Ahead of Chess the Musical in Concert which opens tonight for 3 shows at Theatre Royal Drury Lane, Amy catches up with Frances Mayli McCann who is starring as Svetlana in this concert production.

Hi Frances, how are you feeling ahead of Chess The Musical in Concert?

I was feeling quite nervous learning the music on my own, It’s quite a tricky score, But now that I’m in the rehearsal room and seeing it come together, it’s really exciting. Hearing the score and seeing the ensemble has been amazing, I think it’s going to be pretty epic.

What attracted you to this production?

The answer was always going to be yes when I was asked to take part, who can say no to singing ‘I know him so well’ with Samantha Barks on the Drury Lane stage

How have rehearsals been going?

Rehearsals are going really well so far. We don’t have a huge amount of time to put it all together, but luckily it’s directed by Nick Winston. I love working with Nick, he has such a clear vision of what he wants and is a really generous director, and the choreography he’s created is seriously incredible.

What is your favourite song from the show?

Its really hard to choose a favourite. But I do love ‘Nobody’s Side’- hearing it with the band and choir, it’s an absolute showstopper!

What are the key messages / themes of Chess?

There are quite a few..
Greed- a musical theme is “Nobody’s Side” as everyone is out for themselves
Passion/drive- Anatoly’s love of chess, it’s his world, he leaves his wife and family to pursue it.
Love- there’s a bit of a love triangle in the show

For people on the fence about concert productions of musicals, why should they come along?

It’s giving musicals that may not have been seen in a long time or are not due to have a run or tour, a chance to be seen and heard. There’s something so exciting about seeing a concert, its a limited run so not many people get to see it, so it feels extra special if you’re lucky enough to get a ticket

What can people expect from Chess the Musical in Concert?

Joel and Hadley singing ridiculously high, Samantha Barks absolutely blowing you away with her portrayal of Florence. I’m in awe of the whole cast. Such talent!!

You previously appeared in the Bonnie and Clyde Concert production, what do you enjoy about performing in concerts?

It’s a real thrill. The rehearsal period is not long at all, considering we’re learning and staging a whole musical is a little bit crazy, but that’s what makes it so thrilling, is knowing it’s not long before you’ll be performing it for a sold out audience, at the Drury Lane no less.

You’ve had a great year, and recently played Bonnie Parker on the West End in Bonnie and Clyde – what can we expect from you next?

I will be filming for a short while, but I’m happy to take my time and wait for the next exciting project to come in.

Finally, if you could sum up Chess the Concert in 3 words what would they be?





Chess The Musical in Concert is on tonight (1st August), and on twice on the 2nd August (matinee and evening).

Last tickets remaining, book here.

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