In 2019, Danielle Steers took over the role of Catherine Parr in the London cast of SIX the Musical, and was continuing her run until the pandemic closed theatres around the world. SIX reopened in the West End at the Lyric Theatre when shows were allowed to return with socially distanced audiences, though they only had a short time before theatres had to close once more. While theatres have been closed, Danielle has performed as Scary Spice at the Spice Girls drive-in concert and was involved with a virtual production of First Date with Lambert Jackson and Crazy Coqs. Danielle originated the role of Zahara in Bat Out of Hell where she performed in Manchester, the West End and New York, and her other productions have included Sweet Charity and We Will Rock You. As well as an acting career, Danielle is also a singer-songwriter and she has just released her debut album The Future Ain’t What It Used To Be. Catching up with Danielle, she talks about joining the cast of SIX the Musical as Catherine Parr, originating the role of Zahara in Bat Out of Hell and working on First Date with Lambert Jackson and Crazy Coqs.
What are you enjoying most about playing Catherine Parr in SIX the Musical and how was it joining the show in 2019?
Catherine Parr is such a great part to play, you pretty much stay quiet until your moment at the end, observing what the other Queens have to say. I love the costume and also I Don’t Need Your Love feels so empowering to sing! Also, the love onstage between the Queens is super special!
I was terrified to join the show with it having such a huge fan base, so I tried my best to make the part my own, which has been a journey in itself.
Was there anything that drew you to the production and how was it preparing for your opening night?
I honestly hadn’t heard any of the songs before I auditioned. Everyone was talking about the show but I still hadn’t seen it. Upon auditioning and getting to know the show a little more, I felt it was a great platform for women of all shapes, sizes, colours, sexualities etc and that’s why it holds a special place in my heart. Prepping for opening night was crazy as there was only myself and Courtney Bowman being rehearsed in alongside our incredible alternates, Zara MacIntosh, Hana Stewart and Cherelle Jay, so that was quite tricky at times.
The show reopened at the Lyric Theatre before the pandemic closed theatres again, what was it like returning to live shows?
Reopening at the Lyric was incredible, with new costumes, a new set and lots more new tricks. Whilst it was only for a short period of time, I really hope we can return there very soon! There is nothing like live theatre!
How was the experience performing on This Morning to promote the reopening?
This was such a fun day out and all of us hadn’t been together in a while so it was wonderful to get to perform with the girls again!
What was Carmen like to play in Sweet Charity at Donmar Warehouse in 2019?
Sweet Charity was unlike anything I’d ever done before, in terms of musical and space. The Donmar is a very intimate space so was quite nerve-racking at times. But I loved playing Carmen, amongst other characters in this show!
Can you tell us about your time as Zahara in Bat Out of Hell?
Zahara was my first role and I created the part which was super fun! We opened the show in Manchester and over the year it kept evolving and changed some more in my second year (at the Dominion). I also went with the show to New York which was an incredible experience! Zahara is everything I want to be and I will carry her with me forever. She literally did change my life.
What are some of your favourite memories from your time in the show?
There are too many to name after nearly three years in the show, but getting to perform the show for Meatloaf twice was pretty special. Getting to perform in New York! Shutting down a main road in Canada to do a press launch! The list is endless. I also made some friends for life on that job.
Do you remember how you felt booking the role and getting into character for the first time?
I remember being told I’d got the job right after my final audition and it didn’t feel real and I put it to the back of my mind until my agent called me to tell me the news, I cried! Getting to be in an original cast and create a role was something I wanted to tick off my list. It was very overwhelming. The opening night was electric and a feeling I will never forget.
Prior to Bat Out of Hell, you were in the casts of Beautiful – The Carole King Musical and The Bodyguard, can you say more about these?
I loved both of these jobs, completely different to each other. Beautiful was fun as I got to sing one of the most gorgeous songs Will You Love Me Tomorrow and do a really exciting quick change (which I live for) and The Bodyguard kept me on my toes as I was a Swing (I covered all the ensemble girls as well as one of the leads). As much as I loved being thrown on last minute for parts, I dont think I could do it again, haha!
How was it on the International Arena Tour of We Will Rock You as Ensemble and cover Killer Queen?
Rock You was a real experience, getting to perform in arenas for starters was epic and sometimes Brian May would join us on stage for the guitar solo in Bo Rhap! Unfortunately, I never made it on as Killer Queen but I would love to play the part one day!
You were part of a virtual production of First Date with Lambert Jackson and Crazy Coqs recently, how was this?
This was like nothing I’d ever done before and we filmed it in such a short time so we had to be on it at all times. Playing such an array of characters really tested me and I found it incredibly difficult to take on some of the roles, but as a performer we like to be stretched and pushed to our limits. The cast were fantastic and we laughed all week! It was super fun!
Can you tell us about some of the other projects you have been/are involved with while theatres are closed?
It’s been a very trying time but I’ve managed to stay afloat and have taken part in quite a few online concerts as well as live performances during this time but I think my favourite would have to be playing Scary Spice at the Spice Girls drive-in! I felt like an absolute pop star and I’ll remember that night forever!
How did you get into musical theatre and is it something you always wanted to do?
I knew I wanted to sing from a very young age and took singing lessons and started going to amature dramatics around the age of ten, then at sixteen I went to SLP College to study musical theatre full time. There is nothing else I would rather be doing.
We understand you’ve released music previously, can you say about this part of your career?
Yes, I currently have a few singles out on iTunes and Spotify, some covers and an original song that I wrote. I have also recently just released my debut album The Future Ain’t What It Used To Be which is available to buy from my website daniellesteers.co.uk.
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