2010

Burlesque

Burlesque is set in a Burlesque bar in Los Angeles, run by Cher. As my character, the door whore Alexis, constantly says 'We may not have windows but we do have the best view on the Sunset Strip'.

Christina Aguilera arrives in town and soon becomes the star of the Burlesque show, but danger is near at hand as Cher may have to sell the club to a nasty developer. The film also stars Stanley Tucci, Eric Dane, Kristen Bell, Julianne Hough and Cam Gigandet.

Here's a video I made on my last day of shooting, and my big number that was eventually cut from the film...


2009

The 83rd Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade

This was one of the most surreal mornings of my year. I was drawn through the streets of NYC aboard the M&M's Broadway float, and then sang That's Life live on national television, all part of the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade



When Alan Cumming met Stanley Baxter

Stanley Baxter is a childhood idol of mine so I was delighted to get the chance to make this BBC Scotland documentary with him.



I Bought A Blue Car Today Sydney/Brisbane

I returned to the Sydney Opera House for five more shows and also went to Brisbane to do one night at the Powerhouse.  This time the band consisted of Lance Horne on piano, Rachel Maio on cello and me! It was a really paired down version of the show but I really liked it.  I have always enjoyed singing with the cello, and it made the songs even more emotionally charged with my voice being one of only three sound sources onstage.  I was sort of dreading it but I really came to love this way of doing the show. And of course, I love the aussies!

 



I Bought A Blue Car Today in California!

We took I Bought A Blue Car Today to the Orange County Performance Arts Center in Costa Mesa for two performances (OMFG, we went behind the Orange Curtain!!) and then to the Geffen Playhouse in Los Angeles for a week. Here I am on NBC news talking about the show

 



The Real Cabaret

I presented another documentary for BBC4 entitled The Real Cabaret.  In it I interviewed some of the people who'd been involved with the movie and original musical (Liza, John Kander, Joe Masteroff) but also went to Berlin to find out about the real cabaret artistes of the time, and what fates befell them. I also visit the actual flat Christopher Isherwood lived which was where he had the inspiration to write Goodbye to Berlin, the book that Cabaret is based on.



Riverworld

Riverworld is based on the series of book by Phillip Jose Farmer.  I returned to Vancouver to shoot a cameo in this mini-series for my old friends at The Sci-fi Channel, RHI and Reunion Pictures. (I had previously worked on Tin Man with them).

 I play the Judas Caretaker, an alien (natch), who seems as confused about what is going on in Riverworld as everyone else!! Actually he knows more than he's letting on but as the whole thing is a sort of allergory for the afterlife and reincarnation, no-one really says what they really mean.  When it comes out, you'll understand.

 



My Brilliant Britain

I was asked to make a half hour documentary for the UK channel Blighty about the thing I thought was most briliiant about Britain. I chose Scottish humour, and so went on a madcap journey round my homeland interviewing people (including my mum) about what are the ingredients of Scottish humour, how we use it and how it defines us in the world.  Below is the actual film that was broadcast, but first here's a little film I made with my flip video during the shoot.



I Bought A Blue Car Today at the Sydney Opera House

I was invited to perform I Bought a Blue Car Today at the Sydney Opera House as part of the Mardi Gras Festival. I had previously played at the Opera House twenty years before with Victor and Barry!

I really enjoyed the shows here. I felt more relaxed and whereas the performances at the Lincoln Center in NYC were my concert debut, these were very definitley cabaret.  The material was the same, but the atmosphere was different.  I started to enjoy the interaction with the audiences and got more confident.

Whilst I was in Australia i went down to Melbourne to appear on Rove.


2008

The Tempest

The Tempest is a beautiful play, Julie Taymor has a truly unique aesthetic, and Helen Mirren taking the role of Prospera (normally played by a man as Prospero) was a combination I really wanted to be a part of. I also got to work with really amazing actors like Chris Cooper and David Strathairn, and did I mention that we shot for a couple of months in Hawaii?

I play Sebastian, one of the noblemen who is shipwrecked on Prospera's isle. Julie wanted to use Hawaii because of all the lavic landscapes, and indeed it felt like we shot on practically every piece of remote lava they had. But is is a stunning backdrop to the story, and Helen playing Prospero brings a more healing, Mother Earth sensibility to the character, making the story more about reconciliation than vengeance.

Tom Conti, Ben Wishaw, Reeve Carney, Felicity Jones, Djimon Hounsou, Alfred Molina and Russell Brand completed the cast, and what a rare old time we had.  We moved islands a couple of times and each time we were given a blessing ceremony by one of the locals. My favourite time was when we were doing a shot  coming out of the water, so we could only do it once, and the sun was going down fast.  Julie and the 1st AD's faces were hilarious as they were looking at the ebbing light and willing the blessing man to get on with it.

We were indeed blessed to be a part of The Tempest