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Tuesday, January 26, 2021

Dear Diary: Bridget to star in solo role

When Bridget Phipps takes centre stage at the Royal Exchange Salon Theatre later this month, the teenager will be starring in a performance she can truly call her own.

From ticketing, costumes, script and props, to musical direction, lighting and venue hire, the Hunter School of Performing Arts student has produced her own cabaret.

Entitled ‘Dear Diary’, Bridget’s one-hour solo performance forms part of her final Talent Development Program (TDP) assessment.

The (almost) 18-year-old says Dear Diary is a modern look at a traditional role.

“You could say it’s a Disney princess story with a twist,” she said.

“But, it’s a one-woman show.

“It’s a look at the traditional female role.”

Dear Diary is a story about Elizabeth Young, an ordinary girl who wants to find love, Bridget admits.

“The audience are her diary, and she records the experiences she has on her way to finding love, with them,” she explained.

“Without giving away too much, Elizabeth learns that she doesn’t need love to be complete.

“Love will come eventually; it will all be fine.”

Bridget is no stranger to performing strong female characters.

Aside from her solo performance in Dear Diary, the Corlette-raised singer, songwriter is also rehearsing for her performance as Morticia Addams in Young People’s Theatre Newcastle‘s performance of The Addams Family, expected in April.

“It’s a juggling act but I like to keep busy,” Bridget said.

“It must run in the family.”

The youngest of four children, Bridget’s siblings are also established talents within the arts sector.

“I have a brother who is an actor and another who is in the ballet in New Zealand,” she said.

“And, my sister is a pop singer, too.”

Blessed with unique sounding vocals, Bridget has been singing on stage since she was five years old and acting in stage productions from the age of 10.

“I’ve always had this deeper, older voice,” she said.

“So, I learned to like it, and train it, and make it my art.

“This is a harsh industry but I’m learning to be prepared for that.”

Part of her inspiration, Bridget said, stems from her idols Barbra Streisand, Audrey Hepburn and Doris Day.

“I think I was meant to be born in that era,” she explained.

“I just love the voices, and the fashion, I wish I’d been around to hear these women sing live.”

Bridget was one of a pair of Hunter students to be named within the Talent Development Program for 2020-2021.

Her resume also boasts performing at the Art Gallery of NSW, Young Women in Jazz, and the Sydney Jazz Festival.

She completed a Certificate IV in Music Industry at the Cathedral College of Music while finishing Year 10 and has performed in more than 20 musicals and plays with Newcastle’s Young People’s Theatre.

She is also a member of Newcastle’s Christ Church Cathedral choir.

Bridget’s cabaret Dear Diary will be performed at The Royal Exchange Salon Theatre in Newcastle on 23 January at 7pm.