Jill catches up with Grace Mouat who is set to star as Cinderella in the European premiere of Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella, previews of which begin at the Hope Mill Theatre in Manchester on the 1st of November.
You’re very successful (for good reason!) at such a young age. What has the journey been like for you since your first role?
That’s so sweet oh my gosh thank you?! I’ve been super lucky that my career, so far, has been so varied. I have never been one to box myself into a certain style so the fact that I have had the opportunities to do such different musicals with so many different themes, stories, genres of music and messages is something I will forever be grateful for. Reflecting on the person I was when I graduated is quite overwhelming sometimes because I feel like a different person now. I have learnt a lot, grown a lot and I do not take a second for granted!
There are countless retellings of Cinderella; what drew you to Rogers and Hammerstein’s?
I have always wanted to do a legit musical and this score is just beautiful. There are songs in it that have been created around the voices of absolute icons including Julie Andrews, Whitney Houston and Brandy. Like, incredible?!
The show has a lot of heart and I think it is definitely one of the best versions there is.
What are the main themes of this adaptation of Cinderella?
Kindness, self-belief, social justice, class and love.
How does it feel to be playing one of the most well-known, iconic roles in theatre?
It is just a dream! It is so fun to put my twist on a role that has been interpreted in so many different ways in film and theatre alike, and now I get to put my own spin on it, and show how fun she can be.
I have the utmost respect for swings – that has to be so taxing on the mind and body. What is it like to learn all the roles and go on stage at a moment’s notice?
It is truly the scariest/hardest thing I have ever done in my career physically, mentally and emotionally. But I will say it is also the most thrilling! So much comes with covering a role and it is hard to quieten the noise in your head sometimes. But, I have grown so much from doing it and have so so much respect for all covers, swings and alternates who keep shows going especially after a super tricky couple of years!
If you could play any role in any musical, what would it be?
Right now, I’d love to have a go at Eliza in Hamilton or Glinda in Wicked! I would also love to create a role in an original musical!
What message would you give children aspiring to be actors?
I would say comparison is the killer of joy! Know that you deserve to be seen and feel seen. Support your friends and enjoy your journey!