The third episode of The Theatre Channel screams “Girl Power!” with Tina stars Aisha Jawando and Francesca Jackson performing songs by their respective rock inspirations: Tina Turner and Alanis Morisette.
Joining them in “Rock Musicals” is Les Misérables alum Shan Ako performing “I’ll Cover You” from Rent. If you haven’t watched yet, check it out here.
Below, Jawando and Jackson talk with Playbill about performing on camera vs. the stage, their rock queens, and more.
How did your performance in Tina help you take on “The Acid Queen” from The Who’s Tommy?
Aisha Jawando: Tina played the Acid Queen in the movie adaptation, which was amazing! Getting to share another piece of life, so to speak. But how did it help? Of course the Acid Queen is a fictional character but Tina definitely brought her fire to the role, and from playing Tina on stage I knew that was something I couldn’t leave out. I know it’s nowhere near the same fire as Tina—she is the Queen of Rock and Roll—but I brought what I had learned up until now.
What was it like to perform “Unforgiven” in London before Jagged Little Pill hit the West End?
Francesca Jackson: “Forgiven” is a fantastic song to sing, but I’m biased, I love anything Alanis Morissette! But this song in particular has such a gorgeous gospel feel. It’s a very emotional song that lets you really get your teeth into it. It was a privilege to get the opportunity to sing it here in London. I can’t wait for Jagged Little Pill to hit the West End.
Did you approach this performance on camera differently from when you’re a stage?
AJ: Oh gosh, the approach to camera and on stage are super different, but I found ways to marry the two. For example, when I had to look down the lens of the camera, I imagined looking directly into an audience members’ eyes as if they were the only person there. The intimate exchange of looks with the other characters felt similarly exposing though, but this time the “audience member” was right over my shoulder.
FJ: Everything becomes a lot more intimate. You’re no longer projecting a performance to the back of an auditorium. It’s all close up and personal.
What was it like performing a bright lights, high-energy number?
AJ: Brights lights are nothing but a chicken wing. As a performer, bright lights are everywhere—you can’t escape them even if you wanted to. That was an element that made me feel right at home.
What does The Theatre Channel bring to fans in this unprecedented time?
FJ: I am so proud to have been a part of what [the show] is achieving. With theatre closed all over the UK and beyond, it is a fantastic opportunity for fans, performers, crew, and creative teams to have a platform to still enjoy what we’re all so passionate about. I am very proud of the whole team.