FAULT Magazine Behind The Scenes with Dreamgirls star Joe Aaron Reid

 

 

As one of the world’s most iconic musicals, landing a role in Dreamgirls is a stage actor’s dream gig. The high-octane dance moves, emotional storyline and powerful musical numbers have blown away theatre audiences since the show first premiered back in the early 1980’s. Dreamgirls gained further worldwide acclaim thanks to the 2006 Hollywood blockbuster release of the same name starring vocal powerhouses Beyonce and Jennifer Hudson. Today, there are few who don’t know the story of the Dreamgirls journey and fewer who aren’t familiar with the iconic ‘And I Am Telling You’ musical number midway through the show. Returning to London’s Savoy Theatre late 2016, audience’s expectations from the whole cast have been high, to say the least.

With a gruelling eight shows a week schedule, FAULT wanted to find out just what it takes for cast member Joe Aaron Reid to prepare for the big stage. Playing the business minded and (sometimes) antagonist Curtis Taylor Junior  (played by Jamie Foxx in the 2006 movie) – we find out just what it’s like to be part of such an iconic production.

 

 

FAULT: Did you know much about the character of Curtis before you took the role?

Joe: I knew what Jamie Foxx had done, I didn’t know much more than that though. I auditioned for the movie many years ago but for the role of Cici as I was much younger at the time. I didn’t have much connection with Curtis until auditions came around this time and I realised it was far more fitting for me.

 

The Jamie Foxx version is very famous – does that make it harder for you to make the character your own?

I think anytime there’s a movie of something that you can replay and watch over and over, often times it doesn’t matter if it’s good or bad, that’s just what people know and as an actor, it’s hard to force yourself into someone elses perceptions. The great thing about this production, often times people who love the movie have come up to me and said they love the production so much because they can appreciate both independently and that is very reassuring.

Is there a big difference between your version of Curtis and the ones we say in the movie?

I’m a bit younger than Jamie Foxx is in the movie which helps because we start so early in the story to when it finishes. Especially with act 1 – we can explore their younger years which isn’t really touched on in the movie so you have a longer story arch for all the characters. We all start as naïve and ambition young people and so we can show a broader character development.

 

Are you playing Curtis as less the Hollywood villain because of this?

It’s a mixed bag – I just try to be true. Some days it can be an ambitious portrayal and other it’s pure villainy. It’s an interesting role and I’m learning from the audience that no matter how I play Curtis, they’re looking for a bad guy. Everyone is always onEffie’s side and what’s funny to see is that people forget that Effie is not always easy to work with.

Curtis isn’t innocent but despite always making decisions for the benefit of the whole group, Curtis is always hated! I try to veer my performances towards the ambitious and to make it clear that it’s about survival in the industry and less about the personal feeling. There’s a line in the show which reads ‘It’s business baby’ and with Curtis, it really is about the business over everything.

What about Curtis attracted you to the role?

Curtis was a role that I’ve always had my eye on. He’s a meaty character and the growth he goes through in two hours in realy engaging. To start the show as wide eyes and end the show as broken as he becomes and everything in-between, is an actor’s dream. To be part of a musical with the big performers and performances but to play the person who acts as the glue for all the build up is something that as an actor, I’m lucky to get that.

So opening night comes and the whole cast is ill…

[Laughs] I know right! There have been a lot of people who were ill throughout the whole process. It’s such an iconic show so stress just destroys your immune system. I was fine up until the week before previews and I have two kids who are in nursery and they bring home everything! I ended up having a viral and bacterial infection which wiped me out and two other cast members were also very sick.

I then had to miss the following three shows and I came back and then as luck would have it and I got the neural virus and press was in so I couldn’t pull out. The team were literally following me around with buckets and I was in tears but we all pushed through opening night and then it all fell apart. It hasn’t been easy but we pushed through and it looks as though everyone is on the mend now.

 

What are you looking for when you pick roles to audition for?

Everyone wants the meaty roles; the big songs,  the showy moments, the challenge and the recognitions that come with it. Sometimes you’re blessed with that and sometimes you’re not. In the show before this, I got to play Benny from ‘In The Heights’ and that was a dream role for me. His character is such a huge departure from Curtis because he is a young lover who just wants to have success and love the girl he loves and when he can’t do that, he just lets it go. With Curtis, he’s also misunderstood but he still ploughs through anything in his way.  The difference in character there is a great thing for me to play. When people say they’ve seen me in both they always say “it’s great to hear you play such different characters.”

Is the stage where your heart is and where you want to stay or do you think you’ll go into film and television?

I think my heart will always lie here. When I was a kid, movies and musicals were so my “thing” and it’s certainly in my heart but in NYC I was able to work on a tv show and I’d love to sink my teeth more in there. Not that I want it to take me away from the theatre, I just want to be able to pick and choose where my time is spent especially now I’m older and I have a family.

Finally, what is your FAULT

My FAULT is that I’m a perfectionist. I like things to be perfect all of the time, which I’m fully aware is impossible. As I get a bit older, I’m learning not to be such a control freak but you know what they say.. ”old habits die hard”

Words & Photography: Miles Holder

 

 

 

Fault Magazine Reviews Belstaff LCM SS17 Presentation

 

Taking inspiration from Bruce Brown’s Motorcycle classic, Belstaff decided to bring the dirt track to London with a film-set homage to On Any Sunday, making it a weekend to remember. Heavily influenced by the “King of Cool”, Steve McQueen, the models lazed back on the vintage cars and motor cycles dressed in hand-waxed leather clad and aviator shades. The cast had a carefree attitude exuding off of their rugged exterior – you could almost smell the motor oil radiating off of them. Integral to this collection was the personalisation of the leather jackets and the references to the sun-bleached palette of the film. Recognisable personas from the track were replicated in this collection: Romero with a diamond hand-waxed leather application and Mashburn’s black and yellow colour schemes. These pieces celebrated the pioneering era of 1970s racers as Frederik Dyhr, Belstaff VP Men’s Design explains, “[It] was a defining time for Belstaff because leather manufacturers on both sides of the Atlantic were really embracing this idea of personalising leatherwear and so began an era of strong colour direction”.

 

Rough-edged, lived-in looks, rich tobacco tonals and black burnished finishes set the tone for most outfits. Paying tribute to racing as a coveted sport, we saw relaxed open necklines – an ode to the racing shirts of the 1970s. As a nice surprise Belstaff showed us five looks from the Women’s SS17 pre collection, again taking carefree biker-goddess attitudes as well as hand-waxed suede and lightweight straight-leg denim. The show carried on outside thrilling the public with Twelve-time Trial World Champion Dougie Lampkin MBE performing crazy bike stunts a stones throw away from Queen Liz’s 90thbirthday luncheon. A rather noisy, but lovely birthday surprise, we think!

Words: Lizzie Griffin

WINTER INDULGMENT AT CONSEPT

CONSEPT

‘ConSept’, a new and one of a kind concept store on the King’s Road in London invited FAULT to it’s annual winter party, along with a host of other Fashion VIP’s.

Situated in the old post office just opposite the landmark Chelsea Town Hall, Consept offers lovers of luxury an exclusive shopping experience. Stocking only unusual and difficult to source pieces, such as Hermès bags, 24kt gold-dipped Chandeliers and  limited edition fashion and furnishings, the store has made it onto the elite’s fashion map for it’s eclectic mix.

With an array of sought after, celebrity endorsed, ready-to-wear brands that are only stocked at ConSept in the UK, a visit here is essential for life’s indulging in life’s luxuries, gold crown anyone?

 

 

 

FAULT MAGAZINE BACKSTAGE AT LFW – SIBLING SS16

 

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Credit: Daniele Fummo


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Credit: Daniele Fummo

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

International Alert opens ‘Peace From the Street Up!’ exhibition

ART4PEACE exhibition

As part of International Alert’s Talking Peace Festival which takes place throughout the month of September in London, an exhibition of urban art is on display at the Old Truman Brewery in London. The pieces, all exploring themes of ‘peace’, have been donated by artists from all over the world including Egypt, Syria, France, Italy, Chile and Nepal, as well as the UK. Legendary DJ turned visual artist Golide has also donated artwork.

The exhibition, titled ‘Peace From the Street Up!’ is open every day until 20th September from 12pm to 8pm at Shop 12, Dray Walk, The Old Truman Brewery, London. A live mural will be created on 19th September at the exhibition with the pieces auctioned off to raise funds for International Alert on 2nd October at The Club at The Ivy.

Street art for peace

Urban Art International Alert

 

No Entry artwork

Lights of Soho art gallery launches open call for submissions

Lights of Soho open submissionDo you want in to London’s hot new art gallery and members’ lounge? Are you an artist looking to show your work? Lights of Soho have announced their first open call for submissions for their next show, guest curated by renowned light artist Robert Montgomery.

The new show ‘Signs That Say What You Want Them To Say…’ will be a showcase of up-and-coming artists working with the medium of light at the gallery who has exhibited work by Tracey Emin, Gavin Turk, Chris Bracey and Robert Montgomery since it opened in May.

Hamish Jenkinson, Curator at Lights of Soho said, “With this show, I’m hoping that we can reach artists who are well into their craft or just discovering it. I’d like to show young artists that art is a democratic experience and that they too can be featured in a London gallery.”

Lights of Soho art gallery

Lights of Soho © Dave Hogan

The show has been named after a 1992 photo series by conceptual artist Gillian Wearing titled ‘Signs That Say What You Want Them To Say, And Not Signs That Say What Someone Else Wants You To Say’ which also explored themes of democracy in art and communication.

The previous shows, ‘City Lights’ and ‘The Art of Burning Man’, have mixed high profile artists with the newest creative talent. The gallery’s dedication to emerging artists, in addition to its members’ bar which is a meeting hub for London’s creative community, is fast making Lights of Soho one of the most exciting venues in the capital.

Ahead of the open submission show, Lights of Soho will also be hosting a three day pop up exhibition ‘Ignis Fatuus: Dreams & Delusions’, curated by Mehta Bell Projects to mark the opening of Start Art Fair and also featuring a selection of budding talent from the contemporary art world. The pop up will run from 11th to 13th Setpember.

Light artists can submit images and details of their work for the open submission show by emailing open@lightsofsoho.com before 14th September. Successful artists will be notified by 19th September and will win a membership to Lights of Soho as well as their work included in the show. For more information visit www.lightsofsoho.com/open.

‘Signs That Say What You Want Them To Say…’ will run from 8th October until 21st November.

 

FAULT Favourite Flo Morrissey releases debut album ‘Tomorrow Will Be Beautiful’

 

FAULT Favourite Flo Morrissey, who we featured for FAULT Online in March, will be releasing her debut album ‘Tomorrow Will Be Beautiful‘ next week, on Monday 15th June (Glassnote Records.)

Tomorrow Will Be Beautiful, (Glassnote Records), released June 15th

Tomorrow Will Be Beautiful, (Glassnote Records), released June 15th

We were able to have a listen to the record before Flo releases it into the world and it is a remarkably strong statement for a debuting artist (especially one who is only 20 years old.) Her voice is haunting and unique, richly retro-inspired, and hallmarked with the influence of Kate Bush, Devendra Banhart, Bjork, and Jeff Buckley. Her lyrics have a child-like fragility, and we see her exploring the journey into adulthood (especially pertinent given that she herself is on the cusp of a similar leap into the spotlight.) ‘Pages of Gold‘ and ‘Show Me‘ are statement tracks, with pop-power and surging melodies, whilst ‘Wildflower‘ and title-track ‘Tomorrow Will Be Beautiful‘ are somehow both ghostly and anthemic- an unexpected and beautiful balancing act. ‘Why’ almost teeters too far into fairytale-territory, with it’s lilting melody reminiscent of the Disney score for Sleeping Beauty (perhaps this particular reference says more about me than Morrissey), but its searching vocals are intriguing and anchor the track in emotion and experience. It is impossible to ignore the force of Morrissey’s artistry, and just how enchanting her voice truly is. Full of range, story-telling character, and effortless stylistic variations, we have no doubt she will continue to captivate as this album finally reaches its eagerly-awaiting public.

Revisit our exclusive feature with Flo here, with photographs by Kurtiss Lloyd.

Flo Morrissey, photographed exclusively for FAULT Online by Kurtiss Lloyd in March 2015.

Flo Morrissey, photographed exclusively for FAULT Online by Kurtiss Lloyd in March 2015.

Lights of Soho – the global home of creative neon art

Lights of SohoLights of Soho is the new hangout where the neighbourhood’s creative community meet under the glow of seedy neon signs in a former brothel to conspire, collaborate and create. Not only is it London’s first gallery dedicated to light art, but with the addition of a members’ bar in its basement, it aims to become a hub for the meeting of minds.

The venue may be new but the ambience isn’t; reviving the days when Soho’s notorious sex industry lit up the narrow lanes in hot pink and the cheap prices of the area brought in artists, musicians, actors, filmmakers, designers and the like. In keeping with the current interest to uphold the district’s creative legacy despite the rapid gentrification, Lights of Soho has landed just in time to send the message that they too want to keep Soho’s ne-on!

Lights of Soho basement

The first exhibition is called City Lights and brings together world-renowned artists and up-and-coming names in one space, earning the gallery the title of the ‘global home of creative neon art’. For the first time ever Tracey Emin, who has helped popularise the use of neon in art, is exhibiting alongside Chris Bracey, known as ‘The Neon Man’ for his iconic strip club signs which appeared all over Soho in the 1970s. Other artists in the group exhibition include Gavin Turk, Chris Levine, Christian Furr, Rob & Nick Carter and Rob Montgomery. At the private view, sponsored by Hoxton Gin, we discovered artworks ranging from poignant statements about love emblazoned in neon, to a Mona Lisa-esque lenticular of Kate Moss, to classic commercial signs promising ‘models upstairs’. The space is a spectacular visual overload.

City Lights at Lights of Soho opens today at 35 Brewer Street, London, W1F 0RX until 5th July. Open Mon-Sun 11am until 8pm. For membership enquiries visit www.lightsofsoho.com.