Centrestage Cymru & Sam Carlyle for “One Night Only” at Newport’s Dolman Theatre

For One Night Only, Centrestage Cymru will be teaming up with actress and performer Sam Carlyle to host an evening of musical theatre and comedy at Newport’s Dolman Theatre.

Centrestage Cymru were formed in 2012 and in the past decade have brought many sell-out musicals to the stage of Newport’s Dolman Theatre including Whistle Down the Wind, Grease, Singin’ in the Rain, Sister Act, Evita and Annie! The company are currently in rehearsals for their forthcoming production of The Wizard of Oz directed by Sharon Higgins Bem.

Members of Centrestage Cymru: Jordan Eric Leigh, Marc Williams, Bethan Daniels and Luke Palfrey (pictured with Alfie Boe during rehearsals for The Wizard of Oz) will be among the performers taking part in Centrestage Cymru: For One Night Only at the Dolman Theatre, Newport on September 23, 2022. Photo: Andy Howells

In the meantime, several Centrestage Cymru members are coming together to perform favourites from the worlds of pop music and musical theatre in a unique presentation entitled For One Night Only on September 23. Among the performers will be Andre-Paul Spring, Luke Palfrey, Cerys Cox, Bethan Daniels, Chris Davis, Jordan Eric Leigh, and Marc & Julie Williams.

As an added bonus, the evening will also include comedy from Essex-born actress, singer and performer Sam Carlyle in the form of her show, My Life and Other Jokes.

Sam moved to London when she was 18 to study musical theatre and has compered and appeared in several stage presentations in recent years. Among her theatrical credits are ‘What Would Julie Do? (Above the Stag)’, Miracle on 34th Street: The Radio Musical’, (Town and Gown) ‘The Full Monty: The Musical’ (The Old Joint Stock) and ‘Spring Awakening’ (Young Actor’s Theatre).  

For “My Life and Other Jokes“, Sam will be joined by musical arranger Thomas Duchan on the piano.

Sam Carlyle joins Centrestage Cymru for One Night Only with a performance of her comedy show at Newport’s Dolman Theatre on September 23, 2022.

Here, Sam chats to Andy Howells about My Life and Other Jokes and what makes her laugh!

How did you get into stand-up comedy?

A happy accident (Laughs)! I’ve performed since I was very young and trained in musical theatre. When I started doing professional jobs, I found that I really enjoyed concerts because of their relaxed and conversational vibe with the audience. So, the next step was to create my own cabaret and the stand-up sort of followed!

Who are your comedy heroes and why?

Tina Fey has been one of my biggest inspirations since I saw Mean Girls for the first. She is a brilliant writer, very natural and relatable and she has the funniest bones!

I also love the work of Victoria Wood. Especially her work with music, such a clever way of storytelling. More recently I’ve really enjoyed the work Bo Burnham and Phoebe Waller-Bridge have produced. I just love a good story, told in an interesting way.

Can you tell us about My Life and Other Jokes?

Yes, absolutely! It follows me from theatrical, attention demanding 4-year-old to a camp young woman navigating the prospect of turning 30, and it’s completely autobiographical.

It sounds self-indulgent (laughs), but it is very relatable content. It’s not just me chatting for an hour either, as I mentioned previously, I love a fun way of storytelling; so, I’ve rewritten lyrics to nineties and noughties hits to help the show along! My trusty pianist, Thomas Duchan, (also co-created the musical arrangements with me) is there to make me look good too.

Sam Carlyle will feature her unique take on hits from the nineties and noughties pop scene in My Life and Other Jokes, featured as part of a special evening of music and comedy hosted by Centrestage Cymru at Newport’s Dolman Theatre on September 23, 2022

What do you hope the audience will take away from the show?

A new appreciation for the 90s and 00s pop scene, a better understanding of cervical screenings and an all-round fun time!

What’s the funniest or most peculiar thing that’s happened to you at a comedy gig?

Not to give anything away, but I use placards within the show, and they’ve been out of order before causing all sorts of silly misunderstandings. I’ve had an elderly couple walk out too, it was mid song and I think we’d hit too many sexual references for them. They were sat in the middle of a row, so there was no sneaking out!

Have you got any other projects you are working on now that we can look out for in the future?

I start rehearsals for ‘It’s A Wonderful Life: The Radio Play’ in about a month which I’m very excited for. It’s on at Town and Gown Theatre in Cambridge and runs December 7th to Christmas Eve; the perfect Christmas treat!

For One Night Only featuring Sam Carlyle and Centrestage Cymru takes place at The Dolman Theatre on September 23, 2022, at 7:30pm. The presentation will feature some adult themes.

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