In 2017, Miriam-Teak Lee won The Stage Debut Award for best actress in a musical for her performance in On the Town at Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre. Now, she’s about to star as the lead in new West End musical &Juliet. Prior to the show’s pre-West End run in Manchester, she is keeping a video diary about her experiences. Read an excerpt here:
“We’ve just finished our first week of rehearsals and it’s gone so fast. Where did it go? Usually in a rehearsal process, you’d have a set script ready to go, but we’ve had a different process because we’re creating this musical from the ground up. Everything is brand new.
“We started at Act II because that was the place that needed the most changes. We’ve all worked collaboratively on creating something that is completely ours – we actors put in our input, choreographer Jennifer Weber puts in her input, so does the director Luke Sheppard, and the writer David West Read is changing things all the time – keeping us on our toes. But it’s a safe space, so we’re able to make mistakes, to get things wrong and to realise that some things don’t work. Now is the time to make those mistakes, so we’re able to put something on the stage we’re really proud of.
“One challenge has been working out my vocal stamina and what it means to lead an entire show. This show lives in the pop world and belting constantly is not great for the voice, so it’s about working out how to do that in a way that is technically right, so you can do it again and again and again. These songs are very high and there are so many. I have to pace myself.
“Dominic Fallacaro and Bill Sherman, the musical director and the orchestrator, keep telling me: ‘Hold it back, pace yourself, don’t give it full fire every time.’ I just want to sing it full out every time, but I need to gauge that and know that in rehearsals sometimes you give it full out, sometimes you hold it back. It’s a stamina thing – it’s building yourself up and not burning yourself out.”
Watch the full video:
&Juliet begins performances at the Manchester Opera House on September 10. It transfers to the West End’s Shaftesbury Theatre in November