007: Anna Jane Casey – Be kind, be kind, be kind.

Join host Andrew Keates as he and Anna Jane Casey cover her extraordinary career from leaving Lancashire to join the West End production of Cats at the age of sixteen to being the world’s greatest showbiz mum and her recent appearances as Mrs Wilkinson in the UK tour of Billy Elliott, Mavis in the West End production of Stepping Out plus her many other iconic roles and breathtaking appearances.

AJ didn’t go to drama school and instead learnt her craft in countless stage productions including playing in Starlight Express, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat, Grease and West Side Story, where she met her husband Graham McDuff. Anna discusses her many other credits including Wild, Wild, Women, Velma in Chicago, Edith Piaf in Piaf, Dot in Sunday in the Park with George (and why she didn’t go onto do the later West End and Broadway productions), Lady of the Lake in Spamalot, frequently singing at the Royal Albert Hall (including with Family Guy creator Seth Macfarlene), Forbidden Broadway and is even brought to tears recollecting her involvement in Daniel Evan’s recent new British musical, Flowers For Mrs. Harris with Clare Burt.

Episode features include:

The Soapbox:

Andrew and AJ discuss ageism including frustrations with casting actors who are too young for leading roles – is it because younger performers are cheaper?  Why do great actors seem to be forgotten about once they reach their 40s? The importance of understanding company etiquette and how to lead a company when you are a leading lady and the advice she gave Ruthie Henshall before she took over her role in Billy Elliott and some of the little things Amanda Holden did for her during her time in Stepping Out.

Theatrical Tips:

Andrew’s theatrical tips include the 50th Anniversary production of Hair at the Vaults Theatre, the brand new West End production of Everybody’s Talking About Jamie at the Apollo Theatre and Privates on Parade starring Simon Green and Sam Curry at the Union Theatre.

The Platform:

Our featured composer is Ed Zanders and a song from his London Underground inspired musical performed by Eleanor Walsh and a concert orchestra.

Plus Show People challenges, tangents and much, much more.


All profits from the Show People Podcast go toward supporting Arion Productions Ltd to create opportunities and resources for theatre-makers. If you enjoy the podcast and can support this independent theatre company, please visit www.arion-productions.com/showpeople

Social Media:

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Show People Photography by Scott Rylander: www.scottrylander.com
Anna Jane Casey’s website: www.annajanecasey.com
Hair at the Vaults Theatre: www.hair50.com
Everybody’s Talking About Jamie at the Apollo Theatre: www.nimaxtheatre.com
Privates on Parade at the Union Theatre: www.uniontheatre.biz
Arion Productions Donate Link: www.arion-productions.com/donate
The Show People Shop: www.arion-productions.com/showpeople

AJ’s upcoming 2017 concert dates include:

20th November with the Royal Philharmonic at the Royal Albert Hall (with Olly Thompsett and Alexander Armstrong).
16th December at Cadogan Hall with the Royal Philharmonic (with Graham Bickley).
18th December at the Lyric Hammersmith (with Joe Stilgoe and Katherine Kingsley).
21st December in Belfast with the Ulster Orchestra.

Next Episode: 

The Show People Podcast is a biweekly podcast. The next episode will be released 20th November 2017. Make sure you’ve hit subscribe and left us a review on iTunes or whichever platform you listen to us on. Thank you for listening.