We spoke to Clive Rowe, whose show Rose’s Front Stalls Bar is part of the opening programme at the Crazy Coqs Cabaret Room at Brasserie Zedel (BOOKINGS HERE)…
LondonJazz: Tell us about the show
Clive Rowe: Rose’s Front Stalls Bar definitely has more of a cabaret feel to it rather than a jazz night – I love singers like Ella, Nat and Frank Sinatra , and sing some of there greatest songs but I’ve also done a lot of musical theatre, and the show is in a way the story of all my musical life – the jazz side and also the music theatre side.
LJ: Why is the show called “Rose’s Front Stalls Bar”?
CR: In 1985 I worked front-of -house at the Adelphi Theatre, It was my first job in London. I had come down from Shaw near Oldham to study at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama and, in the evenings ,one of my many jobs as an usher, was working the theatres front stalls bar. Rosie who ran the bar used to get me to sing before the show, which at that time was Me and My Girl. She really encouraged me. I’d sing Moon River or the Way We Were or On the Street Where You Live. So, in part, the show is a way of thanking her for what she made me do way back then. A thank you for encouraging me to shine.
LJ: Since those early days, there have been some real high points…
CR: Yes absolutely. I was nominated for Olivier Awards for both Carousel and Guys and Dolls at the National theatre, and received one for the role of Nicely-Nicely in Guys & Dolls. Company at the Donmar. I then had a long period of critical acclaim and another Olivier nomination as the Dame at the Hackney Empire and Ladykillers at the Gielgud Theatre.
LJ: And this year?
CR: I’ve been doing Kiss Me Kate at Chichester which will transfer to the Old Vic in November
LJ: What was your first reaction to the Crazy Coqs cabaret room?
CR: It’s a beautiful room. It’s a lot more intimate than I was expecting – but that’s a good thing.
LJ: And you’re opening the first proper season?
CR: That’s such an honour. Massive!
LJ: And who are you working with?
CR: My pianist and MD is Wendy Gadian. We created and performed together in Divas at the Donmar many years ago. And it’s so wonderful to be back together again. She is a friend and an inspiration and I would be more than a little lost without her.
LondonJazz: I’m looking forward to being at the opening on Monday
Clive Rowe: Me too, see you there