which included Prince Charles and the rest of the Royal family, was a wonderful experience. While the Queen held the official banquet we were looked after in the anti-room where the Beefeaters are and after the show met most of the Royals. Charles was very pleasant, we had a chat about the show and performing in the West End, he really likes musicals and is genuinely interested in the business, while I can't really remember what I said to the Queen, only that she had pink lipstick on her teeth and I wanted to point it out to her.. But before we were allowed to mingle with the VIPs we had been specially briefed on how to behave with the royals, like not to speak unless spoken to. So I refrained from pointing out the lipstick, Farr said yesterday. She, David Fawcett, Gina Price and Andy Reiss relaxed on the terrace of the Es Baluard Museum of Contemporary Art in Palma.
Farr has only been with the Barricade show for the past six months. She joined after touring Scandinavia with My Fair Lady. It was wonderful, we were performing to 30'000 people in giant sports stadiums, people just love musicals where ever you go, she said.
Prior to that, she was the original Woman in White for Andrew Lloyd Webber's latest musical.
While performing in My Fair Lady on the West End she would spend her days at Webber's Sydmonton Estate - where she also performed at the Sydmonton Festival which Webber holds every year. I spent three weeks there at the Woman in White workshop helping develop the character and the musical. They would chauffer me into London each evening for My Fair Lady and drive me back after. On one of the matinee days, they flew me into London by helicopter. It was a wonderful experience to work with Andrew. He knows exactly what he wants and is very hands on - but is sometimes very quiet. He can pick out a problem in the music just like that, he has a superb ear and was lovely to work with. He always has his family around and in fact, on the estate is a church which he has converted into a theatre and many of the digital images screened during the first act in the musical are from the theatre. I think in the end, it was slightly commercialised before going on the West End. Michael Crawford was brought in and the production more centred around him - but I've seen the musical, I went to see it while working on the musical Gone with the Wind with director Trevor Nunn who directed Woman, and think it's very good, she said.
The rest of the performers, Fawcett, Reiss and Price are all former members of the Les Miserables cast. Price also has her own one-woman show. They are looking forward to performing in Palma tonight.
If you have not booked yet, there are still tickets available at the Auditorium.
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