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

  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant - Dublin

£13676.46 - £16411.61 per annum + OTE: SThree: SThree Trainee Recruitment Cons...

Ashdown Group: Marketing or Business Graduate Opportunity - Norwich - £22,000

£18000 - £22000 per annum + training: Ashdown Group: Business and Marketing Gr...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£20000 - £25000 per annum + Commission: SThree: Are you great at building rela...

Ashdown Group: Database Analyst - Birmingham - £22,000 plus benefits

£20000 - £22000 per annum + excellent benefits: Ashdown Group: Application Sup...

Day In a Page

Read Next
Labour leader Ed Miliband unveils Labour's pledges carved into a stone plinth in Hastings  

Election 2015: Smash the two-party system! Smash the voting system!

Armando Iannucci
Tactical voting is a necessary evil of the current first-past-the-post system, where voters vote against what they do not want rather than in favour of what they do  

Election 2015: Voting tactically has become more fraught in new political order

Michael Ashcroft
General Election 2015: Ed Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

He was meant to be Labour's biggest handicap - but has become almost an asset
General Election 2015: A guide to the smaller parties, from the the National Health Action Party to the Church of the Militant Elvis Party

On the margins

From Militant Elvis to Women's Equality: a guide to the underdogs standing in the election
Amr Darrag: Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister in exile still believes Egypt's military regime can be replaced with 'moderate' Islamic rule

'This is the battle of young Egypt for the future of our country'

Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister Amr Darrag still believes the opposition can rid Egypt of its military regime and replace it with 'moderate' Islamic rule, he tells Robert Fisk
Why patients must rely less on doctors: Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'

Why patients must rely less on doctors

Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'
Sarah Lucas is the perfect artist to represent Britain at the Venice Biennale

Flesh in Venice

Sarah Lucas has filled the British pavilion at the Venice Biennale with slinky cats and casts of her female friends' private parts. It makes you proud to be a woman, says Karen Wright
11 best anti-ageing day creams

11 best anti-ageing day creams

Slow down the ageing process with one of these high-performance, hardworking anti-agers
Juventus 2 Real Madrid 1: Five things we learnt, including Iker Casillas is past it and Carlos Tevez remains effective

Juventus vs Real Madrid

Five things we learnt from the Italian's Champions League first leg win over the Spanish giants
Ashes 2015: Test series looks a lost cause for England... whoever takes over as ECB director of cricket

Ashes series looks a lost cause for England...

Whoever takes over as ECB director of cricket, says Stephen Brenkley
Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power