Episode 23: An Interview with Gay Soper – Godspell, Frankie Howard & The Flumps!

This podcast is dedicated to performers who want to be their very best.

Episode 23 features Russell Scott’s interview with actress, Gay Soper.

Each episode focuses on an element of performance to help you be your very best.  It also includes vocal tips and tricks, interviews and an exclusive look behind the scenes of a Producer & Musical Director.
THIS EPISODE: An Interview with Gay Soper – Godspell, Frankie Howard & The Flumps!
This episode features Russell Scott’s interview with Singer, Performer, Talent Show Judge and TV Personality, Zoe Tyler.

Gay Soper is perhaps best known for her performance in the musical Godspell in 1971, as well as Mme. Thenardier on the Complete Symphonic Recording of Les Misérables. She also performed all the voices for The Flumps, a famous children’s TV series in Britain.

Gay trained at LAMDA ( from 1963-65, alongside Brian Cox, Martin Shaw and Maureen Lipman), and made her professional debut at 19 playing Eliza Doolittle in My Fair Lady, a major UK tour, with the legendary Zena Dare as Mrs Higgins.

Theatre: 2015  marked Gay’s celebration of fifty years in showbiz, and playing in Funny Girl as Mrs Strakosh marked her third time playing the intimate Menier Chocolate Factory in Southwark Street, SE1.  Her previous roles there were a week’s guest appearance as Berthe in Pippin 2011, and in 2005 George’s Mother in Sunday in the Park With George (with Daniel Evans as George), winner of five Olivier Awards, which transferred to Wyndhams in 2006. In spring 2016 Funny Girltransferred to the Savoy Theatre playing there from April 9th till October 8th, with Gay in the role of Mrs Strakosh.

From 2013- 2015, Gay played Mrs Alexander in the 7 Olivier Award winning production of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time for the National Theatre, showing at the Apollo and Gielgud Theatres. Previous leading roles in London include: over 1000 performances in The Canterbury Tales (Phoenix) as Alison, Molly and May, original London cast of Godspell (Roundhouse and Wyndhams 1971-3), Barbara in Billy (Drury Lane 1974), Les Miserables (as Madame Thenardier from 1988 to ’91), Side By Side By Sondheim ( 1977 Wyndhams and Garrick), Good (RSC, Aldwych), Debo in The Mitford Girls (1980, Gielgud), Phyllis in The Ratepayers’ Iolanthe (Phoenix), Yvonne Potier in Mother Courage and He Children (NT, Olivier), Anna in Lend Me a Tenor the musical (Gielgud), Lady Raeburn in Salad Days (Vaudeville), Chanteuse in Marguerite (Haymarket).

As Frauline Schnider in Cabaret, here with Barry James

Tours, Provinces and Fringe: Lady Jealous Traffick in The Busy Body, directed by Jessica Swale at Southwark Playhouse; Cherry May Waterton in Nude With Violin by Noel Coward at Manchester Royal Exchange for Marianne Elliott; Mrs Higgins in My Fair Lady on a tour of Denmark; Mrs Pearce in My Fair Lady at Kilworth House open air Theatre, Leicestershire; Betjemania by John Gould at the Shaw Theatre London and St Bartholemew’s Park Avenue New York; Tsarina Alexandra in Killing Rasputing (Bridewell), Norah in Star Quality by Noel Coward (uk tour), Anna in The Rink (Orange Tree Richmond), Ruth in Blithe Spirit (Stockholm), Sister Wendy in the Sister Wendy musical (Hackney Empire Studio), Fraulein Schneider in Cabaret the musical (Frankfurt English Theatre), The Lady’s Not For Burning by Christopher Fry (Finborough), A Daughter’s A Daughter by Agatha Christie (Theatre Royal Windsor), Mrs Steinburg and the Biker Boy with Miriam Karlin  (Bush theatre), The Stripper (Hornchurch) by Richard O’Brien, and many more.

Operetta: Buttercup in HMS Pinafore, Mad Margaret in Ruddigore for Opera Della Luna; Ruth in Pirates of Penzance for Regents Park Open Air theatre and also for Carl Rosa, Prascovia in Merry Widow for Carl Rosa; and Marcellina in Figaro for MTL.

From Maurice’s Jubilee

Television: Gay played Susan Crighton-Jones opposite Jonathan Cecil in two series of Romany Jones (ITV), and opposite John Wells in the role of Veronica Sweet in two series of Rude Health for Channel 4; made several appearances in The Bill, and the sitcoms Father Dear Father, Bless This House, Never the Twain with Donald Sinden, and Barbara. Dramas include The History of Mr Polly, The Needle Match, The Agatha Christie Hour, Unforgotten.  Movies: The Ups and Downs of a Handyman(opposite her then-husband, Barry Stokes), and A Christmas Carol with Kelsey Grammar in 2005.

Voices: Gay is the voice of all the Flumps for BBC Childrens TV, and has voiced many commercials, childrens stories, and poetry. Gay sings on many original cast recordings, including Canterbury Tales, Godspell (Bell records, 1971), Billy, The Mitford Girls, Which Witch London cast recording, Lend Me A Tenor the musical, Marguerite, Sunday in the Park With George, Les Miserables complete Symphonic recording. Also I Remember Mamma, Cabaret, for TER records, Mrs Bennet in Pride and Prejudice for Bernard J Taylor, A Present from the Corporation, and many more.

Pantomimes: Jack in Jack and the Beanstalk with Frankie Howard and June Whitfield (Chichester Festival Theatre),  Fairy Godmother in Cinderella (Cambridge Arts) with Christopher Biggins, Princess Balroubador in Aladdin (Watford) with Amanda Barrie, and Fairy Godmother in Cinderella (Yvonne Arnaud Theatre, Guildford) with Gethin Jones.

Music Hall: Players Theatre, Leeds City Variety (BBC)



Gay Soper’s website: http://www.gaysoper.com