What better way to breathe innocence and life into one of the world’s most famous fairytale princesses than to channel your inner seven-year-old?
Queensland Conservatorium graduate Kirra Lang is playing Cinderella in Redcliffe Musical Theatre’s production of the Stephen Sondheim classic, ‘Into The Woods’, and is in her element in the musical tragedy.
Kirra told Theatre Haus that her love of musical theatre started in Grade One when her teacher encouraged her to be a part of a school musical.
“She saw how much I loved to sing and dance in class,” Lang said.
“I ended up as part of the orphan ensemble in ‘Annie’, and from that moment I knew I wanted to perform for the rest of my life. Nothing else that I have done since has come close to the experience of performing in front of an audience.”
Lang’s Cinderella joins everyone’s favourite storybook characters in Sondheim’s famous rework of the fairytale genre. She said her love of musicals was borne out of her experiences and love of opera – learned as a student at the Queensland Conservatorium.
“The Queensland Conservatorium was such an enriching and fun experience for me,” said Lang.
“For quite a few years beforehand I was classically trained, but I never envisioned myself going to university for it, let alone singing opera as part of my studies.
“I’m so glad I took the leap and delved into a part of my passion I didn’t know existed; discovering beautiful music and learning the groundwork technique needed for my voice.
“I’ve been in four opera productions, and even though I’m moving my focus back to musical theatre, I would absolutely love to be in more in the future.”
Lang said that the operas she has been a part of have been quite similar to the musical theatre productions she’s performed in, in terms of sets and costumes.
“The majority of the contemporary productions I’ve seen or been involved in have been less of a spectacle and more of an immersive, realistic experience, which I think helps bridge the gap between opera and similar art forms,” she said.
“For my personal journey, opera was a perfect detour that ended up improving the way I approached singing and theatre in general – the classical techniques that I learnt improved my breath control and muscle support that allowed me to let go of any tension I had harboured while singing over the past 10 or so years.
“Learning movement and stagecraft taught me how to run, fall and dance on stage without hindering my vocal production and I was able to transfer these skills to musical theatre and it completely changed the game for me.”
‘Into the Woods’ has been Lang’s favourite musical and Cinderella one of her dream roles. But it’s not all about charming princes and happy endings.
“The themes that are explored in this musical are heavy-hitting and it makes the audience see their own faults and shortcomings by relating to the characters on stage,” said Lang.
“The music is beautiful and insightful and perfect for a classically trained musical theatre lover like me. When I saw that Redcliffe Musical Theatre was putting on this show, I leapt at the opportunity.
“I have had the absolute best time doing my first ever Sondheim production, and with so many talented people. The experience of pulling apart and analysing the music was super fun, and working with a small cast meant that everyone bonded really closely straight away.
“It truly is a dream.”
And what would Lang say to her seven-year-old self?
“I would love to honour my seven-year-old self’s wishes and try to turn this into a solid career,” she said.
“Performing in professional musicals is my absolute dream, followed by stage productions and professional singing gigs on the side. Ultimately, as long as I’m on stage, then I’ll be happy.”