Grace Driscoll is stepping into the role of Natasha in the highly anticipated Australian premiere of “Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812.” In an exclusive interview, she shares insights into her preparation, the unique aspects of the musical, and the importance of representation on stage.
Preparing for the Role
When asked about her preparation for the role of Natasha, Driscoll expresses her love for the creative process and research that leads up to rehearsals. In addition to learning the vocal parts, she highlights the exciting challenge of playing instruments live on stage, which the entire cast has been learning. To fully immerse herself in the character, Driscoll has been exploring the history of Napoleon’s invasion of Russia, the French Revolution, and the Age of Enlightenment. She also mentions the importance of researching and watching various versions of “War and Peace,” the source material for the musical.
Musical Styles and Performances
The musical showcases an eclectic mix of musical styles, making it difficult for Driscoll to choose a favourite. While she admits to being a sucker for ballads, she is captivated by the electronic elements in the group dance numbers. The fusion of different styles adds depth and vibrancy to the production.
Driscoll also praises her fellow cast members, describing them as quadruple threats. She expresses her awe at their talent, musicianship, and versatility. The camaraderie and shared excitement in rehearsals have led to jokes about being quintuplet threats, as “They can all sing, dance, act, play and they are utterly wonderful humans.”
Importance of Representation
As a proud biracial woman, Driscoll emphasizes the significance of representation on stage. She believes that this production encapsulates the importance of diversity and inclusivity in the arts. Seeing characters from minority groups as heroes and leading players helps create a more inclusive and representative society. Driscoll firmly believes in the mantra, “If you can see it, you can be it.”
Uniqueness and Form-Defying Nature
Driscoll explains that what sets “Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812” apart from other Broadway productions is its ingenuity and non-commercialized approach. The musical originated from non-traditional theatre makers who brought their bohemian artistry to the project. The immersive element is another exciting aspect that pushes the boundaries of musical theatre, providing an unforgettable experience for the audience.
While the technical elements and staging of this production may differ from previous interpretations, Driscoll emphasizes that “the heart and journey of Natasha remain the same.”
Challenges and Behind-the-Scenes Moments
When asked about the most challenging aspect of preparing for the role, Driscoll mentions the stamina required for the show. With limited time off during the performance, she anticipates the need for vocal and mental endurance. As for behind-the-scenes anecdotes, Driscoll recalls being moved to tears when she heard Kala Gare sing “Sonya Alone” for the first time during rehearsals.
Highly Anticipated Australian Debut
Driscoll expresses her gratitude for being part of the highly anticipated Australian debut of “Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812.” As a long-term fan, she considers it a dream come true and appreciates Darlinghurst Theatre Company for bringing this special piece to Australia after many years.
In closing, Driscoll hopes that the audience takes away a fun message from the show, playfully stating, “That vodka is always the answer! But not arsenic…” With its immersive experience, stellar cast, and electrifying performances, “Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812” promises to be a memorable journey through love, passion, and self-discovery.
Don’t miss your chance to experience this exhilarating musical theatre production. “Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812” opens at Eternity Playhouse on July 9th and runs until August 20th. Get your tickets now and be prepared to be swept away by the magic of this unique and form-defying Broadway hit.
For more information or to purchase tickets, visit www.darlinghursttheatre.com