The Only Way Is Almost Epic
Tamar Broadbent is taking stages across the UK by storm – with her debut musical comedy show touring last year, and her musical, Pierced, being recently shortlisted in the Leicester Square Theatre’s ‘The New Musical Project’. Equipped with four and five-star reviews and an endorsement from Michael Palin, this upcoming actress-singer-writer-comedienne-composer took some time out to chat to us about being involved in so many different projects.
How did you get involved in the Leicester Square Theatre’s ‘The New Musical Project’?
I know the theatre well, as I performed my debut musical comedy show, Tamar Broadbent: Almost Epic, in The Lounge there. The project was very rewarding: it gave me the incentive to finally go back and finish Pierced, and get it into shape for a run. It is now the show I have always wanted it to be, and I’ve never been more excited about it. I was lucky to have such a wonderful, talented cast performing in the reading, and I very much enjoyed working with the NMP team.
What inspired you to write Pierced?
Pierced is about a group of friends finishing school, trying to decide what to do with their lives. To quote the blurb, ‘it is a comic but touching portrayal of youth today, with all its idealism, ambition and awkward comedy.’ I wrote the show in my final year of Bristol University – you don’t realize until you leave Uni or College how invaluable the resources are which you have at your fingertips. I’ve been composing songs since I was about 12, and as a teen I tried unsuccessfully to be a pop star. I did manage to fill almost half of the local village hall at one particularly banging gig, but my songs tell stories and have journeys, and I like to rhyme words like ‘have a scone’ and ‘Gaviscon’. As soon as I figured out that I was really writing for theatre rather than for rock concerts, life made a lot more sense.
Do you have any comedy heroes, particularly in musical comedy?
Bill Bailey. Trey Parker & Matt Stone. Tim Minchin. Victoria Wood. The Lonely Island. Joan Rivers. Eminem (particularly ‘My Band’ with D12).
What advice would you give other aspiring writers?
If you are still studying or training, do absolutely everything you can whilst you can still get things for free. Take shows to Edinburgh whilst you have musicians who will do it for a floor to sleep on. Work with people you trust, and who share your vision, because if they don’t, you are doomed. Listen to everyone’s advice respectfully, and be thankful for feedback. And then ignore everything apart from that which makes sense to you, which you understand or agree with, and which you genuinely believe would be a positive change to the show.
What do you hope to be doing in the future?
I want to write shows that have strong, interesting and realistic female characters. Because there are astonishingly few out there. My sister says: ‘don’t make a point about it, just change it’. So I’m trying.
What’s next for you: is there a particular field you’d especially like to pursue now?
I’ve just had a stint at Mountview devising a musical based on 16 & Pregnant, in association with Perfect Pitch. But I’m now looking forward to doing a lot of gigging! I’m currently working on my new musical comedy show, which will be on at the Warren, Brighton Fringe, 23rd, 31st May and 1st June. I’m then taking it up to the Edinburgh Fringe this summer. Come and see it!