18 September 2009

Saving the World with Hot Pants!

Sep 18 2009

WHILE the New Seekers wanted to teach the world to sing, Siobhan Dillon wants to save it – one song at a time.

It’s an ambition the 25-year-old hopes to achieve through a new charity she’s setting up with record producer friend Eliot Kennedy.

But in the meantime, the How Do You Solve A Problem Like Maria? finalist is on tour bringing a taste of seedy 1930s Berlin to UK audiences as saucy Sally Bowles in Cabaret.

Fishnets and basques are a long way from Maria von Trapp, but then Siobhan has come a long way since the 2006 TV competition.

First was a stint in Grease, and last year she toured with Chesney Hawkes in Can’t Smile Without You. Now it’s Ebb and Kander’s Cabaret.

“I’d never done Cabaret before so I had to learn it from scratch,” she admits.

“It means I don’t have any preconceived ideas of how it should be done. I saw the show in the West End a couple of years ago but I didn’t really remember how they did it.

“I learned the script and songs in a week and they set and choreographed it in a week. I think I was in denial for the majority of it!”

Of course, rather like Julie Andrews and The Sound of Music, Cabaret will always be inextricably linked with Liza Minelli.

“I saw the film a few years ago, it’s one of my mum’s favourites, and you get mesmerised by Liza Minelli and can’t help but watch her body language and the way she moves around the stage,” says Siobhan.

“She’s awesome, iconic.

“But people say to me you have to remember that to give the role life and energy you have to live it through yourself. It has a facet of Siobhan as well.”

Surprisingly, it was the rather risque costume which helped her find her inner Sally.

“The first day I put it on, I walked across the stage when all the cast were there and they were cheering me on,” she smiles.

“It’s a little pair of hotpants and a bra top.

“I thought I’d feel self-conscious, but by the time I got into character I was strutting around. I was in a Sally Bowles frame of mind!”

Siobhan was co-writing songs for a new album when Bill Kenwright asked if she’d like to audition for Cabaret.

“I’ve always been a bit of a melody queen,” she reveals. “I’ve always got ideas about melodies and harmonies and musical bits and pieces.

“Now I’m really getting into it, I could write a song with music and lyrics alone if I had to. My producer has given me that confidence.

“If I did write a musical it would be along the lines of Moulin Rouge. It’s incredible, I love it.”

Then there’s the idea of using music to raise money for good causes.

“Eliot kept saying what can we do that can help change the world?” she says. “You know, those half-drunk conversations! And this is a fantastic opportunity for charity, not just in the UK but worldwide.

“The idea is artists will donate a song to the charity and you become a shareholder when you buy the song online.

“Then you can vote for the charity you think is the most in need and the one with the most votes gets a donation. It’s called Save The World One Song At A Time.”

It’s a happy thought.

Cabaret comes to the New Brighton Floral Pavilion from October 5-10.

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