Lily de-la-Haye is currently rehearsing for a production of Jason Robert Brown’s Parade which will be opens at the London Theatre Workshop in Fulham on the 1st September and runs until the 13th. She took time out of her rehearsal schedule to tell us a little bit about herself and Parade.
Lily de-la-Haye | Interview
Hi Lily, This is the first professional production of Parade to come to London for a few years, can you tell me a little bit about it.
Parade is based on a true story about a man called Leo Franks, a Jewish factory owner at the turn of the century. He was accused of the murder of Mary Phagen, a young girl who worked in his factory. The case became very famous because it was the first time that mass media was involved in a case to such extent. As a result of the press there was lots of racial prejudice that influenced the jury. Leo was found guilty but his sentence was later changed from the death penalty to life imprisonment.
This was a time of lots of police corruption and before Leo had chance to submit another appeal, he was kidnapped and subsequently lynched.
Today is actually the 100 year anniversary of Leo Franks being lynched in Georgia so it is quite a poignant day for us to be rehearsing.
Parade is quite a dramatic piece and the music is used as a narrative, we tell the story through the music. It also pokes fun at some of the stereotypes that we associate with this kind of play for example it examines the different types of people who lived in Georgia in the 1900s.
The music is written by Jason Robert Brown, have you sung any of his music before?
I haven’t, this is the first time, however he is definitely someone who I admire a lot. Jason Robert Brown has written musicals such as ‘The Last Five Years’ and ‘ The Bridges of Madison County’ which were both huge successes and I saw him in concert few weeks ago so I am feeling very inspired at the moment.
How are rehearsals going?
Rehearsals are going really well thank you. We have been rehearsing a week now and tomorrow we shall run the whole of Act 1 for the first time which will be really exciting to see how it has pulled together.
Then tonight we are singing at Freedom Bar in Soho for their Kinky Kabaret night so we’ll be rehearsing for that at well. It is really busy.
Have you worked at the London Theatre Workshop before?
No it is my first time here, it has only been open for about 18 months but in that time I have been really impressed with the reviews that it has managed to collect. There is a lot of buzz about the London Theatre workshop in the industry at the moment. It is a really exciting place to work because it is so new and because the people working here are so passionate about it.
Are there big hopes for Parade after the successes of Yarico, Apartment 40C and Vote for Me?
Yes, we are at the London Theatre Workshop for two weeks, already it is selling extremely well, so everyone is hoping that Parade gets extended here or picked up for somewhere else.
Now Lily, you are an East Grinstead girl I believe which is where Theatre South East is based. Can you tell me about your background.
I am indeed. My family are in Lingfield, so as you imagine I get back to East Grinstead fairly often.
I grew up doing the local Amateur Dramatic circuit. I danced at Redhurst Schools of Dancing and I have been in many ‘Company of Friends’ productions. The Company of Friends have done many fabulous pantomimes each year at the Chequer Mead which I have been involved in. I played Eliza in their production of My Fair lady there as well and I have also played Laurey in their production of Oklahoma at the Hawth in Crawley.
I eventually went to Mountview Drama School and studied Theatre Arts, once I graduated there I was in a production at the Union Theatre in London.
I have actually just returned from working in Japan! I was working at the ‘Wizarding World of Harry Potter’ for Universal Studios playing a Slytherin – I am a huge Harry Potter fan so that was really good fun and an amazing experience. I got back from Japan about 3 months ago and it has been pretty full-on since!