INTERVIEW: Spotlight On… Tiffany Graves

In Cabaret, Interviews, Musicals by Helen McWilliamsLeave a Comment

She’s played Velma Kelly in Chicago, appeared in The Producers, Kiss Me Kate and Sweet Charity amongst many other successful shows. Her cabarets have received critical acclaim – including an Also Recognised Awards nomination this year for her Desperate Divas cabaret with Anita Louise Combe – and she’s about to embark upon two more cabaret dates at the Crazy Coqs. Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you…. Tiffany Graves!

Tell me all about your exciting cabaret dates at The Crazy Coqs and what the audience can expect from your cabaret.

I had such fun performing at The Crazy Coqs in October and so I’m so excited and flattered to have been asked back to do two nights on April 11th & 18th. I have many returning audience members from the last time which is ace, but it also means it has to be a completely new show! It’s called “Let’s Do it!” and there’ll be plenty of classics from Kander & Ebb, Cy Coleman and Rogers & Hart as well as new work from British composers and songs from Broadway. I also enjoy doing mash-ups, as well as changing the lyrics of well-known songs to incorporate suggestions from the audience, and my wonderful MD Leigh Thompson is a musical genius who loves doing them too.

What are your personal favourite numbers from the show? Why are they your favourites?

I previously sang a song from Pal Joey called ‘Zip’ and changed the lyrics to make it all about the people who were in the audience. There had been many who had contacted me on Twitter (@TiffanyGraves4) to let me know they were coming and tell me what they were up to – it was great fun and something I shall be doing again! Everyone loves to feel included and special and The Crazy Coqs is the perfect venue make this happen because it is so intimate. It’s also a nice way to say Thank You for coming to support me in my show!

Are there any numbers that have been personal challenges to sing?

Patter songs! Like the fabulous number “Words, Words, Words” from The Witches of Eastwick that I sang whilst playing Sukie Rougemont at The Watermill Theatre a few years back. It’s always a worry that, with adrenalin, I will start off too quickly and have nowhere to go by the end of the number – falling all over my words. But I love them and it’s definitely a personal challenge to include one in my cabaret. For this cabaret, I’ve placed my patter song in the second half of the programme so I should be nice and relaxed and in full swing by the time I reach it!

What sort of ambience do you find in The Crazy Coqs? What can audience members who’ve never been to this venue before expect?

It’s definitely one of my absolute favourite cabaret venues in London to both perform at and visit as an audience member. It has been lovingly restored to it’s original Art-Deco splendour and has small cabaret tables with ‘buzzers’ on that you press for service. The staff are genius cocktail-ninjas- they are so discreet and make sipping a classic beverage whilst enjoying the show an absolute breeze. The ambience will be down to me and I hope to make it as scintillating as my favourite tipple, The Dry Martini; bracing, refreshing and perfect as an after-work de-stresser! I aim to be sexy and sophisticated with a twist… without becoming shaken or stirred 😉 The venue also has the fabulous Zedel restaurant that does a great pre-show menu – I can highly recommend it.

You’ve had a varied and successful career to date, what have been the best moments so far?

That’s hard! Hmmm… rocking out with Brian May playing his guitar in front of packed arenas in Copenhagen as Killer Queen in We Will Rock You is up there, as is being a member of the cast at the 21st Birthday and last night of Cats at The New London Theatre. Meeting Mel Brooks whilst playing Ulla in The Producers last year was an incredible treat. My first West End lead was Velma Kelly in Chicago at both The Adelphi and Cambridge Theatres and the entrance to All That Jazz through the trap-door with back-lighting cannot be beaten. They still use my face to advertise the show on Broadway outside the theatre which is pretty cool, too!

Who have been among your favourite co-stars to work with and are there any ‘dream’ co-stars that you’ve an ambition to perform with?

I was part of NT50 a couple of years ago and was in awe of Ralph Fiennes when I was part of the Pravda section. In the finale of the show, I was stood between Dame Judi Dench, Dame Helen Mirren and to the left of Dame Maggie Smith. If I were playing ‘Top Trumps’, I think I have been dealt a pretty good hand and will stick with that!

Favourite Things (can I have your first reaction to these questions, please?):

Favourite food?

Porter-house Steak, medium-rare with triple-cooked fries and creamed spinach with a glass (but please leave the bottle!) of Argentinean Malbec. And an Espresso Martini for dessert. My mouth is salivating just thinking of it.

Favourite tipple?

A Dry Dirty Martini made with Grey Goose Vodka and lots of extra Olives. Yum!

Favourite childhood memory?

Being greeted by my Border Collie when I had been away for more than a couple of hours. He always greeted me with so much love and it was a joy.

Favourite hobby?

This is a bit odd, but I collect flattened coins from tourist attractions. I have them from all over the world ranging from Blackpool Tower to The Empire State Building.

Favourite way to spend your time off?

On my sofa. In my jim-jams. With a glass of wine, a good box-set and my husband.

I’d like to thank Tiffany for her time and wish her every success with this Cabaret and beyond! I think The Crazy Coqs sounds like a fantastic venue and if you want to be in  audience for an amazing evening with a talented lady, you can book tickets here: https://www.brasseriezedel.com/crazy-coqs/tiffany-graves-1/50587203

 

 

Helen McWilliams
Helen McWilliams is a Midlands-based reviewer, but is happy travelling anywhere and everywhere to pursue her love of the theatre. Since 2013, she has been combining her passions for writing and theatre in her Entertainment Views site (formerly Break A Leg). She also enjoys interviewing actors, writers and other professionals from the business. Helen tweets at @entsviews.
Read more...

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Helen McWilliams
Helen McWilliams is a Midlands-based reviewer, but is happy travelling anywhere and everywhere to pursue her love of the theatre. Since 2013, she has been combining her passions for writing and theatre in her Entertainment Views site (formerly Break A Leg). She also enjoys interviewing actors, writers and other professionals from the business. Helen tweets at @entsviews.