Wendy Mae Brown is currently starring as the coincidently named Oda Mae Brown on the UK touring production of Ghost The Musical, the role originated by Whoopi Goldberg in the film and by Sharon D. Clarke on stage. Wendy has recently starred as Hattie in Kiss Me Kate at the Old Vic and Chichester whilst other credits include Little Shop Of Horrors, Mamma Mia! and Porgy And Bess.
"We've only just started the tour but the Welsh audiences have been great actually, apparently they can be quite critical but they're loving it! The Wales Millennium Centre has been a great place to open the show, it's such a technical production and they've had the workshop space to make any changes where needed. The rest of the tour is quite exciting, we get to perform at some great venues like Wimbledon and Wolverhampton which I haven't performed in for years!"
"The show is quite technical and that side of the production has been improved for the tour. We have a few members of the cast who were in the London production who say things work a lot slicker now. Unfortunately I never got to see the show when it was at the Piccadilly Theatre, but the film I must have lost count how many times I've seen that. Oda Mae Brown was always one of those characters that I'd watch and think "oooh, I'd love to do that role". As a black actress there are only certain roles you can do, this being a great one, but of course there was never the opportunity - I never thought they'd make a musical out of it! I missed out on auditioning for the original production but when the tour came around I just had to go for it - and here I am, Wendy Mae Brown playing Oda Mae Brown - there must be someone up there making it happen for me!"
Wendy as Oda Mae with Karlene Wray (Clara) and Keisha Atwell (Louise)
"Not all the critics were so kind to Ghost in London and I think the show has a better place on tour. People in London experience theatre quite differently and with a different attitude and I think the regional audience will just enjoy it."
"I'm having the best time on stage. Oda Mae steals all of the laughs, she's comedy character which believe me is needed because at times it's quite depressing, with all the death... My favourite part of the show has to be my song I'm Outta Here. I look utterly ridiculous but everyone just has so much fun in that number. It's quite difficult though, not only have I got a giant bird on my head, but I've got sunglasses on, a fur coat and I'm climbing over boxes - I'm constantly trying to avoid falling over!"
"That's not the only difficulty I've found... what else is quite a challenge is the fact that Oda Mae can't see Sam (Stewart Clarke), she can only hear him and so I have to try not to look at him. I remember in one the first shows I was just gawping right at him for quite some time thinking "gosh he's gorgeous!" and then I realised I can't see him!"
Get tickets to see Wendy as Oda Mae Brown in Ghost The Musical, now touring across the UK. Ghost haunts Wolverhampton at the Grand Theatre from 4th - 15th June. Get tickets here.