There is no one word to describe my love of musicals! Obsessive would be an understatement. As a little girl I would watch films such as The Wizard of Oz, Calamity Jane (who I wanted to be!), The Sound of Music, and my all time favourite Mary Poppins, over and over again. On the weekend I was allowed to stay up late and watch a film while my little brother went to bed and it was such a treat if we were watching a new musical. To this day I still find curling up on the sofa with a smile and a song, one of the best pastimes.
When I was about 10 years old my grandma took me to watch Joseph at the local theatre and I was mesmerised with the bright lights, colourful costumes and the catchy numbers. Musicals were even better on stage! We would regularly go and watch shows in Cardiff and Bristol together and then spent the drive home from the theatre humming the tunes and discussing the best and worst songs and performers. We were theatre critics of the best kind, and little did I know that it would influence a big part of my life.
In 2004 we went to see the world première of the stage musical version of Mary Poppins. You can imagine my excitement to see my favourite film on stage. I felt extremely privileged to be among the first audiences to see the stage adaption. Two weeks later I found myself being interviewed for a marketing assistant role at the newly built Wales Millennium Centre. I remember being asked what the last show I had seen was, and I couldn't contain my enthusiasm as I answered. I was offered the job on the spot, and to this day I think that practically perfect nanny secured it for me!
I had never planned to work in theatre, I don't have the talent to walk the boards (as much as I like to think I can sing like Elphaba or Eponine in the shower!) so it had never entered my head that I could have a career in the industry. I went on to spend 10 years promoting some of the best shows in the world in my hometown. I may be biased but the Centre is one of the best theatre's in the country (if you haven't been there add it to your list!) so it was joy to work in such a great venue. What a lucky girl...
So you see the reason I love a musical, is not just because they make me smile but because without even realising they've been an integral part of my life. They kick-started my career, I celebrated my 30th birthday in the bright lights of Broadway and I even walked down the aisle to All I Ask of You from Phantom. Grandma may no loner be with me but every time I hear one of our favourite songs simply remember thats she's there, somewhere over the rainbow, singing along with me.