42nd Street took the West End by storm when it moved into the Theatre Royal Drury Lane, with a flurry of four and five-star reviews. Much of the praise was for Clare Halse, who plays Peggy Sawyer, a dance virtuoso waiting to be discovered,is forced to step in and save Julian Marsh’s Broadway show Pretty Lady. We chatted to Halse about her previous experiences as an understudy opposite Imelda Staunton, how she is helping to inspire a generation of young dancers, and performing for Royalty on the show’s opening night. How much of 42nd Street did you know before you auditioned for the part?
There’s a moment of indescribable exhilaration at the very start of this careful yet constantly surprising revival of 42nd Street which begins, as every production of the musical does, with the curtain rising a mere two foot to display the tapping feet of a stunning 40-strong ensemble.