We speak to Hayley Tammadon about her new role as Millie Dillmount in ‘Throughly Modern Millie’ @TheatreRBath @hayleysoraya
Hayley Tamaddon is set to star in the lead role when the multi award-winning musical comedy Thoroughly Modern Millie tours to the Theatre Royal Bath from Tuesday 29th May to Saturday 2nd June. Best known for playing Del Dingle in Emmerdale and Andrea Beckett in Coronation Street, Hayley was also the winner of the 2010 series of Dancing on Ice. Her numerous musical theatre credits range from Chicago to Spamalot.
Hayley took time out of her busy performance schedule to chat to In Bath Magazine about the show, reveal some of her highlights on stage to date and pass on some advice for budding performers.
For those who aren’t familiar with the story, can you give us a brief synopsis?
Sure! It’s about a young girl who comes to New York from Kansas… in search of a man with money! She thinks if she finds a boss to work for – then she can marry him and be ok, as he will have money to look after her. She’s not interested in love!
It must be great to play such a fantastic, rebellious, energetic, sassy role?
It truly is! It’s keeping me on my toes that’s for sure! It’s the hardest role I’ve ever played as I’m never off the stage, and if not singing, I’m acting or tap dancing or being thrown in the air! Haha! It’s quite full on!
There have been many outstanding actors/dancers play the role of Millie Dillmount in the past, including Julie Andrews in the original film. How much can you take from their portrayal or is it a case of bringing your own take on the role?
I always like to put my own stamp on a part. Julie Andrews is a legend and I’m a huge fan of hers, I have been since I was a little girl! I used to do impersonations of her as a kid!! But I play the role quite differently.
Thoroughly Modern Millie is packed full of foot-tapping, show-stopping, Jazz-inspired musical numbers. It must be a great show for audiences to get off their feet and join in the experience?
They seem to be loving it! The songs are all so recognisable and happy that you can’t help but tap your feet! And it’s full of comedy so there’s a lot of laughter!!
…and for the cast to just let themselves go!
Yes! We love it on stage.. it’s such a feel good show to do!
You’ve played the likes of Roxie Hart (Chicago), Frenchie (Grease) and Diana Morales (A Chorus Line) on stage to name a few. What is it about these roles that appeal to you?
I have been so lucky in that I’ve managed to play all the roles I’ve ever wanted to do. Roxie was a dream since I was 16 and I was 39 when I finally played it!
I used to dance around the living room as a child to the movie “A Chorus Line”. When I auditioned for the part of Diana, the director said in my audition “I want to give you the part but I worry you’re too young?” I told him I would cut my hair - dye it, whatever he wanted. The next day he offered me the job!! And yes, I did cut my hair!
You are what they call a ‘triple-threat’, you can sing, dance and act. What advice would you give to someone who may be watching you perform on stage and want to become a performer?
I trained to be a dancer as a child, but I had a back injury at 16 and I was told by doctors that dancing in the future might be tricky. So I moved onto the musical theatre course at college, and it was the best decision I ever made. So acting took over for me, I was never the best singer and to this day I am still terrified when I sing! But give me a script to read and I’m in heaven!
It’s good to be a triple threat if you want to be in musicals but find your path early. If it’s acting? Television? Then work hard on finding the right agent and take advice from as many people as possible.
What does the rest of 2018 have in store for you?
A holiday! And then who knows?! I would love to do Strictly Come Dancing – and I would love to do a gritty northern TV drama! But as long as I’m working, and paying the bills, then I’m happy!
Thoroughly Modern Mille tours to the Theatre Royal Bath from Tuesday 29th May to Saturday 2nd June.
Tickets are on sale at the Theatre Royal Bath Box Office on 01225 448844 or can be booked online at www.theatreroyal.org.uk