With her star turns in the original productions of LES MISERABLES and PHANTOM OF THE OPERA Marina Prior gave us our first Cosette, our first Christine. In addition to introducing these much-loved characters to Australian audiences she has featured in the Australian premiere of CATS, played opposite Richard Harris in CAMELOT and performed in concert with world-renowned tenor José Carreras.
Further leading roles include Maria in WEST SIDE STORY, Lily in THE SECRET GARDEN, Annie Oakley in ANNIE GET YOUR GUN, Adelaide in GUYS AND DOLLS and Mrs. Banks in MARY POPPINS.
As Australia's leading lady of musical theatre Marina has been much loved and much honoured throughout her career, receiving four MO Awards and three Green Room Awards, along with an Aria nomination for the second of her solo recordings, “Aspects of Andrew Lloyd Webber”.
In early October Marina will star in PROMISES, PROMISES for The Production Company. She will play Fran to Matt Hetherington’s Chuck in the musical by legendary songwriters Burt Bacharach and Hal David. A smash during its Broadway revival in 2010, PROMISES, PROMISES features many audience favourites, including the hit songs “I say a little prayer” and “I’ll never fall in love again”.
This month Marina also releases her fourth solo album, BOTH SIDES NOW. Her first album since 1994, BOTH SIDES NOW showcases songs made famous by some of the greatest singer/songwriters of our time, including Joni Mitchell, Kate Bush, The Carpenters, ABBA, and Lennon and McCartney. Marina has called it the album she has been wanting to make for years, and with its release our leading lady is taking her place at centre stage once more.
A true legend of Australian theatre, I am honoured to present a glimpse into Marina Prior's brain on musical theatre!
This is your brain on musical theatre – 7 Questions with Marina Prior
Is there a particular show and/or person that first made you feel like ‘this is what I want to do’?
I saw the original Jesus Christ Superstar as a young kid with my Mum. I was transfixed. I instantly recognised that that was where I belonged.
Can you remember the moment when you first understood that you could sing the way most others can’t?
Yes. I was 8 or 9 ... I had just got a guitar for my birthday and learnt how to accompany myself on some songs. Mum and Dad had a dinner party and got me to play for their guests. Everyone actually stopped and listened, then asked for another song. I could sense their reaction was real. I remember thinking "hmmm, this feels good ..!"
Is there one night in your career that you would love to go back to and experience over again?
Oh, so many! I am a theatre animal, and I love opening nights. Cats original opening, performing Les Mis in the Domain on Australia Day of the Bicentennial year to about 100,000 people - Amazing! West Side Story opening night. Phantom Australian premiere in Melbourne. The concert with Jose Carreras.
Everything whizzes by so damn fast when you're on an adrenalin high, I'd love to go back and savour them all!
Is there one role that belongs to the opposite gender or a different age group that you’d secretly love to perform?
I'd love to play Sweeney Todd.
What book/TV show/movie is a musical just waiting to happen?
Anastasia (I know it's a Disney film, but it would be a great musical)
50 Shades of Grey (only joking!)
Do you still sing in the shower when you sing for a living?!
and finally, borrowing from James Lipton via Bernard Pivot:
What sound or noise do you love?
My children laughing, magpies, wine glugging into a glass! My husband's key in the front door.
PROMISES, PROMISES with Marina Prior and Matt Hetherington