With The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole the Musical transferring to the West End’s Ambassadors Theatre earlier this year, Molly May Gibson booked the role of Pandora Braithwaite, performing in the show until it closed in September, and during her time as Pandora, she performed at West End Live, was interviewed on BUILD and modelled on This Morning. Previously, Molly May has been part of a number of other theatre shows including Annie – joining the West End cast at the Piccadilly Theatre as Duffy, the UK Tour of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang – performing with the musical at the Marlowe Theatre in Canterbury, and Gypsy – which marked her professional debut and saw her performance filmed for the BBC and DVD release. Molly May also has experience in campaigns and voiceover, which has seen her work with NSPCC and for English Language tapes. Catching up with Molly May, she answers our questions about being in the cast of The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole the Musical as Pandora, performing at West End Live and her time as Duffy in Annie.
Having recently finished performing as Pandora Braithwaite in The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole the Musical at the Ambassadors Theatre in the West End, do you remember how you felt performing as Pandora for the first and last time?
The first time I did a show as Pandora it was unreal. All of my friends from school were there, and it was just the best day ever. The last time was so, so sad and I cried. A lot. It was sad leaving such an amazing time in my life.
What was it like auditioning for the musical and for the role of Pandora?
The auditions were really fun, but at the same time, I was so nervous because I really didn’t want to mess anything up as I wanted the part so much!
You performed at West End Live earlier this year, how did you find the experience?
West End Live was really awesome! We actually did that performance before we had even done our very first show, so it was like a little taster of the show for our families. It’s the best feeling in the world performing in front of such a huge crowd, there’s nothing quite like that buzz!
During your time in The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole the Musical, you were interviewed on BUILD with your fellow cast members Kobi Watson, Nicholas Antoniou-Tibbitts and Regan Garcia, how was this?
The BUILD interview was really cool to do, it’s unlike anything I’ve done before, and we all loved the new experience. It was quite scary doing a live interview because you don’t know what you’re going to be asked or worse, what you are going to say!
What was it like modelling on This Morning for their school uniform segment with one of the other Pandoras – Rebecca Nardin?
This was so much fun, I never thought I’d be modelling on This Morning, it was amazing. Everyone was so lovely and we actually got to keep a few things that we modelled as well, so that was nice.
You played Duffy in the West End cast of Annie at the Piccadilly Theatre, can you tell us about your time in the show?
Annie is such a great show, and it was crazy because I joined the cast partway through the run and I remember watching it on its press night! I never thought that only a few months later I would be on that stage as well playing Duffy! I loved being an orphan, it’s every little girl’s dream growing up, it was incredible, and I made some lovely friends.
What was it like performing in the UK Tour of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang at the Marlowe Theatre in Canterbury?
They cast each set of ensemble sewer kids at each venue, so I was lucky enough to perform at the Marlowe Theatre in Canterbury for three weeks. I had such fun and got to sing every night with Lee Mead and Carrie Hope Fletcher, which was really cool.
You made your professional theatre debut in Gypsy, what do you remember most from filming the show for the BBC and for a DVD release?
This was such a cool experience to do. I remember watching the crew setting up for it and seeing all the moving cameras filming from literally every angle to get the best possible outcome. It was great to watch it on TV too and lovely that we have it to keep forever!
We understand you were part of the choir for the live shows of Britain’s Got Talent, what was this like to do?
This was so, so cool! It was even better because I was performing with my friends and it was so exciting to see all the judges in person.
How was it performing at the Royal Albert Hall for Magic at the Musicals?
It was such an experience to perform at the Royal Albert Hall. I remember how excited we all were to have pictures backstage with some West End legends! It was different to a theatre show as the venue was HUGE!!
How did you get into acting and is it something you always wanted to do?
I started my training at the age of two or three at Studio Six Dance School in Folkestone. I was involved in local amateur shows, and I just got the bug. I used to sing to anyone who would listen!!
I have a very supportive family and am lucky to receive the training I do.
Do you have a process for learning scripts and what would you say is the most rewarding part of your career?
With scripts, I just keep reading over them so the words get into my brain. The two most rewarding moments for me were when over one hundred of my friends and family came to watch me in Annie one night, and they were chanting at stage door! They caused a roadblock!!
Also, just every time I did a show in Adrian Mole! I just loved being there every day, we were like a family, and I’m beyond grateful that I was part of such a truly amazing show. I will never forget it.
I feel very lucky to have had these amazing opportunities.
How was the experience working on the NSPCC campaign?
It was very different to anything I’ve ever done before, but I’m glad I was lucky enough to do it! The team put makeup on me to make me look like a neglected/abused child, and this was really different for my parents to see me like that. I am glad I got to be a part of raising awareness for such an important charity and hope the campaign made a difference in some way.
You’ve also worked in voiceover, can you tell us about some of the voiceover work you’ve been involved with?
I really enjoy doing voiceovers, most of the ones I do are English Language tapes, so they are teaching children around the world how to speak English! I recently recorded the title song in a new feature film, and that was fun. I can’t wait for it to be released.
Now you’ve finished your run in The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole the Musical, what are your plans for the next few months?
Catch up on sleep, haha!
I’m going to keep working hard at school, continue with my training and audition for anything that comes my way!
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