Lord of the Dance Interview
Michael Flatley’s Lord of the Dance: Dangerous Games launches this week at Sheffield City Hall, starring award winning Irish dancer Tom Cunningham and Yorkshire acrobat Jess Judge. We had a chat with Jess to find out about the show, her British Champion award and what it’s like transitioning between gymnastics and acting.
Hi Jess, how are you?
I’m very well thank you.
So how has the tour been?
It’s been amazing to visit so many different places – it’s honestly been great and definitely an experience I won’t forget anytime soon. This has never happened to me before, it’s a whole new experience for me and I’m just loving every moment.
You must feel pretty proud to be performing so close to home, is there anywhere else you’ve particularly enjoyed?
To be honest performing anywhere for me is a great achievement and I’m having a great time being with the cast on this tour. I just want to take it easy and see where it goes. But it is really nice to be home and perform for my home county; it’s really exciting.
So could you tell us a little bit more about the production?
It’s a classic tale about good vs evil with a modernised perspective… and to make it even more interesting it has a powerful twist.
Sounds intriguing! Being a previous British Champion would you say that you’re used to being far from home?
I just go through stages with it, I guess I pick myself up and remind myself that they are only a phone call away but yeah it can get pretty lonely, but being busy helps a lot.
Tom Cunningham has been with Lord of the Dance for 18 years – what’s it like performing with someone who knows the production so well?
So good, he’s great. He’s been amazing to work with and he’s brilliant at being the Dark Lord.
What’s been the most challenging aspect of the job?
Acting – as it’s totally different from what I’m used to. You’ve got to make sure you put so much emotion in everything you do.
What made you want to go into theatre – has anyone inspired you in particular?
Definitely my coach and my parents, they’ve helped me through thick and thin and I wouldn’t know what to do without them.
What would your wise words be to other aspiring acrobats out there?
Just keep trying as hard as you can and keep positive. Just be happy and keep working your way through.
What are your plans for when the production has finished? Anything work related or will you just be chilling out at home?
I’m just going to chill out at home after being on tour for four months. I think it’s what I need and just to catch up with family – it’ll be really nice to relax and be back.
Michael Flatley’s Lord of the Dance: Dangerous Games is on at Sheffield City Hall on the 15th, 16th and 17th June 2015. Head to www.sheffieldcityhall.co.uk for tickets and more.