Interviews with Casey Donovan, Simon Russell, Jaz Flowers and Thern Reynolds from We Will Rock You

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Here is part two from the group interviews at the WWRY media call.

For more information and tickets, go to: wewillrockyou.com.au

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CASEY Donovan and SIMON RussellKiller Queen and Khashoggi

Casey and Simonon their costumes
Casey “I find it hard to be me when I’m in this – this is the Killer Queen … although, I do love the tits thing. What do you think, Simon?”
Simon “Well, I’ve taken to wearing onesies at home, so I feel quite comfortable on stage in the onesie. [laughs] I’ve got my brown onesie, my grey onesie, my red onesie ..”
Casey “So what happens when you put Khashoggi’s on?”
Simon “Well, the change is this instant relaxation that I get when I’m now at home in my onesie … I have the freedom to move in the low crotch. It’s a beautiful thing.”
Casey “Which the Killer Queen does grab quite often.”
Simon “Yes. Regularly.”

^ please note all the fantastic sarcasm in the above!

Caseyon the comparisons to recording her own music vs musical theatre
Casey “There’s a lot more anxiety involved with musical theatre. It’s that thing of playing a different character – not being able to be myself and do what I want, when I want. It’s nice to be put in a box and directed. I get to work with amazing people like Simon Russell, Ben Elton and the amazing cast that is WWRY. It’s a beautiful thing.”
Simon “If you’re doing your own show, you get to sing the songs you way you want to sing them – but in musical theatre, you still have to put yourself into them but be conformed, in a way, that is right for the show and is right for the musical director.”
Casey “I found myself doing a lot of covers and I was actually going to take this year off to do absolutely nothing [except] write some new material, and this awesome gig came up. WWRY, thank you very much! [But] I’d love to get back out there, on the road and find who I am as a singer again.”

Simonon playing the villain
“Villainy is the best part to play because we get to scare people, and be a little bit camp about it at the same time, which is nice. Audiences get to hate you which is fantastic. If you can get them to really hate you and boo you – then you’ve done your job. We’re very lucky. Being the baddies, we do get some great lines and some great moments.”

Casey on comparisons between her characters in WWRY and Flower ChildrenĀ 
“Mama Cass was a beautiful, loving big soul and the Killer Queen is the big soul, but shes quite evil. And it’s a different change of songs – from 60s, kind of Woodstock to rock n roll, the grunge of everything, the growls – it’s a very massive difference but two awesome roles and I love them both dearly.”

Caseyon singing Fat Bottom Girls
“The Killer Queen loves being surrounded by women in barely nothing. You get to see that sexy side of the queen. It’s very sexy, sultry but still very evil. She’s very manipulative.”

Casey – on discovering her voice
“I think [it was] when my Mum kept telling me just to shut up. I’d often walk around the house humming. It wasn’t until I was in my early teens that I found a love for music. I was in a school rock band, a little grunge band. I had dreadlocks back then. I think they were called Fallen. I dunno, something emo. It was very much emo. I was an emo child.

A lot has changed since I did [Australian Idol] but my step dad kind of gave me an ultimatum – you either do this or we take you out of music school – so that was my fate. It was a great experience and it has lead me to places to be right where I am today. My biggest thing back then was to just be able to be on stage sing. Musical theatre has definitely opened some doors and I get to not play me which is nice.”


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JAZ Flowers and THERN ReynoldsOzzie Osbourne and Britney Spears

Jaz and Thernon their characters
Jaz “We get to have the most fun out of everyone. It’s basically me on steroids, to be quite honest. I originally did it in a really thick, British-Cockney accent and eventually Ben [Elton, writter] was like, ‘can you make it more, you know, you?’

In rehearsals, I was like flat out, this is me – this is what I say, this is what I sound like, this is same jokes that I would make, the same tone of voice that I’d use – so it was difficult to begin with.

I remember probably 8-10 years ago now, if WWRY ever comes back to this city, I said, ‘I will be in it’. I don’t know how, but I’m going to because it’s got my name written all over it. It’s got massive rock songs, corsets and big hair and I was like yes, ‘that’s all me!’ It’s been a really really fun ride.”
Thern “I don’t think I would change anything – I’m glad I’m Britney Spears. We really lucked in. We just got two bloody plum roles. They’re awesome.

When rehearsals had just started, I just happened to be watching Here Come The Habibs on tv. I was unsure how I was gonna play Brit – then I saw the older brother in that TV series, and I thought, ‘I’m going to make Brit, Lebanese’. Like Jaz, I was really playing him English and then all of a sudden, because of watching that show, I went, ‘that’s Brit’, that’s who I’m going to do.”

Jaz and Thernon direction
Thern “We were directed to create a community on stage. We weren’t told to ever interact with the audience and make them get up on their feet – we’re not allowed to do that. We were told to come on stage …”
Jaz “… burst out of those gates, run forward and just make the stage come alive – which I think we all do. Our energy bounces off one another.”

Jaz and Thernon their funny audience stories
Jaz “Apparently there were two punch-ons in Sydney that we missed.”
Thern “Yeah, didn’t see em.”

Jazon her costume
“The corset takes about five [minutes] alone. The straps, the buckles, the bits and pieces probably 15 [minutes] from top to bottom – but the face, that’s another story! I used to [get to the theatre hours before] but I’ve gotten much faster over the past few months so it takes about an hour from start to finish.”

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