At the time of the interview Zoe Birkett was performing in Thriller Live at the Lyric Theatre London.
She was part of the original cast of Priscilla Queen of the Desert playing one of the DIVAS alongside Jason Donavan at the Palace Theatre. She was also principle singer on choreographer Gary Lloyd’s What a Feeling at the London Palladium.
Zoe has starred as the only Female Lead in Thriller Live at the Lyric Theatre and also opened the show around the world, including South Africa, Europe, and Brazil where she was greatly received and now has a strong Brazilian following.
Zoe’s theatre credits include Respect La Diva as The Lead Female, at the Garrick Theatre, Dion in Hair, in Munich and also the Piccadilly Theatre London, the lead role of “Acid Queen” in the Who’s Tommy at the Prince Edward Theatre, and the lead role of Maureen in RENT at The Greenwich Theatre, London, where she enjoyed rave reviews.
Zoe’s live television vocal performances include: Top of the Pops, Liquid News, Pop World, CDUK, Pepsi Chart Show, the Disney Show, This Morning, SMTV, Des & Mel, Nickelodeon, Children in Need, Alan Titchmarsh, Paul O’Grady and many more. In 2013, she performed as a female backing vocalist for No.1 US artist Jason Derulo and also Cher.
Zoe recently took time out to answer a few questions about the past year in her career.
During the early part of 2013 you were on tour with Thriller Live in Brazil. Do you have any favourite memories from the tour?
I had the most wonderful time in Brazil, there is a huge Michael Jackson following there, so reaction from the fans was unbelievable every night. I have developed an incredible Brazilian fan base, and I would really like to go back there at some point. Seeing the Christ the Redeemer statue in Rio was breathtaking. Also, visiting other parts of Brazil like Sao Paulo and Brasilia was brilliant. I also had to speak Portuguese in the show so I have started to learn a new language, and I am continuing to study it.
Apart from on stage, what work have you been doing since arriving back in the UK?
I’ve been singing for US artist Jason Derulo for Radio 1, Capital FM and Red Bull Studios, and it has been so much fun, and very different to the theatre work I have been doing. I have also been busy filing for a Green Card to move to New York. It’s a dream I’ve wanted for a very long time, and I feel like I’m at the right stage in my career to make the move! There are very exciting times ahead.
You recently performed backing vocals for Cher on the Graham Norton Show and on X Factor. Can you tell us about that?
After working with Jason Derulo I then had the opportunity to sing backing vocals for the legendary diva Cher! I am a huge fan of Cher. She is an incredible singer and is so unique, and it was an absolute pleasure meeting her and performing on television with her.
You are back in the cast of Thriller Live at the Lyric Theatre. How does it feel to be back in the show?
It’s wonderful to be back in the West End, and back at the Lyric Theatre. It feels like home, especially seeing a lot of my old friends from the crew and backstage. I rejoined a cast that had already been together for 6 months, and they were all very welcoming!
Your mum recently visited London and watched the show. How does it feel to have her watching you live on stage?
My parents are always coming to see me in literally everything! They both flew out to Brazil to see me in Thriller. They are coming to watch me again in the West End in March. I have the best parents! Really, I truly believe I have parents like no one else has!
You took a short break from Thriller Live in November 2013. Can you tell us about this?
I left Thriller in November for 3 weeks to fly out to Holland to be part of The Tina Turner Experience performing to 25,000 people in a stadium celebrating the music of Tina Turner, it was one of the most difficult yet enjoyable jobs I have ever done. I was singing and dancing at the same time flat out in every single number! Tina Turner was a ‘machine’ on stage that’s for sure!! But singing those songs was just an absolute dream for me. I have been brought up with my mam singing Tina Turner all my life, so everything about the show was right up my street in terms of style!! It was an amazing way to end 2013! And now I’m back in Thriller Live in the West End. So 2014 has had a great start!
Evenings: Tuesday to Friday and Sunday 7.30pm, Saturday 8.00pm
Matinees: Saturday 4:00pm and Sunday 3.30pm
Running Time: 2 hours 20 minutes
Age Restrictions: Suitable for ages 8 and over.
Important Info: Contains constant use of flashing LED screen and some strobe lighting.
Sunday 12th January 2014