She’s tough, sarcastic, doesn’t care what others think of her – and gets to sing one of the best songs in the musical Grease - “There Are Worse Things I Could Do”.
“Absolutely gobsmacked,” was Chloe Ballard’s reaction when she won the iconic part of Rizzo, as played by Stockard Channing in the 1978 movie.
Rizzo is the leader of the Pink Ladies, the gang of teenage girls who rule the school at Rydell High, 1959. Her cynical view of the romance between lead characters Danny and Sandy masks her own vulnerability.
“People tell me it’s the best part in the show,” says 21-year-old Chloe. “My mum is over the moon. And my three-year-old niece is really excited - I’ve got her a little jacket so she can be a Pink Lady too!”
It’s Chloe’s debut with BATS but she has long-term friends in the Society. “I shared the role of Sweet Charity at college with Jade Hollingshead, who plays Jan in Grease,” Chloe explains. “I came to see her in Sister Act earlier this year and was blown away by how professional the show was. I really wanted to be part of BATS.”
By day Chloe is a childcare assistant at a nursery in Basingstoke, but she says dealing with excited toddlers is a breeze compared to one previous job. “I was a hotel entertainer in Gran Canaria. I helped run the kids’ club, looked after guests and any spare time was spent rehearsing for the big evening show. I lasted two weeks!”
But Chloe has really risen to the challenge of bringing Rizzo to life. “She’s very different to me – I’m very emotional but she hides her emotions. Rehearsals have been about finding her voice, exploring who she is – and learning some amazing dances!"
“I love performing because what I do on stage can make other people happy, and that makes me happy too. I can’t wait for audiences to see Grease – hopefully they’ll love it!”
Grease runs for nine performances from Thurs 19th - Sat 28th November.