Recently, Georgina Hagen has been playing Ms Fleming/Veronica’s Mom in the UK & Ireland Tour of Heathers the Musical, with the run ending earlier this month. Whilst playing Sister Berthe on The Sound of Music Tour, Georgina was called upon at short notice to cover the role of Mother Abbess and she has previously worked on shows including We Will Rock You and Groundhog Day, as well as spending five years with Starlight Express. Early in her acting career, Georgina had a starring role as Lauren in Britannia High and she joined the cast of The Story of Tracy Beaker in Series 5 as Rebecca Chalmers. Georgina speaks to us about her recent run in Heathers the Musical, her time with Starlight Express and appearing in Groundhog Day.
You have recently been playing Ms Fleming/Veronica’s Mom in the UK & Ireland Tour of Heathers the Musical, what has it been like being part of the show?
Being a part of Heathers has been one of the best experiences of my career. It really is one big family, which you never leave even once the show finishes.
Had you seen the musical before being cast and how is it seeing the audience response to the performances?
I had! It was one of my favourites since the Off-Broadway production back in 2014! One thing I loved about being on the road with this show was seeing how different audiences around the UK reacted. I loved that at the end of every show the audience were on their feet without fail.
What have you enjoyed most about playing Ms Fleming/Veronica’s Mom and do you have any stand-out highlights from touring with the musical?
What I loved most about playing Ms Fleming was the fact that she’s such a kooky character, I was given a lot of freedom to play and explore her quirkiness, which is an actor’s dream. Heathers is such a unique show, everyone is encouraged to bring something different to their role. I also loved getting to perform Shine A Light, which has always been my favourite song in the show. Playing Veronica’s Mom was a challenge for me as I’m not a mother myself, yet! However… I loved the few short scenes I got to do with Andy Brady and Rebecca Wickes!
How was your time performing as Sister Berthe on The Sound of Music Tour?
I loved performing as Sister Berthe. She was such a fun character to play. It was incredibly nostalgic for me as my mum played Sister Margaretta in the London production.
Can you tell us about covering the role of Mother Abbess at short notice?
It was one of the best moments of my life! Being asked if I could do it and the adrenaline of only having three hours to learn the role and then perform two shows, there really is nothing else like it!
Having been part of Starlight Express a number of times, what are some of your favourite memories from the show over the years?
Definitely the people that I met throughout my five years of being in the show. Starlight is such a physically demanding show. Three months of skate school, learning how to dance on skates and learning how to sing in German… it’s an experience that brings people together. You can always relate to other Starlight cast members as you’ve all been through the crazy journey!
Was there anything that originally drew you to the musical and what were Pearl and Dinah like to play?
Yes actually, my dad was musical director of the London production (among others) when I was growing up, so Starlight Express (especially Pearl and Dinah) were my dream roles growing up.
How was it being involved with the workshop of Groundhog Day and then opening at The Old Vic?
It was absolutely incredible. Getting to be a part of something from the ground up was fascinating. Having it all coming together in front of you and getting to create a role/show is every performer’s dream. I feel incredibly lucky to have been a part of such a special production.
What do you remember most from playing Meat on the UK Tour of We Will Rock You?
Getting to perform with Brian May and Roger Taylor… need I say more??
On screen, you played Lauren in Britannia High, what was she like to play and how was your time in the series?
Lauren was a great role to play. I felt she was very similar to myself which made her much easier to portray. I’m so gutted that Britannia High didn’t have a longer life. I felt there was so much more we had to give. We had so much fun filming it, learning the songs, routines. It was incredible.
Can you tell us about playing Rebecca Chalmers in The Story of Tracy Beaker and what was it like being in the cast?
Having read the books and watched the series for four series before I joined, I was a MASSIVE Tracy Beaker fan, so my first few days on set were an out of body experience for me. It was also the first time I’d ever played “the bitch” which was a challenge, but SO much fun.
Where does your love of acting come from and is it something you always wanted to do?
I grew up with both of my parents in the industry so my love for performing definitely rubbed off from them.
Do you have any favourite theatre shows to watch?
I have many! I like all the oldies! Les Misérables, The Phantom of the Opera, Cats… the list is endless!
How do you like to spend your time away from your career?
I love spending time with my family. My fiancé and I live near the seaside so spend a lot of our downtime on beach walks.
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