With Pippi Longstocking just around the corner, we caught up with some of the cast to find out what they’ve been up to…
What are your names and who do you play?
Matthew Churcher, playing Tommy and Philippa Hogg, playing Annika – they are brother & sister in the play.
What’s your favourite thing about your character(s) and do you relate to them at all?
They’re really close as a team and look out for each other. We meet them when they seem to be at a point of potential growth, which is an exciting state to play, especially when Pippi arrives in Little Town and encourages their want and need to break away from conformity and discover new horizons. We’d worked together on a previous show so can relate to their friendship, which is fun!
What’s the first thing you do when you get to rehearsals in the morning?
It always starts with a coffee from across the road… (shout out to Steve at Yellow Bourbon!) Then there is some form of gentle stretching to wake the body up. Occasionally some of us will jam some music, which is a great way to connect with each other and provide those stretching with some live yoga music.
Do you have any exercises you do regularly as a group?
We do a group vocal warm-up, which always includes working through songs from the show and singing Rounds. “A boat, a boat” seems to be our favourite. We also sometimes play a super high octane, bespoke version of the well loved four square… Contact one of the Wardrobe Ensemble for secret details.
What has been the best thing about the process so far?
Every day has been a dream to be honest. Getting to collaborate with a new group of people and to discover each others strengths and explore them, has been a joy. The music is really special and everyone’s ability to play, jam and sing together is a real delight. We’ve also laughed a lot (too much probably.)
Have there been any challenges you have overcome?
Tommy and Annika are young, so finding the line between playing a kid, without being general is a tricky line to tread. The siblings are also the middle ground between the structured ‘Little Town’ and Pippi’s imaginative, playful world, so finding that balance and journey the play has been interesting.
Do you have a favourite number in the show?
Matt: All the music is really great and fun, but I thoroughly enjoy playing the ‘Imagination’ song, as it moves through lots of different styles.
Philippa: I really love Pippilotta, as it’s the first time Pippi can really let rip and the gypsy jazz style of it is such fun to play. Also I get to be on top of a ladder, and I really like heights, sooo…
How has the R&D rehearsal experience been for you?
We’ve loved being at the R&D, all the team are incredibly friendly and supportive and they really go above and beyond to look after you. It’s a great building that we hope to be involved with again at some point in the future.
Why do you think Pippi Longstocking is a show people should see?
Although originally published 75 years ago, Pippi Longstocking is such a strong heroine for our time. The show is full of fun and teaches you to look at the world and the people around you in a different way.
Pippi Longstocking will be on the Royal stage from the 10 – 31 December. Catch her while you can! Click here for more information and to book.