We are super excited to have Sophie Hamlet joining our Board of Trustees! Not only is she a brilliant accountant but she’s super passionate about theatre, opera and music and reaching new audiences. So we asked her a few questions so you could get to know her:
Describe yourself in three words
A question I always struggle with because I have been known to be talkative! I suppose that would be one; chatty. Passionate (particularly where arts and music are concerned), and… Kind. I’d like to think of myself as kind.
What made you want to get involved with Baseless Fabric?
I’ve wanted to get involved in volunteer work for a while, particularly in using my skills as an accountant to give back in some way. The best way to do that is to get involved with charities as some form of treasurer / financial consultant and, having a lot of love for the arts (theatre in particular), it seemed obvious to look to work with theatrical charities. An opportunity for Baseless Fabric came upon one of the volunteer sites that I signed up for and I simply jumped at the chance to get involved.
The work that Baseless Fabric do in terms of making theatre and opera accessible is incredibly important and valuable to the local community, and their engagement with the community is so unique (I’d never heard of street opera before!) it really feels like their work is something very special. The chance to be a part of that in any small way is one that can’t be ignored. I may not be an opera singer, but I can at least offer my mathematical mind.
You saw our Die Fledermaus production in the summer. Which character are you most like, and why?
That’s a difficult question because the characters are all so much fun in their own ways, but if I had to choose one, I think I would say Rosalinde. Relatively down to earth, she has a real sense of responsibility and right and wrong – but isn’t above having a little fun, even if it was at Eisenstein’s expense!
We know you see a lot of theatre. What productions have you seen recently that you would recommend?
I try to mix up the shows that I go to, going from larger to smaller venues quite regularly. Recently I’ve seen School of Rock, which is great fun. But the two shows that I’ve seen in the last month that have really stood out are Preludes by Dave Malloy, which was showing at the Southwark Playhouse until early October. A musical that’s set inside the hypnotised mind of Rachmaninoff, it’s a chaotic blend of classical music, opera and electronic sampling. The players were just fantastic, but special mention has to go to Norton James, Rebecca Cain and Georgia Louise, all of whom just sang beautifully.
The other is a show written by Tice Oakfield called The Astonishing Singing Fish. This is a really fun and quirky show that only seems to pop up for a couple of days at a time, so you need to get in quick to see it! The premise is very simple; Peter, a scientist, and his genetically modified pet fish (the closest thing he has to a friend), Alex, watch the Olivier Awards one night, and Alex is so enamoured with the music that he decides he wants to play Jean Val Jean in Les Miserables. The show is effectively about his quest to be a West End star and is full of homages to existing musicals (and a few digs, as well) that left me grinning from ear to ear. It is likely to come back in the future, so keep a lookout for it!
Thanks Sophie for the great theatre recommendations and excited to have you as part of the team!