Following the release of her album, Here Comes the Sun, So So Gay caught up with West End performer and singer Louise Dearman.
From some of the biggest stages in London, to the small screen in one of the UK’s most recognised television adverts, Louise Dearman has cast a spell on the British public. Following the release of her second album last month, Here Comes The Sun, we caught up with the songstress to talk about her passion for the stage and her plans for the future.
So So Gay: What made you first want to become a stage performer?
Louise Dearman: I started dancing when I was three and I really enjoyed it, but it was completely a hobby up until I hit about 12 or 13. Then I started having singing lessons, and acting lessons, and in my middle school I had the opportunity to join a choir so of course I grabbed that opportunity. We got to audition for Joseph and the Technicolor Dream Coat at the London Palladium. We managed to make it through the auditions and became part of the choir when Phillip Schofield was playing Joseph, and it was such an amazing experience. Then all of a sudden, it went from being a hobby to becoming something I wanted to do as a career. I was just watching all these people around me, all these professionals on the stage in Joseph, and it made me desperate to be doing what they were doing with such an exhilerating feeling. From there I just knew that I absolutely wanted to do it professionally. Then, when I was 16, much to the annoyance of all my teachers at school, I decided I wanted to leave and go to theatre college. So I trained for three years and really it has all gone from there; it seemed like a really natural progression.
You have spent many years working in the West End, and have played a wealth of wonderful roles – do you have a favourite?
There are a few favourites for different reasons. Wicked has been the highlight for me, simply because I worked my way up so slowly in musical theatre and I have really done my time; I did a lot of touring and played lots of smaller roles. Then I finally got to the West End playing a huge lead role with Glinda in such an incredible show, which is mind blowing to be a part of let alone watch. I had such an incredible time with Wicked. But also, some other shows which hold great memories are Guys and Dolls which is absolutely one of my favourites, again such a wonderful show, working with the Donmar Warehouse production was phenomenal. I made so many good friends in that show, so it holds so many special memories for me. Then there is Evita where I got to play such an iconic role in Eva Peron, which was, for me as an actress, just such a huge thing for me to do. For me, for all different reasons, those three shows are my highlights. But definitely Wicked, which for me felt like reaching the top of the ladder, since it was one of the biggest shows in the West End. The thing is, after that you think ‘where on earth can I go, after a show like Wicked’. However, I am definitely enjoying myself right now with all the different things that I am doing.
Some of our readers may be happily surprised to know that you are the singer behind the famous confused.com adverts; did you enjoy working on them?
It was weird at first. A friend of mine was hooking up all of the singers and organising everything for the adverts, called me up and asked me if I would be interested, and I said yes and it just went on from there. I have done every single one, I have just recently recorded a new one, and like I said, at first it was really really strange because the advert is on a lot and so I would suddenly hear my voice popping up on the television. But now, I really barely notice it is there; however, lots of friends and family sometimes go ‘oh it’s you again on the tele’. The really bizarre thing is when I meet friends of friends or other people who may not know me that well, the first thing they say is ‘oh my god, you are the girl from the confused.com adverts’! It is never ‘oh my goodness, you were in Wicked’ – it’s always confused.com, which is really interesting because it shows that it has made such an impact on people. They are really good fun and I have such a good time when I go into the recording studio. Also, I am not sure if you are aware, but in the animations the little brown dog is actually based on my own dog Allan, who used to come into the studio with me. They actually asked me if they could put him in the adverts and I said ‘absolutely’, so now he is becoming a star in his own right.
How do you feel about the release of your new album Here Comes the Sun?
Its all been so exciting. While I was in Wicked my management, my agency and I decided that I should record an album. I recorded my first album, You and I about six years ago and it was very much all musical theatre songs with just me and a piano. Whereas with this new album we absolutely went for it. It’s got brand new arrangements of every single song, andit’s packed with music by artists I really have admired over the years. Also there is everything from big dancey numbers to very chilled out mellow tracks. The production was incredible and it feels very theatrical and orchestral almost. I am incredibly proud of it, having been working on it for a long time so that we could get it just right. I went through hundreds of playlists to find the tracks that came to be on the album, and the truth is I love every single song we have included on there, and there is not one track that I would just skip past, and hopefully there will be something on there for everybody.
Do you have any immediate plans to work on any more singles or albums, either now or in the future?
Yes, Absolutely! This is just the beginning for me as far as being a recording artist goes. Over the summer I will be doing lots of live gigs and promoting the album even more, and my next single is due to come out in July. We are also talking about what the next album will be, what it will be like and where we want it to go.