End and Broadway star Bonnie Langford is returning to the stage
as the special guest of the all-American company of the multi award-winning
of the genius of Bob Fosse, it returns to the UK in May following
sell out seasons in Paris and the US and it will be in Milton Keynes
for just one week in June.
prepares for Fosse in Milton Keynes
Langford has packed a wealth of show business into a career which
has embraced film, television, radio and theatre, but apart from
her famous portrayal of Violet Elizabeth in Just William (I'll scweam
and scweam and scweam until I'm th'ick!) people often put her into
a box labelled 'song and dance'.
this is unfair because apart from having parts in shows like Doctor
Who, Family Album (with Joan Collins) and the BBC's successful series
of Noel Coward plays 'Tonight at 8.30, it is important to remember
that lead roles in musicals also require acting skills!
very interesting how people like to put you in a little box"
says Bonnie, "and when you say, 'well I do all three and quite
like doing them all together' it's quite difficult to explain."
doesn't mean to say that when one discipline stops another begins."
with something like Fosse you do get to do all of them and although
it's dance-based it really has so much more than that to offer"
Fosse celebrates the work of Bob Fosse, one of the most influential
directors, choreographers and dancers of all time, whose signature
style is stamped on many of Broadway and Hollywood's most famous
musicals including Chicago, Cabaret, Sweet Charity, The Pajama Game,
Pippin, and Dancin'.
says that she has always been a big fan of Bob Fosse but it was
appearing in his work that confirmed it. She was in Sweet Charity
in 1998 in the West End and says that it was very different from
any show that she'd done before.
she's done lots! Cats, Me & My Girl, Peter Pan, Pirates of Penzance
and Gypsy are just a few, so what does she think is different about
a Fosse choreographed musical?
been in a lot of musicals and enjoyed them tremendously but with
Fosse it's very intelligent and very challenging both mentally and
physically" she explains.
a performance you feel that you're very fulfilled and when I did
Charity I felt that I actually grew as a performer and perhaps as
a person as well because it does tap into parts of you that you
haven't really thought about before.
are very few parts for women that are powerful vulnerable, funny,
sad, and sexy at once as well as there being brilliant choreography"
when Fosse, the musical, came along I thought that it was a fantastic
opportunity to get to do his other shows.".
jumped at the chance when they asked me to do it. I'm so excited
to have been offered a role" she adds.
is nothing like Bob Fosse's sexy steamy style and I am really going
to enjoy performing some of his best work."
The show contains some of the best-known showstoppers of all time:
'Big Spender' from Sweet Charity (1966); the jazzy, sexy 'Steam
Heat' from The Pyjama Game (1954) 'Mein Herr' from the film Cabaret
(1972); "Mr Bojangles" from Dancin' (1978) and the roof-raising
Benny Goodman swing classic "Sing, Sing, Sing" (Dancin'
scene from Fosse
says that the music is fantastic and will make everybody want to
get up and dance.
absolutely pulsating" she says. "It gets right to your
heart and you just want to get up and dance to it.
our job is to make the audience feel that they could do it to!"
as it seems, Bonnie Langford will be 40 this year, but still looks
as slim and fit as ever. She says that having a child has helped
to keep her that way.
have always stayed very fit but funnily enough, since I've had my
daughter (nearly four years ago) I think I'm probably fitter because
I spend so much time running around after her" she says.
extremely active and so I don't sit down for a second really."
also think that physically you balance out as well as you get older
and you become stronger in different parts" she continues.
really looking forward to being able to do this choreography as
a more mature person than when I was 19 and was slightly gawky!
You do become a lot more centred."
scene from Fosse
She admits though that her preparation is just blind ignorance,
even though she is going into a show with a group of people in peak
condition because they have been doing the show for ages.
might be tired" she says, "but I'm not!"
just going to go for it 100 per cent like I would anything. I've
trained as much as I can. I'm looking forward to the style of it
and that in itself makes you fit very quickly."
fitness is not only key for the dancing, there are a lot of skimpy
costumes to get into. But Bonnie is quick to point out that it's
not a gratuitous show.
very sexy. You see the line of the dance but also a lot of flesh
and quite a lot of people will enjoy that" she laughs.
not crude or rude though - it's entirely tasteful but slightly provocative."
it's a very high quality production and I think it's great to see
something so excellent."
At the moment Fosse is touring the UK until mid-July and afterwards,
with Dr Who about to be ressurected, would Bonnie consider going
back into the cult show where she did two stints as assistant Melanie
don't know" she says. "It depends what the scripts are
like. Dr Who is an extraordinary association that I have because
I didn't realise until I was in the show quite how worldwide it
is and how popular and how dear it is to so many people's hearts.
have great affection for the show and so I'm delighted to be part