Jerry Hall: I didn't want to steal the show. And other tall tales

Diary

Share
Related Topics

The actress enters 'Guinness World Records' by appearing in six West End shows on one night:

I'm always game - I adore a challenge. But when the idea was put to me - six West End shows in one night - I thought, this can't be right. But it appealed to me because my children adore Guinness World Records. I buy it for them every Christmas. And it was helping to promote London, which is now my home and which I love. I live in Richmond. I have a view over the Thames, and I keep a horse which I ride in Richmond Park. How glorious is that?

I went from Phantom of the Opera to Les Misérables to Fame to Blood Brothers to Anything Goes to Chitty Chitty Bang Bang in two hours, 20 minutes, and I played in front of 9,124 people. Chitty has a long finale. But then they announced that I had set the record, and it was a fantastic moment. The scariest thing - much scarier than being in all the shows - was travelling between the theatres on the back of a motorbike. It brought back memories of when I had last done it - in San Francisco when I was about 18. Then it was all very Hell's Angels, and absolutely terrifying. I vowed never to go on the back of motorbike again.

The only speaking part I had was in Blood Brothers - and it needed a Liverpool accent. My Texan relations might tell me that that I now speak with an English accent, but I needed help to speak Liverpudlian. So I went to the greatest vocal coach there is, Joan Washington, who's married to Richard E Grant. I'd worked with Patsy Rodenburg, who is voice coach at the National Theatre but that was more to learn how to increase vocal power, which you need to do if you are going to reach everybody in a big theatre. But I'd never had to do a difficult, broad accent like the one in Blood Brothers, and Joan and I spent a long time together while I made these strange noises. But I'm used to this. I was in Picasso's Women, and although I wasn't doing a French accent, I didn't want to sound too Texan.

My main concern was not to upstage anyone. I didn't want to steal the shows or interrupt the action - they had to go on just as normal, which meant I had to get my cues right, not make any mistakes, and fit straight into the routines. I only had about a day's rehearsing, and there was a lot that could go wrong. There's a revolve in Les Misérables - you have to step on with your right foot, step off with your left. There's lots of scenery to bump into. Normally you know where to watch your back. But not here. Still I was on and off in about a minute and a half, and then it was on to the next show. It helped to have been a model. I am used to quick changes.

The other big project I'm supporting is the renovation of the Kingston Theatre, where I'm a patron. We have to raise £3m, and I'm helping to organise an auction next month in which I've got various friends to contribute items. I've put up a Christian Lacroix couture dress, dating from the late 1980s when he was at the height of his fame. It's a very special dress - it's other-worldly, with sequins and red ostrich feathers and big chiffon cape. Mick Jagger's giving a jacket, Ronnie Wood a drawing, Pete Townshend a guitar. I suppose I just love the excitement of live theatre - and I think that London's got the best live theatre of anywhere.

React Now

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Information Security Manager (ISO 27001, Accreditation, ITIL)

£70000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Information Security Manager (ISO 27001, A...

C# Developer (HTML5, JavaScript, ASP.NET, Mathematics, Entity)

£30000 - £45000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: C# Developer (...

C# Integration Developer (.NET, Tibco EMS, SQL 2008/2012, XML)

£60000 - £80000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: C# Integration...

Biztalk - outstanding opportunity

£75000 - £85000 per annum + ex bens: Deerfoot IT Resources Limited: Biztalk Te...

Day In a Page

Read Next
Barclays are reducing the number of staff in their branches - and giving those remain ipads  

A bag? In the bagging area? Whatever next?

Andrew Martin
 

Who is the winner of this World Cup? Twitter

Dom Joly
Iraq crisis: How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over the north of the country

How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over northern Iraq

A speech by an ex-MI6 boss hints at a plan going back over a decade. In some areas, being Shia is akin to being a Jew in Nazi Germany, says Patrick Cockburn
The evolution of Andy Serkis: First Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through the trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

The evolution of Andy Serkis

First Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through the trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
You thought 'Benefits Street' was controversial: Follow-up documentary 'Immigrant Street' has got locals worried

You thought 'Benefits Street' was controversial...

Follow-up documentary 'Immigrant Street' has got locals worried
Refugee children from Central America let down by Washington's high ideals

Refugee children let down by Washington's high ideals

Democrats and Republicans refuse to set aside their differences to cope with the influx of desperate Central Americas, says Rupert Cornwell
Children's books are too white, says Laureate

Children's books are too white, says Laureate

Malorie Blackman appeals for a better ethnic mix of authors and characters and the illustrator Quentin Blake comes to the rescue
Blackest is the new black: Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...

Blackest is the new black

Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...
Matthew Barzun: America's diplomatic dude

Matthew Barzun: America's diplomatic dude

The US Ambassador to London holds 'jeans and beer' gigs at his official residence – it's all part of the job, he tells Chris Green
Meet the Quantified Selfers: From heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor

Meet the 'Quantified Selfers'

From heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor
Madani Younis: Five-star reviews are just the opening act for British theatre's first non-white artistic director

Five-star reviews are just the opening act for British theatre's first non-white artistic director

Madani Younis wants the neighbourhood to follow his work as closely as his audiences do
Mrs Brown and her boys: are they having a laugh?

Mrs Brown and her boys: are they having a laugh?

When it comes to national stereotyping, the Irish – among others – know it can pay to play up to outsiders' expectations, says DJ Taylor
Gavin Maxwell's bitter legacy: Was the otter man the wildlife champion he appeared to be?

Otter man Gavin Maxwell's bitter legacy

The aristocrat's eccentric devotion to his pets inspired a generation. But our greatest living nature writer believes his legacy has been quite toxic
Joanna Rowsell: The World Champion cyclist on breaking her collarbone, shattering her teeth - and dealing with alopecia

Joanna Rowsell: 'I wear my wig to look normal'

The World Champion cyclist on breaking her collarbone, shattering her teeth - and dealing with alopecia
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef gives raw ingredients a lift with his quick marinades

Bill Granger's quick and delicious marinades

Our chef's marinades are great for weekend barbecuing, but are also a delicious way of injecting flavour into, and breaking the monotony of, weekday meals
Germany vs Argentina World Cup 2014 preview: Why Brazilians don't love their neighbours Argentina any more

Anyone but Argentina – why Brazilians don’t love their neighbours any more

The hosts will be supporting Germany in today's World Cup final, reports Alex Bellos
The Open 2014: Time again to ask that major question - can Lee Westwood win at last?

The Open 2014

Time again to ask that major question - can Lee Westwood win at last?