Issy chatted to us about bringing her show Dazzling Divas to The Mill at Sonning.

Hi Issy, could you tell me more about what Dazzling Divas is about? ‘Dazzling Divas’ is a show about seven trailblazing women – Billie Holiday, Marilyn Monroe, Patsy Cline, Janis Joplin, Mama Cass, Karen Carpenter and Dusty Springfield all who died too young but the impact and legacy they left behind still burns bright today.

How did the idea for the show come about? I had made a commitment to my eldest daughter that I would be at home for her while she was doing her GCSE’s which meant I had to turn down a touring job to be here for her to help, feed, test, be shouted at when the need arose – not a problem. However I needed to be working on something to nurture my creative soul. I had done a one woman show at the Edinburgh Fringe called ‘Becoming Marilyn’ a while back and also a satirical show about some of these women in which I played a crazed fan. Now was the time to delve and the deeper I delved the more extraordinary I found each and everyone of these ladies. What they achieved, what they went through and what they overcame and how much more they might have given.

Given the iconic nature of of each of these women – did you feel pressure in ensuring that their stories are authentically brought to the stage? I have huge respect and feel very protective of my Divas. Did you know the word “Diva” is derived from the Italian for a female deity or goddess? I think they all were.

What do you hope that audiences will take away from the show? I hope audiences will be as astonished and moved by their stories as I continue to be.

How does it feel to be bringing the show to The Mill at Sonning?  I am so looking forward to bringing Dazzling Divas to the Mill at Sonning having spent a very happy spring playing Judith Bliss in ‘Hay Fever’ there. It is a wonderful space to perform in.

By Emma Clarendon

Dazzling Divas is at The Mill at Sonning Theatre,  20 July – 29 July. All tickets include a delicious two-course meal in the venue’s restaurant before the show


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