BWW Interview: Tiffany Graves On KISS ME, KATE And Her Solo Cabaret!

Tiffany Graves is currently starring as Lois Lane in Opera North's production of Kiss Me, Kate - and returns to the West End for one night only next month with her solo cabaret 'When You Got It, Flaunt It' - lyrics from another of her recent roles as Ulla in The Producers. We caught up with her...

Thanks for talking to us. Tell us about your cabaret.

I feel as if I've been out on the road for way too long, living out of a suitcase. It's been brilliant, I've really enjoyed it - but so much on tour. This is a chance for me to be back in the West End, by myself, at Crazy Coqs, which is a wonderful venue, and sing some songs that I like. They'll be ones you know - I feel more relaxed when I'm at cabaret and they sing songs I know - but some will have some lyric changes. Alexander Bermange is going to be doing a collaboration with me, and I'll be doing a medley from the last time I was in the West End, in Sweet Charity, because I love that score.

This sounds like a lot of work...

It is! I've done seven weeks of rehearsals for Kiss Me, Kate, so I think I know what I'm doing, and now that we're up and running, we're on an opera schedule, and they have two other shows they're in rep with. So with two shows between now and the cabaret it's full steam ahead.

Is that strange to adapt to?

It is. I never thought I'd say it but this week, when we had our first previews, I missed the rigorous routine of eight shows, and being able to build up the stamina. I'm lucky that my main song in the show is the audition song I've sung for years, albeit a different arrangement that I've had to relearn, but although under normal circumstances it's great to have time off, it's weird not to have that routine of doing it every night!

And seven weeks of rehearsals is quite long!

It's for ever! It's the longest I've ever rehearsed; even 'A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Forum' at the National was six weeks. We also had pre-rehearsals where Ashley Day and I came in by ourselves to rehearse by ourselves, and we had a read-through before as well. The opera chorus are doing all three shows in rep, so they need to be scheduled in with their other rehearsals as well. Opera people work in a slightly different way to musical theatre people. They tend to tackle a song by the tone and the way it sounds, whereas a musical theatre person will read the lyrics first and build that way.

Can we expect more cabaret dates from you?

I'd like to say yes. It's always a time management thing. This has worked out brilliantly. An awful lot of work goes into a one-woman show, so in theory, yes, but it'll be all to do with where I am - but I'd love to!

Now, finally, when we first met, we talked about roles you wanted to play - you mentioned Lois, you mentioned Ulla, and the other one was Glinda, but you thought you'd be too tall for the bubble. Is that still an ambition?

I still have hope! I'm sharing a dressing room with Katie Kerr, who did Wicked on tour and she said that Emily Tierney is also tall, and she was also told that she would be too tall for the bubble, but her attitude was, "No, I'm going to go for it anyway." They gave her flat ballet pumps to wear inside the bubble - so let's see what happens!

Tiffany Graves's cabaret 'When You Got It, Flaunt It' is at the Crazy Coqs on Monday October 12.
Opera North's Kiss Me, Kate plays Leeds, Salford, Newcastle and Nottingham up until the end of 2015.

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