From panto fun to solo show

Donna Hazelton
Donna Hazelton

SINGER, actress and stage performer Donna Hazelton is following a smash hit panto season with a special solo show this Saturday.

The popular performer, from Leven, is returning to one of the things she loves best – singing songs from classic musicals.

Janaury 26 – also her 49th birthday – sees Donna on stage at The Byre Theatre in St Andrews for a showcase of songs by Rogers and Hammerstein, in a show entitled ‘The Sound of Music-als’.

With piano accompaniment by Simon Beck, she’ll be putting her own individual touch to melodies from such shows as ‘Carousel’, ‘Oklahoma!’, ‘State Fair’, ‘South Pacific’ and others, while her special guests will be the East Fife Ladies Choir.

Donna is a big fan of the more contemporary musicals too, but feels the older ones are definitely worth preserving for audiences’ enjoyment.

“I love all sorts of musicals and the modern ones are great in their own way, but I think we have a whole generation that hasn’t really heard the old songs,” she said.

Refreshed after a winter holiday in Spain, Donna was seen most recently in ‘Cinderella’ at the Alhambra Theatre, in which she played Bertha Bubblesqueak – a character written specially for her with the help of theatre boss Bill Fletcher and show director Liam Rudden.

Bertha was the cook for Baron Hardup, with whom she was romantically smitten and, amid a fine comedy double act with Buttons, ‘she got her man’.

“It was brilliant,” she said of the experience. “It was a wonderful show with a fantastic cast and a brilliant director.

“The audiences were great too – considering there are 1200 seats in that theatre, I think we did particularly well.”

Donna will also be back at the Byre with another cast of performers on February 14 for ‘A Valentine’s Night at the Musicals’, featuring a collection of songs from well-known romantic stage shows such as ‘Les Miserables’ and ‘The Phantom of the Opera’.

Since rising to fame in 2004 as one of the winners of Channel 4 TV show ‘Musicality’, Donna has made a steady succession of live appearances, both locally and nationally.

The Channel 4 success won her a role as Mama Morton in a West End run of ‘Chicago’, while she has given a number of concerts on home territory, as well as appearing on stage in presentations of ‘Girls Night’, ‘Puss In Boots’, ‘Girls Behind’, ‘The Sound Of Music’, ‘Checkout Girls’, ‘Over the Rainbow’, ‘A Song, a Sip & a Sandwich’, ‘Best of Musicals’, and more.