Lucinda Shaw performed at HMT as The Lady of the Lake in premiere season of Monty Python’s Spamalot. HMT asked Lucinda how she would describer her character…
Lucinda Shaw: On the Spamalot website she is described as ‘part diva, part fairy and all woman’, but she is equally at home in a Vegas cocktail lounge, or two metres under water amongst the reeds and mud, but then again who isn’t?
HMT: Where and who did you draw from for inspiration to play ‘Lady’
LS: ‘Lady’ performs in a wide variety of styles, so I drew inspiration from watching performances of world famous diva’s – Sarah Brightman, Ella Fitzgerald, Liza Minnelli, Celine Dion, Jennifer Holliday and Whitney Houston. In creating ‘Lady’ I have utilised their best and in some cases more controversial attributes.
HMT: Do you pinch yourself a bit when you think at 23 you are the lead in a multi-million dollar musical?
LS: Pinch myself??? My arms are bruised black and blue. Playing a lead in a musical of this calibre is a thrill, and each day I thank my lucky stars for the position that I’m in.
HMT: You also have a dazzling array of costumes, do you find it fun to get ‘dressed up’ every night?
LS: I absolutely adore my costumes – they are just as much a part of my performance as my voice, or my face. I put them on and they are like the icing on the cake – they are just exquisite. Every girl loves to get ‘dressed up’ and I get to do it 6 days week!
HMT: While there’s a ‘bevvie of beauties’ in the ensemble, you’re the only lead female in Spamalot. Is that challenging at all?
LS: You’d think it would be, but when you are dropped into a cast as dynamic as this, the only ‘challenge’ involved is managing to keep a straight face! So I’ve barely had time to notice that I’m the only female lead.
HMT: Give us an idea of a day in the life of a leading lady. Is it a glamorous as it seems?
LS: My day: 10am, maid brings breakfast in bed, followed by arrival of Sven, my Swedish masseuse. 1pm, Limo pick up for lunch with visiting dignitaries. 3pm, consultation at Armanis for upcoming Autumn wardrobe. 5pm, Nap. 6pm, Limo drop off at theatre…. In my dreams! It may not be all glitz and glamour, but I wouldn’t trade it for anything.
HMT: As you embark on what looks set to be a glorious career in musical theatre, is there any role or any challenge you are keen to take on in the upcoming years?
LS: That’s a tough question because as a performer, you really don’t know what the future holds! Of course there are plenty of roles that I would love to play in the future, but for now I’m just enjoying every moment of being ‘the Lady of the Lake’.February 2008