A new year means there are lots of new and exciting shows, music, albums, comedy and much around the corner and we have an exciting month for you! In true Phoenix Remix tradition we are chatting to lots of different acts all about what they have in store for 2022. Today we talk to Jenni about her musical cabaret theatre that she is taking to some big shows this year.
Hello Jenni tell us all about yourself?
I’m Jenni, I started out as a musical director and actress, and in recent years have moved into theatre making and cabaret. I now host a monthly cabaret night both online and from Newcastle’s Prohibition Cabaret Bar, showcasing other local musical theatre performers and entertaining audiences. I’m a North Supported Artist at Northern Stage for 2021/22 which means they are supporting me to create a solo show which I’m taking to the VAULT festival in London on February 15th and 16th, 2022 (6.40pm in the Studio).
How did you get into musical cabaret?
I set up the cabaret in 2019 while studying for an MA at Northumbria University. It had been something I’d wanted to do for a while, and the university gave me the confidence to do it. I knew there was a lot of musical theatre talent in the region and I wanted to give the singers a professional platform and place to perform. I also wanted to create an entertaining night out for audience, and add to the rich culture of Newcastle’s nightlife.
What have been your favourite shows you have done?
My favourite cabarets were the ones we did online. In early lockdown I moved the show online and began live streaming every Sunday. Unfortunately I couldn’t perform with any other singers so I began to play and sing all the songs myself, and Maurice took over the hosting. I loved those shows as I could see immediately the effect they were having on the audience. I know a lot of people felt connected to the world again for at least that hour every Sunday and it was a very special thing to be a part of.
What are your plans for 2022?
In February I’m taking my solo cabaret show to London’s VAULT festival. It’s a 50 minute show about love and life – seen through the eyes of a Middle Aged housewife stuck in suburban Fenham, who dreams of the bright lights and the big city. It’s a big feel good show with lots of fun songs and some poingnant moments.
What other acts are you looking forward to seeing perform online or in person to this year?
I’m loving the return to live theatre. So far Since the theatre reopened I’ve seen the Suggestibles; Redcoat at Live Theatre; Pause and Sucking Eggs at Alphabetti; Free School Meals at Northern Stage; and Magic Goes Wrong at Newcastle Theatre Royal. I squeezed in a trip to London and saw Danny Robins’s 2.22 a Ghost story which was very clever and entertaining. I’m very excited for all the regional Christmas shows and can’t wait for the Sorcerers Apprentice at Northern Stage; plus a lovely Christmas show I’m appearing in at Middlesbrough Town Hall called a Winters Tail (December 20th-22nd). It’s a really sweet 2 hander, and I play Grandma Mouse!Online I’d like to see more of the Mischief Movie Night shows, they were brilliant.
What styles do you hope to see more of in theatre this year?
I’d love to see more new musicals. There are some really tremendous composers and writers currently creating new work and it would be so good to be able to see them, either with more live stream options, or with more funding to bring them to Newcastle.
What show is your ones to watch in 2022 and why?
I’m excited to see what Northern Stage will produce later this year. There’s been a really brilliant appointment of a new artistic director, Natalie Ibu, and already she has created many opportunities to get involved and to see great work.
Do you have any new years resolutions? If so what are they?
Usually my New Years resolutions involve less screen time and being nicer to the cats!
Are you on social media? If so how can people find out more about you?
www.Facebook.com/musicaltheatrecabaret Twitter: @jennicabaretInsta: @calico_cats_west_end
Three words why people should come and see you this year?
Connection, entertainment, joy!
Quick fire answers
Movie or tv show your looking forward to seeing this year:
tick tick boom and Paddington 3
I’ve just finished Hamnet which was excellent.
If I could paint anything what would I paint
My house. It’s hideous . I moved in January and the whole place needs plastering and decorating.
What is the most delightful word you can think of?
Hunky Dory by David Bowie
Where would you love to go on holiday this year?
The Maldives. It’s a dream of my whole family’s.
Favourite quote from a tv show?
Anything Julian says in ghosts. Or Thomas: “damn your eyes! Damn your head, shoulders, knees and toes!”
Who is your favourite film character and why?
Paddington. He is perfect.