Interview: Moya Angela from the West End production of Dreamgirls.
Moya Angela is an international Broadway singer and actress and can currently be seen starring as Effie White in DreamGirls on the West End. Moya was a 2016 LA Ovation Award Winner for Lead Actress in a Musical for the role of Effie White, as well as a 2010 NAACP Theatre Award Winner for Lead Actress for the same role. ).
In 2016, Moya was also a semi-finalist on America’s Got Talent with videos bringing in millions of views. Broadway credits include: The Lion King as Rafiki Cover (Shenzi Germany 2013), Clara in Original Broadway Cast of Ghost the Musical and Althea and Ms. Williams in the Original Broadway Cast of In Transit the Musical. Other notable credits include: Portia in 30 Rock, Effie White in DreamGirls (National Broadway Tour/Apollo Theatre and International Guest Entertainer on cruise-liners world wide of her own one woman show Giving Life. Moya is also a proud ambassador of Broadway in the H.O.O.D (helping others open doors).
We thought it was about flippin' time we caught up with her for a cheeky little chinwag...
So let’s talk a little bit about Dreamgirls on the West End? Your career highlights include America’s Got Talent and Broadway so now you are in London working on such an iconic musical, how does that feel?
I mean there are some things in your career that you say if I could ever work there, well London is one of those places. I didn’t realise how vast the theatre scene was here until I got here, how many shows, just like New York. It’s fascinating and I was so excited to be here.
How important is this role to you especially with there being much press attention on black roles in film and theatre at the moment with some fantastic work being done, what does it mean to you?
Well anytime I get a call to ask me to do this role I feel like I’m part of an elite privilege group of people who have done this part, performing this in London is even bigger for me because it’s the first time the show has been to London and for it to actually happen is another story.
The names that have played Effie is an impressive one, how do the nerves take hold every show when you start “And I am telling you?”
You know , I was just thinking thank God the score is leading up to it and the other songs before it are a warm up. You just have to have a certain amount of confidence and where you are going to go with it. It’s amazing what goes through your mind before that song starts, it’s like there is no getting out of it. You have to go all the way with it and open up totally emotionally.
You must bond as a cast because it is such an emotional rollercoaster. How has it all gone since you started with the show?
Well they’ve been really supportive and it’s one of those shows where you can’t go it alone, when cover goes on you have to send the support back as well. It’s so important.
Can we talk about America’s Got Talent, how was your experience of that show?
Well yeah, it was a great. The first year I did it was the first year Simon was a judge so I was excited about that and everybody wants to be in front of Simon. He loved me and I will hang on that for as long as I live, that’s enough for me. It was truly a good eye opening experience as a performer. I put myself out there as myself.
Where can you go from here? Do you have a dream role to play?
I am absolutely playing the dream role and it’s just brilliant. I want to record some of my own music and it’s way overdue to put some of my own music down.
In Dreamgirls do you have a highlighted moment?
I really enjoy I Am Changing, especially that crazy costume change and it’s so nostalgic as a performer to go from nobody wanting to work with you and then if you just take a bit a of care of yourself and change a few things, things can really be great. So that song really hits me in the heart strings.
To see Moya Angela as Effie White at the Savoy Theatre please go to http://www.dreamgirlswestend.com/
For more on Moya check out her social media: