Interview with…Debbie Kurup

The actress chatted to Emma Clarendon about starring inThe Best of… Rock Musicals and the Donmar Warehouse production of Sweet Charity.

Hi Debbie, for those who haven’t heard about The Best of…Rock Musicals – what can you tell me about the event? The Best of The Rock Musicals is a celebration of the best musical rock numbers from all the great rock scores from the past few decades!

What are you most looking forward to about being part of the event? I have never played the Hammersmith Eventim Apollo so very much looking forward to getting into that space and rocking out with our incredible musicians.

Are there any songs in the programme that you are particularly looking forward to hearing or performing? Looking forward to hearing some of my personal favourite musical rock songs being sung by my contemporaries.

The evening is in aid of The Charlie Waller Memorial Trust – can you tell us a little more about that? The concert hopes to support the Charlie Waller Memorial Trust by raising the awareness and funds to highlight the plight of young people suffering with depression.

Was there a particular reason that you wanted to become involved with The Best of…Rock Musicals? I love being involved in charity concerts and working with producer/director Hugh Wooldridge but this concert will bring me great joy as I’m a rock chick at heart!

You are also appearing in Sweet Charity at the Donmar – for those who aren’t familiar with the musical could you explain a bit more about what it’s about? Sweet Charity is the iconic musical (based on Nights of Cabiria, by Federico Fellini) written by Neil Simon with music by Cy Coleman and Lyrics by Dorothy Fields. The original Broadway musical and movie adaptation were directed and choreographed by the legendary Bob Fosse.Our production stars the incredible Anne-Marie Duff. She breaks my heart every night.

How are you feeling about making your Donmar debut in this production? I’m loving working at the Donmar. I’ve wanted to work here for a long time and I’m thrilled I got to do so on Josie Rourke’s (the artist director) final show.

How are you finding working on the production so far? The score of Sweet Charity is epic and it’s an honour to deliver those huge production numbers on the Donmar stage every night. Neil Simon’s text is so deliciously funny and heartbreaking. The intimacy of the Donmar is great for making sure not a single moment of the brilliant material is missed.We have an incredible creative team and together with the actors I think collectively we have created something really cool and perhaps different to how you may have seen Sweet Charity before.

What was it that made you want to be involved with this production of Sweet Charity? I have wanted to work at the Donmar for a long time so I can now tick that off my list. But also wanted the opportunity to work with Josie Rourke. I love strong female directors. I was curious to know what her vision for this piece would be. And it was hard to resist the opportunity to dance Wayne McGregor’s choreography!

And finally, what can audiences expect from The Best of… Rock Musicals on 12 May? The audiences can expect a Rock Musical extravaganza! Blistering songs and an exceptional line up of talented singers and musicians to deliver them!

By Emma Clarendon

The Best of… Rock Musicals is at Eventim Apollo, Hammersmith at 4pm & 8pm on 12 May 2019. Visit: for more information.

Sweet Charity continues to play at the Donmar Warehouse.

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