Kirsty talks about playing her biggest BATS role to date

 Headshot photo of Kirsty Bennett

Headshot photo of Kirsty Bennett

 Kirsty dressed up in her finery as Lina Lamont for the filming of the silent movie sequences

Kirsty dressed up in her finery as Lina Lamont for the filming of the silent movie sequences

In real life, Kirsty Bennett has a gorgeous singing voice, showcased at children’s parties and charity events where she appears in the guise of various fairy tale princesses.  But Lina Lamont, the diva-esque film star Kirsty plays in Singin’ in the Rain, has a voice best described as fingernails scraping down a blackboard.

“That’s a big challenge,” admits Kirsty. “Lina has a really harsh throaty voice so I’m working out tactics to avoid damaging my vocal chords!"

But for Kirsty it’s worth it. Lina is her biggest role in a BATS show to date.

“I’ve always loved comedy and I’ve longed to play a big character part like this,” she says. “Lina is a star of the silent movies so her fans have never actually heard her speak.  So when Hollywood decides her next film should be a “talking picture”, there’s a big problem!”

Trying to teach Lina to speak ‘properly’ is one of the comic highlights of Singin’ in the Rain. Kirsty has one big musical number too, but of course the show is best known for the title song, immortalised by Gene Kelly in the most famous sequence from the 1952 MGM movie.
“It’s my mum’s favourite musical,” says Kirsty, “and it’s just as well because we’re watching the DVD a lot in our house at the moment!” 

Kirsty’s own young daughter Emelia is also a fan and loves seeing her mum perform, which she’s been doing since taking dance lessons at the age of three. Kirsty’s first show with BATS was in 2005 with Sweeney Todd.  After a spell as a holiday camp entertainer around the UK, she has appeared in most BATS shows since returning to Basingstoke in 2011.

“I most enjoy working with my friends on stage,” explains Kirsty. “It really is a big team effort. Everyone is really supportive of each other, and doing all they can to make this the best possible show.  I can’t wait for people to see it!” 

Singin’ in The Rain is at the Haymarket, Basingstoke from Wednesday 9th-Saturday 19th May. Performances at 7.30pm with extra 2.30pm shows on Saturday 12th & 19th.

ll tickets for the opening night are £18.50.  For the other performances: £23.50 (adults)  £15 (16s and under) - with concessions for students, over-65s and groups.  All prices include a booking fee.  Buy tickets online.

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