Charlotte Gorton has been working in the West End in the widest range of roles possible, but her recent casting as leopard print clad Mari Hoff in The Rise and Fall Of Little Voice at The Union Theatre may just be one of the most pivotal moments for her career. Charlotte was incredible in the role when I had the pleasure of reviewing the show, and it is my pleasure to present my exclusive interview with the Lady behind the leopard print!
Thank you so much for talking to Break A Leg, Charlotte, I loved your performance as Mari in The Rise and Fall of Little Voice, how has the show been going for you and tell me about the audition process.
Thank you and thanks for having me, I am loving playing Mari, she is a dream of a part and not a part I thought I would have the chance to play. I was nervous in case I made a mess of it, 75% of the script is Mari’s dialogue and The Union Theatre is an intimate space.
I was told that the audition would consist of one call, and I watched the film version of Little Voice to give me an idea of the character. I didn’t want to bring too much of Brenda Blethyn’s performance into it, though. I dressed ‘the part’ for the audition and that earned me some funny looks on my journey to The Union Theatre. My agent called me afterwards to say that I had a second call back, but when I arrived I was greeted with “we’re so glad you’re on board!” “you’ve got the part, do you want it?”.
Before the audition I recalled an inspirational speech that the late Philip Seymour Hoffman made: (editor’s note – I have attached the Youtube link as the whole clip is worth a watch!)
Were you familiar with the script before the audition came along?
I wasn’t and the script is actually quite difficult to get hold of. I watched the film for inspiration, Jim Cartwright is a brilliant writer. I will never forget the wonderful words that he has written.
Have you a favourite scene in the show?
I love the scene with Sadie (played by Mandy Dassa) where we dance, I love it because that came out of our own rehearsals and I think it reflects the relationship between the two characters.
My favourite is also the final scene, the showdown with LV (played by Carly Thoms) we put so much into that and I knew when I auditioned with Carly that we had something. I love the change in Mari’s character from this mum who doesn’t care about her daughter and thinks she’s found love with Ray Say, to a broken woman who’s lost everything in the fire.
You’re from a musical theatre background, what are your favourite memories from appearing in the musicals you have been cast in to date? Is there a favourite among them?
I love them all for different reasons, playing Clara in Memphis was a highlight because it’s always special when you’re part of an original cast. I loved Guys And Dolls, that’s my favourite musical, I’ve performed in that at various times, from amateur dramatics to Piccadilly Theatre with Ewan McGregor.
Equally, I enjoyed being part of the Mamma Mia cast, I was cover for Donna and I went on as Tanya. It’s good fun to do and the audience get up and dance at the end of every show.
You were in the cast of Viva Forever, what was it like to be part of the show?
To be part of the cast was amazing, what a journey, and it has a special place in my heart because it was my first performance after a seven year break. I had intended to take a year out and it turned into seven years. Despite the press reviews, it was a great show to be part of.
Have you got an ambition to play any particular role in the future?
Well, I never thought that I would play Mari, so I now feel that the possibilities are endless for an actress of my age. There are so many great role, Madame Thenardier in Les Miserables, Rosie in Mamma Mia, there are so many strong roles for women. Writers are realising that there is a need for this.
I’d like to thank Charlotte for her time, it was fantastic to chat to her, wishing ‘Mari’ and the rest of the cast of The Rise and Fall Of Little Voice, you can still book tickets here: http://www.uniontheatre.biz/
A review of the show can be found here:
Featured Image: Becky Barrett Management