You may remember Danielle Hope from all the way back in 2010, when she first donned the ruby slippers that would send her skipping down the yellow brick road, towards the successful career in musical theatre which was standing to greet her in the Emerald City. It was following her success on the BBC talent series Over the Rainbow that Hope was launched headfirst into the gruelling schedule of a West End production, which would see her working alongside highly experienced actors such as Michael Crawford at the London Palladium.
Since then Hope has starred as Eponine in the long-running Les Miserables and is now taking on a significant role in Joseph and the Amzing Technicolour Dreamcoat, which will be heading to the Norwich Theatre Royal stage next Tuesday.
Speaking to Venue about her first step into this transformative world, Hope says “I fell into it really. I had always been passionate about music, and was planning on going to drama school – I had all the auditions in place, and was ready to make the next move. It was a friend who first convinced me to audition for the show Over the Rainbow. To begin with I didn’t take it too seriously, as I wasn’t particularly keen on the idea of taking part in a reality TV show, but then I found myself making it through each round, until I was so entrenched in the process – and then it snowballed from there.”
Hope’s most current role, as narrator for the production of Joseph, sets a new challenge which greatly contrasts that of portraying the tragic character of Eponine. She says, “the roles I have played differ enormously, and have challenged me in various ways. The role I’m taking on as narrator is a massive role, I hardly get to leave the stage! Narrating is a very new thing to me, the actors have to ignore me, as I act as an ethereal character. It was difficult to adapt to, to begin with, as I have to remain removed from the events which are going on whilst also being emotionally descriptive.”
This role requires warmth and charisma, and an ability to engage with the audience in a very specific way in order to set the energy for the show. Hope says, “I’m like the audience’s friend. They are the people I am interacting with, as opposed to the other actors, and so it’s important to develop a relationship.”
As part of a touring performance, and this being Hope’s first, it is important to be able to adapt one’s character to the various spaces within which the cast will be performing, “I have to play with the various levels of my physicality and voice based on the spaces within which I am performing. The character I am playing requires a lot of stamina, so I need to make sure I’m comfortable with how I use the space I am given.”
With all the energy and enthusiasm exuded by Hope during our interview, it seems she will be more than capable of carrying the production when it reaches Norwich on Tuesday 28th October.