- Tell us more about yourself. What do you do and how long you’ve been working in this industry?
I am a singer, a lyricist, an actress and erstwhile director. No one has ever said I was a dancer. I’ve been in the business for 36 years
- Who did you want to be when you were a kid?
I was mad about horses at the time, so I wanted to be an international show jumper. Later, I wanted to be an international cellist, a second Jacqueline du Pre. Alas, my ambition was far above my ability in both cases.
- What was your ‘punch in the stomach’ or when did you first realise that this is going to become your career?
As a transwoman, I acted for all of my early life, playing the part expected of me. But my punch came when I was in my first school play. The next year I played the lead. Both were comedies and I realised I had a talent for delivering comic lines
- What were the 3 biggest obstacles in pursuit of your career?
- Convincing my father. He wanted me to go to Cambridge to read History and Music whilst I wanted to go to a drama school. We came to a compromise that I would study Drama and Theatre Art, but at a university.
- Transitioning almost straight out of university. To qualify for surgery I had to have a regular job, so the theatre was out. Also, to be honest, at that time I was unemployable, either as an actor or as an actress.
- Getting cancer. It interrupted my career for 3 years.
- Where do you find inspiration?
From my colleague in Fascinating Aida, Dillie Keane. She is the instigator and I’m the collaborator. With her, I can write wonderful songs. On my own, not so much.
In life, I was in the hospital with a wonderful woman who has been through so much and yet is still smiling. She really helped with my recovery.
- What challenges do you face in this industry as a ‘50+ artist’?
Luckily, Fascinating Aida, which makes up the bulk of my work, create their own work, so we can go on and on. As regards to television, I have had more television work since I turned 50 than I ever did before.
- What advice would you give someone who is about to start their career but is being told that it’s ‘too late’?
I didn’t enter the profession properly until I was 30. I’ve worked with plenty of actors who didn’t begin until they were in their 40s. You can begin anytime.
- Do you have any idols and if so, who and why?
- I started out as a jazz singer, to qualify for my Equity Card. I studied and copied the best: Ella Fitzgerald.
- But, if I had become the opera singer my father hoped for, I would want to sing like Joan Sutherland. Her coloratura positively thrills me.
- Cole Porter. I studied his songs, in order to learn how to write them.
- What’s your life motto?
Could do better.
- You’re a new addition to the crayon box. What colour would you be and why?
Purple. It’s a composite colour but the result is magnificent.
Catch Adele at one of her upcoming ‘Gloomy Sunday’s’ in London. Tickets are out now for multiple dates in May!