Interview with Olivia Phillip from the cast of The Book of Mormon
At the time of the interview, Olivia Phillip was performing in The Book of Mormon at the Prince of Wales Theatre London.
Many London theatregoers will have previously seen Olivia on stage in the West End as she was in the cast of Ghost The Musical at the Piccadilly Theatre and Priscilla Queen of The Desert at the Palace Theatre.
Olivia recently answered a few questions about her career and The Book of Mormon. Enjoy!
You were part of the cast of Priscilla Queen of the Desert at the Palace Theatre. What is your favourite memory from your time in the show?
Priscilla was my first show in the west end so I pretty much spent all year on cloud nine.
Aside from that, it’s not every day you get to dangle from the ceiling by your crotch and sing disco classics over a floor full of glitter covered men in 5 inch platforms and multicoloured spandex. My whole year was filled with wonderful memories, but I’ll be sure to tell the grand kids that one.
In January 2012 you joined the cast of Ghost the Musical at the Piccadilly Theatre. How did it feel to be a part of this award-winning musical?
Joining Ghost felt great. Even-more so after working on the material at the launch at Abbey Road Studios and the Royal Exchange. Seeing how the show progressed from those initial stages to joining the cast in the second year of its run really was special. I think I can speak on behalf of the whole cast saying that working with Bruce Joel Rubin was a real honour. His passion and heart for the show was infectious and we had a great time upholding his work of art.
You have recently joined the cast of The Book of Mormon at the Prince of Wales Theatre. Can you tell us about the audition process?
For my first audition I brought in my own choice of music to sing for the panel. They specifically requested ‘no rude songs’ which I thought was really funny, and had to fight all urges to sing anything Avenue Q–esq.
In the next few stages, I got material from the show (both scenes and songs) to learn and perform. Some of these next auditions were filmed to send back to the powers that be in America. We then had a few dance calls, I can’t remember how many, maybe two or three and then a final call to sing and read. As with most audition processes, they can be long and arduous, but ultimately rewarding…. if you get the job!
The show is currently in previews. What are you enjoying most about being in the musical?
I find the show HILARIOUSLY funny. It’s such a joy to be part of something that you wholeheartedly believe is fantastic. Also, working with the creatives in such close proximity has been an experience I’ll never forget.
Having a highly talented Ensemble adds strength in depth to a musical. What do you enjoy most about being part of an Ensemble?
Looking forward to being principal one day? Haha, no I joke. Being part of the ensemble in this show is like being part of one big happy Mormon family. The show is all singing, all dancing, all acting and really keeps me on my toes. Hopefully I’ll lose a few pounds in the process too!
What is your favourite scene in the show?
Without giving anything away – I thoroughly enjoy the twist in the storyline towards the end of the show….
What is it about The Book of Mormon that makes it such a huge success?
I’ve never had so many friends with little to no interest in musical theatre message me about the show. Trey Parker and Matt Stone have such a huge following that the show instantly gains interest from people that would probably rather have an early night than watch Mamma Mia.
But on the flip side, The Book of Mormon is so fantastically ‘legitimate MT’ that all the avid theatre fans love it too.
It’s SO well written, SO well choreographed and the cast ain’t half bad either…
Can you name one reason why everyone should come and see The Book of Mormon?
This book will change your life.
Many thanks Olivia, and best wishes for The Book of Mormon and your future success!
Interview questions by Neil Cheesman who you can follow on Twitter @LondonTheatre1
Updated 11th October 2014