In our profile series, Tell Us In 10, we ask cast members and creatives of top London shows to tell us all about themselves in just 10 questions.
This week, we’re talking to Georgia Lennon (One Enchanted Evening, Glastonbury Abbey; Beauty and the Beast, Grand Opera House, Belfast) and Michael Pickering (Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat, London Palladium) who will be starring in Lady Chatterley’s Lover playing at the Shaftesbury Theatre from tonight for 2 nights only!
The new musical adaptation of D.H. Lawrence’s infamous literary classic tells the impassioned tale of female agency and Lady Chatterley’s pursuit of a life more than half-lived changed the literary landscape of Britain. Banned as scandalous erotica when first published and subject of a watershed obscenity trial, Lawrence’s text caused outrage not just because of the expletives and explicit sexual relationship, but because it presented a physical relationship that traversed social class divides.
Grab a cuppa and settle down as we find out more about Georgia and Michael!
1. My route into theatre was…
Georgia: One of my earliest memories has to be sitting in the London Palladium with my Mum as all of the children marched out onto stage to sing ‘Do Re Mi’ in the Sound of Music. I think I must’ve been only about eight, but I tapped my Mum on the shoulder and whispered… ‘That’s what I want to do!’, and the rest is history. I had the most wonderful time training at Laine Theatre Arts, which gave me the best route into theatre, but I’ve always had my heart set on theatre for as long as I can remember.
Michael: At a the time of taking my options at senior school, I didn’t realise I was dyslexic (I found out later when I was seventeen). I took music because I thought there wouldn’t be any reading and writing (boy was I wrong!). I started singing when I did GCSE music and I owe a lot to my teacher, who guided me down the route and led me to fall in love with theatre and singing.
2. My West End idol is…
Georgia: Gosh, this is such a tricky question! There’s so many people throughout our beautiful industry who are really inspirational to me; and that’s more than just those onstage. We are lucky to have some incredible creatives, stage crew, casting teams (to name but a few), who all work tirelessly to create magic for us on stage, and I really do idolise them all. But if I had to name a specific person, there’s one performance that will always stay with me and that’s Sierra Boggess as Christine in Phantom of the Opera at the Royal Albert Hall.
Michael: I honestly don’t have a single idol. I think it’s such an incredibly tough industry that anyone who is working or has worked deserves credit and deserves recognition. I admire anyone who has been through what all performers have been through particularly over the last year.
3. My colleagues would describe me as…
Georgia: Hardworking… I hope! I just really love what I do.
Michael: My colleagues would probably describe me as outspoken, but a team player as well as passionate and focussed for the work we are creating.
4. My favourite show present or past (that isn’t one I star in/work on) is…
Georgia: I think I’d have to say Phantom of the Opera; I’ve been in love with this show since I was really young.
Michael: My favourite show, musical wise is Once On This Island.
5. The career moment I’m most proud of is…
Georgia: Do you know what, I think I’m most proud that I get to do this every single day. Forgive me for being cringe, but being a performer is something I’ve dreamed of since day dot and getting to live that dream still feels crazy! Nothing will ever beat that feeling of walking out onto stage. And getting to tell such important and beautiful stories is very special.
Michael: My favourite career moment is just still being in the industry and still having the love for it despite all of the ups and downs.
6. The hardest part about my job/role is…
Georgia: It’s definitely a rollercoaster, but I wouldn’t change it for the world. There’s never a day when you don’t learn something new, and the lows only prepare us for the biggest and best moments of our lives. Without those harder moments, you can never truly appreciate the greatest achievements. I guess there’s also that element of the unknown; you never know what’s coming next… but I love that mystery. The world is your oyster!
Michael: The ups and downs!
7. If I wasn’t an actor I would be…
Georgia: LOST… I really don’t have a proper answer for that! I can’t imagine myself anywhere else.
Michael: If I wasn’t an actor, I think I would have gone into either psychology, trying to help people with their mental heath, or helping people with their fitness.
8. Something people don’t know about me is…
Georgia: I love to read! Reading is definitely an outlet for me, but something that still keeps me creative.
Michael: I was a national judo champion just before I started singing and judo was a big part of my life. To take singing seriously I had to move away from that.
9. The best piece of advice I’ve ever been given is…
Georgia: Trust the process; the best things take time. Everyone is on their own individual journey, so have faith in yourself and your own dreams. What’s meant for you will never ever pass you by.
Michael: When I was a new graduate I would get very frustrated at myself for making mistakes. A friend of mine, on my first job told me that it’s not necessary what happens at the beginning of the job, it’s what you learn throughout the job and how you finish that matters.
10. The one thing I wish I could tell my younger self is…
Georgia: Savour every moment; you never know what’s coming next, so enjoy each and every second. You want to look back and be able to say, god that was amazing! And be brave, my darling – the world is out there for the taking.
Michael: Although I like to think I’m hardworking and, people tell me I’m hardworking, I would like to tell my younger self to work harder.
Grab your tickets to see Georgia and Michael on stage in Lady Chatterley’s Lover running today and tomorrow only!