BWW Interview: Danielle Hope Talks IN HER SHOES at Live At Zedel
In the past few months, Danielle Hope has played Sherrie in the UK Tour of Rock of Ages and Miss Snow in the London Palladium's Christmas pantomime, Snow White.
She returns to Live at Zedel with a new solo show, In Her Shoes, later this month.
Who or what inspires you?
I'm always inspired by the world around me, especially the people in it. I was born as a collaborative artist and I get ignited by passionate people - in all sorts of genres and fields. If you have passion and an open heart, I find that so inspiring.
Did you enjoy playing a princess over Christmas? What is your favourite thing about pantomime?
Absolutely, It was my first time back with a long-running show at the Palladium, where I started my career, so it was very special. I love the uplifting nature of panto during the holiday season.
It can be an interesting time for all, and I think holiday shows give us chance to all come together - regardless of what might be happening in our personal lives - and just laugh and smile as a collective.
How did you find going straight from Rock of Ages into Snow White? Were you juggling rehearsals and shows at the same time?
Yes! I would rehearse Miss Snow in the day and then travel to where the tour was playing and do my Sherrie shows in the evening. It did make me giggle because I felt that Snow White had a naughty secret life that she would go and be a part of!
I loved my time with Rock of Ages. I feel very lucky to have played that role. One of my favourites so far for sure!
You're returning to Live at Zedel with a new show, In Her Shoes. Where did the name come from?
Well, I started writing a blog years ago and have an unfinished document with this title on my laptop. It was an exploration of the roles I have played so far and I would update it every time I finished a show.
I was thinking for a title for this new show, where I'm introducing original music for the first time, and thought it was a sweet way to recognise stepping into my own pair this time.
What can we expect at the show?
It will be a mixed setlist with some covers and still some musical theatre - so not to worry, my theatre-lovers!
When did you start writing your own music?
I've written poetry since I was 10, aiming to write songs, but never believed it was something I could do.
What's your writing process? Lyrics first then music? Vice versa?
If I'm honest, it's different each time with every song. I just try to follow the creative wave as it strides in, however it shows up!
Do you prefer playing a character or yourself on stage?
It's definitely more intimidating to be your authentic self in a performance environment - and something I would not have been comfortable with a few years ago. I was always nervous of saying the wrong thing or not being accepted.
One day, I realised that none of that mattered at all. My unique view on the world and my personal art is something I enjoy sharing, and I hope to only encourage and inspire others to do the same.
Storytelling is what brought me to music and to acting and to art. I love portraying characters and enjoy the challenge of presenting my authentic self in all I create.
Any advice for aspiring songwriters?
Technically, absolutely none! I have no idea what I'm doing, but it just feels right. Creatively, yes: do it. To share, not to prove anything or for any particular outcome.
Just share your words and share your art if you feel called to. You can't fail if you have no expectation.
Any special guests you can tell us about?
I will be announcing guests as soon as schedules are confirmed, so watch out on social media for those...
Why should we come to In Her Shoes?
It's at 3pm, so you won't miss Sunday lunch or your last train home! I can only guarantee that you will be a part of something truly special to me, and in a place of no judgement and great music for 90 minutes!
Your support means the world to me. I hope to see you there.
Danielle Hope: In Her Shoes at Live at Zedel on 17 February
Photo credit: Danielle Hope