Interviews with Mark Vincent and Reg Livermore from My Fair Lady

Here is part one of the group interviews with actors Mark Vincent and Reg Livermore.

What: My Fair Lady media call
Where: Regent Theatre, Melbourne
When: 12th May, 2017

Playing til August in Melbourne before it heads to Sydney.
For more information and tickets, go to: myfairladymusical.com.au

Mark Vincent who plays Freddy Eynsford-Hill

Mark on the show
“This show is incredibly iconic. All the live shows we’ve been doing here have been remarkable. The people who have been watching the show have been so involved. 61 years, shows you how iconic My Fair Lady really is! Having Dame Julie Andrews direct the show, what more could you ask for really? It’s incredible. The audiences have been loving the show and this show has impacted so many people. It brings them back to 1956. The Nonna’s are always great supports. They bring their grandchildren along, “This is my Granddaughter, for you. Get married. Hurry up.” (laughs) I’m just thrilled to be part of a show that has had so much success. Especially with the cast we have. It’s a very seasoned cast – Reg Livermore, Robyn Nevin, the list goes on … and I have to say, I’ve learnt so much from being in the show. This is only my second show in musical theatre. I always say, it’s one step closer to Phantom, which has always been my dream role. But I love it and I love Melbourne too.”

Mark – on Dame Julie Andrews
She was wonderful. For someone who’s 81 years of age to be so switched on, she is remarkable. One of the tips she gave me was to always stay connected with the lyrics in every song in every scene that Freddy does. She knows how to approach each artist. For someone like Julie who has been in the business for so many years, she knows exactly what she wants out of this show. One of the things Dame Julie Andrews did with My Fair Lady was to make sure it was the same production as 1956. She didn’t want to change too much. She said, “you’re an artist, Mark. You can make your own interpretation of Freddy but stay true to the lyrics of what they are.”

Mark – on costume
“The top hat, the gloves. It’s perfect in Melbourne because we’re freezing! In Brisbane, I wasn’t too sure with the 40 degree heat but it’s great.”

Mark – on singing the iconic ‘On The Street Where You Live’
“Well, On the street where you live is – Freddy does a lot of waiting. Mrs Pierce comes out and says, “But it might take days, sir, even weeks.” Freddy goes, “But don’t you see, I’ll be happier here” that’s until 3 o’clock in the morning, so if that was in today’s day and age, you’d probably be arrested! Freddy does wait because he’s extremely in love with Eliza Doolittle. He has that moment of On the street where you live where he’s in a cloud and it’s an iconic song in the show.”

Mark – on upcoming projects
“I’ll be mainly concentrating on the tour for my album, which will be after the Melbourne season. Because, as I said, I’ve been juggling both at the same time but hopefully next year they’ll be some kind of West End production that I’d love to do. I’m actually heading to the UK in December to tour with Katherine Jenkins, which is very exciting. Hopefully I can bump into Andrew Lloyd Webber and go, “Listen, I did a west end production …”

Mark – on juggling My Fair Lady, his new album release (A Tribute to Mario Lanza) and his upcoming wedding. 
It’s hard, but my grandfather always said to me, “It’s a great problem to be busy,” so I have to say playing Freddy Eynsford-Hill then being Mark Vincent, doing the tribute album for Mario Lanza, it can be difficult. I mean to say, you look at many great artists that we’ve had and they’ve always managed to juggle different aspects of their career and I think that’s what makes a great artist – to be able to switch like that. For example, I had the album promotion and that same night, back to My Fair Lady. I think by doing this, it betters me as an artist because it makes me more versatile as a performer. It’s like another string to the bow. [My fiancé is] actually a barista, a coffee maker. She loves it. I’m with someone who’s totally different to what I do. She’s very supportive because being with a performer, it’s tough, with the travelling and everything. We haven’t decided a date yet but crossing fingers, probably after this show (laughs).”

Mark – on a film paying tribute to Mario Lanza
“[A film] has been talked about and I think it’s time, because Maria Lanza was one of the best tenors in the world and his story needs to be told. There’s a lot of things a lot of people wouldn’t know about him. I’d be truly honoured to play the role of Mario. I spoke to his daughter Elissa and she said, “Mark, if it was anyone to pay homage to my father, I’m glad it was you.” Coming from the Lanza foundation and Elissa , it was overwhelming. Plus Mario Lanza sang On the street where you live as well and his [birth] name was Freddy as well (laughs).”


Reg Livermore who plays Alfred P. Doolittle

Reg – on retirement
“Well I’m thinking very seriously about it this morning (laughs)! I don’t know, you think you’re going to retire, then the phone rings a couple of years later and you think, “well, I wouldn’t mind doing something again.” But this is a great thing to be doing at this stage of my life and I love the show!”

Reg – on singing the showstopper ‘Get Me To The Church On Time’
Two of the big chorus numbers – With A Little Bit of Luck and Get Me To the Church on Time – and those sorts of songs are the sorts of songs that the audience warms to readily because they are easy to remember the tune. The others are beautiful, beautiful songs but they don’t always sit easily with somebody going home thinking, “how does that start that one?” Something like that.”

Reg – on his favourite song from My Fair Lady
“To tell you the truth, I think the music is extraordinary and the more you sit and listen to the orchestrations, you become absolutely enthralled by this stuff! I’ve been listening to this stuff since I was a teenager and that’s a long time ago! That was when the show was on Broadway. As a younger person who was wanting to get into theatre, the lyrics of the songs were fascinating to me. I didn’t fully understand the implications of most of it, but I loved the songs and I warmed to them straight away. I didn’t dream that 60 years later, I would be cheek by jowl with Julie Andrews … kissing her on the cheek, not the jowl. And she would be kissing me on the cheek, we would be hugging, and I’d be calling her Jules or Mum (she likes to be called Mum) – she’s just a fabulous woman. To actually have that happen in your life for me, this is a late life bonus I have to say!”

Reg – on the physical requirements of the show
“I’ve always been lucky that I have an internal fire in my belly like an engine, so when I go on stage, there’s nothing I can do to stop it. That gets me through so much, but it’s pretty full on. I’m not on stage a great deal – I’ve got two big numbers and I’ve got a big scene – I’m happy to sit in the dressing room for the rest of the time (laughs).”

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