Fresh from her performance as Mabel in the London Musical Theatre Orchestra’s performance of Mack and Mabel at the Hackney Empire, Natasha Barnes spoke to Love London Love Culture about her debut album, Supermodel, and her upcoming performance in the much-anticipated fringe thriller revival Tryst at the Tabard Theatre.
Hi Natasha, congratulations on your new single! How do you feel about releasing it?
It feels great! Although the lead up was very nerve-wracking. It’s very personal to share my voice for the first time but the support and reaction have been amazing.
What do you consider to be the main message of Supermodel?
I think if I had to sum it up in one word it would be ‘strength’. It’s about feeling the fear of an emotional situation and letting it play out regardless. And it has a healthy dose of women power and having the right to be who you are.
What can people expect from your debut album?
It’s not what people will expect I don’t think. There is, of course, a theme that I want people to discover for themselves. But each track has a different little piece of me and therefore a different feel. I’m really excited by some of our original material. Expect something with a bit of pop and a bit of soul and bit of jazz and a bit of blues… so quite a lot of bits!
Have you always wanted to make an album? How did it come about?
Making an album was not something I ever sought to actively create. I was performing as the lead in Funny Girl, a musical playing at the Savoy Theatre in the West End, and a scout from Sony happened to be in the audience. It was very much something that came out of the universe aligning, I think. I was in the right place at the right time, and I couldn’t have enjoyed it more.
You’re also about to star in a new production of Tryst at the Tabard Theatre – quite different from your last role. What attracted you to the play?
The very fact that is it SO different from anything I have done before. I wanted the opportunity to show people I am an artist and an actress, and the story was so good I wanted to be part of the telling of it.
Could you tell me a little bit more about the play and your character, Adelaide?
She is an iceberg. That’s the best way to sum her up. What you see on the surface is nothing on what is beneath. It’s difficult to describe anything about this without giving it away which is why it is such a brilliant thriller.
How would you describe the play to anyone who isn’t familiar with it?
Tryst is a classic thriller with a contemporary edge. It’s a story of two people negotiating and weaving through a situation with some startling consequences.
What do you think that audiences can expect from the production?
To be completely taken away for just over an hour and a half. I’m hoping people will be on the edge of their seats. There aren’t many plays like it out there at the minute – it’s a really exciting piece of theatre.
It sounds as though you’ve been pretty busy! Do you get much time to relax?
I was just saying the other day I need to get a hobby! Although it’s very exciting being able to jump from one thing to the next, I worked very hard for years without really getting a look in more than once a year work-wise so I am grateful for every second.
What’s the best bit of career advice you have been given that you would pass on to other aspiring performers?
I get asked this question a lot and I always feel really humbled that anyone would want advice from me! You have to protect your work. Which means always keeping yourself busy, getting as involved as you can in bettering your skills as a performer. Even if it’s buying a second-hand book of plays and wading then through. You can develop your skills on a budget – I found ways to do it for years.
A huge thank you to Natasha for taking time out of a very busy schedule to answer these questions! Tryst runs at London’s Tabard Theatre from 12 October to 5 November 2017.