From suits to stars: featuring Frances James (playing Claire)

Anna Fiorentini 19 Nov 2019

From suits to stars: featuring Frances James (playing Claire)

Frances James will be starring in the upcoming Musical Theatre Company show “Mad, Crazy, Love” this weekend at the Tower Theatre.

From suits to stars is a blog segment featuring students at Stage & the City, and pulls back the curtain on their lives and experiences as adults participating on our courses. This feature aims to remove the common misconceptions about performing arts classes as only being for professional actors or dancers, but instead that most of our students are from all walks of life. As our slogan says, classes for adults who just want to have fun!

Please tell us a little bit about your background and what you do for a living 

My name is Frances James and I work full time as a content writer and researcher for a higher education research company. I write thought leadership content from their website covering everything from the gender pay gap to the way technology is affecting education. I am also currently studying part-time for a post-graduate certificate in journalism. Whilst I enjoyed my previous time as a video producer, I realised that I wanted to pursue writing as a career. I also LOVE to read.

What inspired you to join our Musical Theatre Company? 

I have always loved musical theatre. In my opinion, it provides the audience with an escapism that no other form of art can. I would always leave a show feeling joy, and would rush off to listen to the soundtrack over and over again; singing it as much as possible to the detriment of those around me. I thought I’d challenge myself and give musical theatre a go myself. I have experience in acting, singing and dance but never all together at once. I have even more respect for musical theatre performers now that I’ve given it a go!

What do you love the most about performing arts? 

For me, it’s important to put yourself in situations that are outside of your comfort zone, as it’s then that you are able to learn a lot about yourself. The performing arts has forced me to challenge myself in a variety of ways. The fact that I sing on my own in front of others is a big achievement (even if it’s not perfect), as it was completely unheard of prior to joining this group.

What do you enjoy the most about being a member of our Musical Theatre Company? 

Coming together as a group has been the best part of this experience. I have learnt a lot from the others through all the highs and lows and have made some great friends. It’s amazing to see a group pull together and work hard to create something.

Soon you will be performing in our musical production at the Tower Theatre, is this going to be the first time you’ve performed in front of an audience?   

I grew up acting, though mainly spending my time in improvisation class. I performed as part of the National Youth Theatre, school productions and other theatre companies. I also spent much of my time at university and after taking part in cheerleading competitions across the country, so I’m used to performance. I am NOT however, used to musical theatre performance, and this will be my first time singing solos in front of an audience. *gulp*

Frances James will be performing in the Musical Theatre Company show, “Mad, Crazy, Love” which debuts this Friday the 22nd of November at the Tower Theatre.

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