Chicago cast member, Jarryd Nurden, answers several questions about the show.
When and where did you first see Chicago as an audience member?
I saw it in South Korea (in Korean) when I was on the international tour of CATS the musical. It was amazing to experience the show in a language other than my own. You rely on the brilliant choreography, performances and music to translate the message, which of course it did.
What are your memories of that first experience?
I want to be in this show!
Similarly, when and where was your first-ever performance in the production? I would imagine that must have been an amazing experience?
My first performance of Chicago was in New Zealand in August 2018. It was a mind-blowing experience and dream come true, of course.
To date, in how many performances of Chicago have you appeared?
Over 100 performances. It’s been thrilling and all that jazz!
In laymen’s terms, just what exactly does it require to be part of the cast in terms of physical and/or musical/acting abilities?
You basically need to be a robot! Haha, no just kidding but basically not far off. We need to be able to sing well, dance well and act well all at the same time whilst remembering a whole lot of other things that come with live performing. It’s a very gratifying experience and challenge. The trick is to make it look easy.
What has been your most memorable show to date and why?
It would still be my very first show in NZ as I couldn’t believe my dream was my reality. I remember running off stage after the opening number of All That Jazz and high-fiving my fellow cast mate Hugo in euphoria.
You’ve been travelling with this current version of the production for the past few months. Where have you been and how have audiences responded so far?
It’s been a very interesting journey thus far and one I will never forget. Travelling from New Zealand and then onto China was a culture shock to say the least, but a beautiful lesson in perspective and how to see the world in different ways. Much in the same way were our audiences. A fascinating experience we had was when we were all taking our final bow together in China and a few audiences members stood up to give us a stand ovation. They were soon urgently told to take their seats and sit down to our shock! I guess the reality is that theatre etiquette in a communist country is a bit different to ours. It was a little odd, but on the whole all audiences loved our show and if they didn’t know Chicago before, we were able to win them over in the end, no matter what country or cultural background they came from.
How do you stay fit (and sane!) while travelling to foreign countries and performing on a daily basis?
Diet is a big thing for me and something I battled with hugely in China purely because of the language barrier and inability to research or find out where the best foods were. Cardio and weight training is important (Switch Playground powered by Steve Uria is my favourite way to stay in shape), alongside transcendental meditation to keep me as sane as possible.
Lastly, as the show is about to hit Cape Town, what can the Mother City’s audiences expect from this current version of the show?
They can expect a passionate, sexy and explosive performance by a very dedicated and sophisticated company who love what they do and can’t wait to share a spicy and daring story with everyone.
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