Amélie, a new musical by Craig Lucas, Nathan Tysen and Daniel Messe that’s inspired by the film of Jean-Pierre Jeunet, tells the beautiful story of an extraordinary person who leads a quiet, yet extremely bold life. Actor Audrey Brisson tells us about playing this much-loved character in the current UK tour.
How does it feel to be playing such an iconic and colourful character?
It is a real honour to have been given the chance to play Amélie. Even after all this time, I am amazed at all the intricacies found in her personality. Playing her is never dull, always a challenge.
In what ways did you prepare to take on the role – and what advice would you give to future performers looking to do the same?
In anticipation for the beginning of rehearsals, I met with my singing teacher twice a week to prepare for a run that I knew would be vocally demanding. I watched many of [Jean-Pierre] Jeunet’s other films to have a taste of his world. I tried to make sure I was eating a balanced diet, knowing that throughout the tour, I would mostly be eating raspberries.
For anyone looking into starting a career in theatre, I would recommend trying to develop as many skills as possible so as to have many strings to your bow. Keep practising said skills so as to always be at the ready. The more stamina you have, the better prepared you’ll be for creation of new work or the life on tour.
What do you think makes this adaptation special?
I am extremely lucky to be working with a group of amazingly talented actor musicians. The instruments are not hidden in the pit but very much incorporated into the story. Characters have their own sounds, both parents play the cello for example. Seeing actor musicians manoeuvre the stage, brandishing double basses and pianos, is quite special.
If you were to play any other character in Amélie, who would it be and why?
I would very much like to play Dufayel, as I find his costume very comfortable to wear. I would of course also love to understudy Fluffy the fish.
What are your three favourite songs from the Amélie musical?
It varies a lot. I do however very much enjoy “Booth Goes Bright”, especially watching everyone playing on stage with such obvious pleasure. I also enjoy “Halfway” for the challenge that it brings me – having to sing and play the piano. Finally, I love “Halfway” the reprise, for its vulnerability. I find it’s the pinnacle moment for Amélie surrendering to her emotions and love.
What is your all-time favourite musical?
(Photo by Pamela Raith)