“Over The Rainbow musical brings people closer to Eva”

Nicole Faraday will play the role of Eva Cassidy again in the successful musical Over the Rainbow from September 7th. Johan Bakker talked with the London actress and singer about the shy genius from Maryland.

Is Over the Rainbow the same musical as it was when it started 10 years ago?

“Brian Langtry, the original author, has written a new version of the show. It contains a few extra bits and some different songs. I believe he has changed the beginning a bit; Eva is no longer seven, but fourteen when the story starts. The ending is still the same, though. It is a recreation of Eva’s last  public performance. It is a sad but beautiful ending; Eva is frail but at the same time the audience can see ‘the light of her life’. Over the Rainbow uses multi-media to show the audience where Eva lived and performed. This works very well and it brings the people closer to Eva.”

Nicole Faraday

Nicole Faraday

You seem to be an outgoing person while Eva Cassidy was more introverted. Is it difficult for you to play someone like her?

“I  have made a career playing evil characters. I was a drug smuggling murderer in Bad Girls (ITV) and I played an evil doctor who kills her patients in Casualty (BBC) among others. For me this is a nice diversion. Eva Cassidy was such a lovely, spiritual and quiet person.“

Are their similarities as well between you and Eva?

“Most certainly. I love nature. I love being by the sea. I was brought up in Dorset in the South of England. I love fresh air and being in the countryside. I love animals and I always have had pets. The style of music that Eva liked and the songs that she chose to cover would have been my choice as well. The style of songs I sing in my own shows have much in common with the Eva Cassidy catalogue: Joni Mitchell, Janis Ian, Tori Amos and Kate Bush to mention a few. We have a very similar musical taste and I sing in the same style as Eva did.”

Nicole Faraday

Nicole Faraday

How did you discover Eva Cassidy’s music?

“I heard Eva when Terry Wogan was playing Over the Rainbow on his radio show in 1998. I thought she sounded amazing and I bought the Songbird album. This is the third time I will play Eva. I try to play her as faithful as possible. I try to recreate the originals and not to change much. I listen to the songs over and over again to get them right.”

Do you prefer any genre that Eva sang?

“She had such an amazing range. Until I studied her music for the show I thought she only did things like Over the Rainbow and Songbird. Then I got to know the Live at Blues Alley album for example. As a singer I like the fact that she was so versatile. Her diverse range of songs makes her a more valuable artist.”

For Eva Cassidy the lyrics of a song were very important. How is that for you?

“You have to connect with the material if you are singing. So, I agree. If the lyrics make sense you are able to put emotions into a song.”

Where will you play the musical?

“This is the first time that we will do it in major London venues. But most shows will take place in the rest of England, in Scotland and in Ireland. It’s good that we are able to take the music out to the people in different regions. This musical works well in an intimate setting. But during this tour we’re doing more of the bigger venues than before. It will be interesting to see how that goes.”

Can you explain the success of this musical?

“So many people in the world are touched by cancer. It’s sad and poignant that Eva died so young. Her music was so beautiful and this was such a tragic loss of life. She was so talented, she was such a lovely person and she died at such a young age. I think these are some of the reasons why people love this musical.”

Nicole Faraday

Nicole Faraday

Isn’t it time for an Eva Cassidy biopic in the cinemas?

“Actually, we might make a film version of this musical. The makers are talking about the possibilities.”

Will you play the leading role in the film?

“I have a lot of television and film experience and it would be a good idea to ask someone who has this experience to play the role of Eva.”

Are you a singing actor or an acting singer?

“Singing has always been very important to me. I have done it since I was a child. I also love acting, so it’s nice to do both. This is not a ‘traditional’ musical. I am a singer and I am an actor. I’m not much of a dancer, though.”

Eva hated to dance as well. She concentrated completely on her singing and playing.

“I’m so glad to hear that. That’s another thing Eva and I have in common!”  

4 responses to ““Over The Rainbow musical brings people closer to Eva””

  1. Helen says:

    Hi, just got back from seeing the musical this Evening in Skegness and words fail me. I often go to the West End for a really good show but this will take some beating and a local show!
    Nicole played Eva with such passion and I was totally drawn into the storyline. Epic!
    I will certainly be booking to see this again. Not only did I bawl during and after the show but also in the car on the way home, just so emotional. It also has to be said that all the other members of the cast were excellent with no exceptions.
    Well done to you all… probably the best money I have spent all year! WONDERFUL.

  2. Helen says:

    Amazing! But even that doesn’t express it enough. After seeing Eva Cassidy the musical last night at Milton Keynes, not a dry eye amongst us in the stalls. Nicole there are no words… your voice, acting, passion and we could see in your performance how her life and tragic passing has touched you. I’m still thinking about it and I know it will stay with me for a long time. And hopefully will get to see it again and a bonus if they make it in to a dvd. The whole cast were fantastic, you all gave such an outstanding performance.

  3. Ken Emery says:

    HI I watched in amazement at The Castle Theatre Wellingborough Tuesday 9th Sept, last night, brilliant acting and story….”thank you” I could see from the wet eyes in the stalls that others had enjoyed the experience to, lots of emotions in the singing, and I see you have played it before. I must also say that the guitarist who played Chris Biondo, was excellent, unfortunately I did not get his name, it must make your role singing a lot easier when you have a talented guitarist with you.
    Excellent…I could watch it all again.

  4. Chris Arscott says:

    I’m looking forward to seeing this, having been an Eva Cassidy fan since the begining.
    Good luck to Nicole and all the rest of the cast.

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