Theatre legend Rachel Tucker travels down under for DO YOU HEAR THE PEOPLE SING?

It is fifty years since Alain Boublil and Claude-Michel Schönberg first met and began a collaboration that would change the course of musical theatre history with their musicals Les Misérables and Miss Saigon.

This September, leading stars from Broadway, the West End, France, Korea and Australia will gather to celebrate these unparalleled musicals and their writers in Do You Hear The People Sing?  They will be joined by a 24-piece orchestra and an ensemble of twelve singers. This extraordinary event is headlined by Michael Ball with John Owen-Jones, Rachel Tucker, Bobby Fox, David Harris, Sooha Kim, Suzie Mathers, and Marie Zamora.

Rachel Tucker

Rachel Tucker is a Northern Irish born performer with a slew of impressive roles to her name. Notable credits include Elphaba in Wicked (West End), Beverley Bass in Come From Away (West End and Broadway), Grace in The Pirate Queen (West End), Woman 2 in  Songs For A New World (West End), and Jen in John & Jen (West End).

The definitive celebration of the work of Boublil & Schönberg, Do You Hear The People Sing? includes not only hits from Les Misérables and Miss Saigon but also Martin GuerreThe Pirate Queen and their very first musical together, La Révolution Française. This concert was created by Alain Boublil and Claude-Michel Schönberg and is the only celebration of their work that the duo has ever authorised.

Can you tell me a bit about your background in performing?

Rachel: I have trained for my whole life. I’ve put 50,000 hours into singing, acting and dancing from the time I was very young. It was always encouraged by my mum and dad. My dad was an entertainer and singer.  We were always singing with the piano, the banjo, the guitar. I’d sing with my sister and brothers.  We were massively influenced by the old movie musicals which we loved. Instead of watching cartoons at the weekend, we watched movie musicals, fighting over who wanted to watch Singin’ in the Rain or the Wizard of Oz! The love of performing – or showing off, as I think of it – was innate in me.  I always wanted to do it.  My sister played Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz and got me into acting. I was totally inspired by live performance.  I was Bugsy Malone in a local production – because the boys weren’t good enough!!  I went on to do stuff outside of school, the Arts Youth Theatre in Belfast, which was amazing training base.  The Lyric Youth Group did a musical each summer, working with professionals from London.  I got to tour the UK with the Ulster Theatre Company, performing in shows like West Side Story and The Rockin’ Mikado.  I then went on train at the Royal Academy of Music and did a one-year post graduate course, and cut my teeth in London, learning how it works.  And the rest is history.  My big inspirations are Bette Midler, Sammy Davis Jr, The Rat Back, Michael Jackson. Judy Garland, as well, of course!

Why do you think the work of Boublil and Schönberg are so well loved?

Rachel: Alain and Claude-Michel get what it takes to take an idea and turn it into a compelling musical.  Who’d have thought that a student revolution in Paris, or the French Revolution or the Vietnam War would be great ideas for a musical?  These two musical, lyrical brains put them together and make fantastic, wonderful scores and shows. They create stunning, catchy tunes.  These songs get passed on from generation to generation and stand the test of time.

Rachel Tucker in The Pirate Queen | Photo by Earl Carpernter

Do you have a favourite song that you’ll be singing?

Rachel: I get to sing Woman from The Pirate Queen, which I did in London. It’s a great another great Boublil and Schönberg song!

How have you found working alongside such a talented cast?

Rachel: I’ve worked with John Owen-Jones before, and I’ve worked with Suzie Mathers (she was Glinda when I played Elphaba in Wicked in London), and I love them dearly.  Bobby Fox is Irish and I can’t wait to get the ‘craic’ from him.  I’ve never worked with Michael Ball and I am so excited about that.  I’ve met David Harris, but we’ve never worked together. I’m so looking forward to working with Sooha and Marie too – I hold them in such high esteem.  I can’t wait to sing with these talented people. I can’t believe I get to sing at Sydney Opera House. It’s a bucket-list venue.

What can audiences expect from Do You Hear The People Sing?

Rachel: People will get more than value for their money! Great songs, great singers singing great music. I can’t wait to be there.

Do You Hear The People Sing plays at Arts Centre Melbourne on September 27th and 28th, and the Sydney Opera House on September 30th and October 1st.

Click here for tickets and more information.

Gabi Bergman

Gabi Bergman is a Melbourne-based performer and educator, and is the current Deputy Editor-in-Chief of She holds a Double Arts degree in Theatre Studies and Film/Screen Studies and a Master of Teaching (Secondary Education). Gabi has always been an avid lover of theatre, specifically musicals, and spends way too much money than she’d like to admit on tickets. Her most prized possession is her crate of theatre programs.

Gabi Bergman

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