Where to start? What a year Rachel has had and I feel so proud to have been part of her journey in 2008. I came to Rachels blog as you know having been invited by David because I had set up Rachels original "Vote Rachel to Win" Facebook group and I was a personal friend. Therefore, seeing as I have the advantage of knowing Rachel since childhood and beginning the Nancy journey together by discussing whether or not to audition in our dressing room at the Lyric Theatre during our run of The wizard of Oz last xmas; I'm going start my review from there.
Rachel is as kind, warm hearted and genuine a person as you will come across in life and she showed this to me many times during the run of Oz. A few of my favourite moments begin here...
I lost my red gloves my husband Richard had bought me for my 30th during rehearsals and I was devasted. We opened the next week and on my dressing room table was a new pair of gloves Rachel has gone out of her way to replace for me. The first of many gifts she passed to me including(The Secret)and supportive words Rachel bestowed on me in the dressing room we shared. Obviously sharing a stage with Rachel for the 3rd time and being struck dumb when Liam Neeson knocked on our dressing room door is very high on my list of Fav's.
Comedy moments to name but a few, in Oz - when the cast completely corpsed (burst out laughing whilst trying to remain in character)because the actor playing Uncle Henry sneezed unexpectedly at the crucially sad and poiniant part of the show when he takes Toto away from Dorothy. Rachel had always said if something would make her laugh on stage it would be someone sneezing; she was creased up so much that she blatently hid behind the dog and wouldnt let Toto go because she didnt want to be caught on laughing onstage....Don't worry the dog will save you my pretty lol
Favourite IDA song performances were;
Beautiful - she blew me away with her passion and her belting ability.
The Way We Were - I had a feeling she'd melt my heart on this and I was right. I cried like a baby
I'm With You - One of Avril Lavingne best songs. Rachel acted this pop ballad wonderfully. Her soft and huskey tones in the verse leading to her clear high and strong belt on the chorus was very impressive.
I will Always Love you - is the second favourite song on my list as I had the privelidge to see this performed live. I was mesmerised and drawn to her standing at the top of the staircase. She looked stunning in her long champagne coloured dressed that fishtailed at the bottom. I was drawn to the purity and control in her voice singing the opening part of the song in accapella like an angel. How she managed to walk so gracefully down that staircase in her dress and sing at the same time, I will never know. I particularly enjoyed yelling out a very large and loud BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! to Barrie Humphries in the studio with her friend Samuel as BH said she was would a good understudy. What a load of B*llucks!
Final performance of As Long As He Needs Me, after she was voted of for me was her best moment yet. Some may argue and say it was Cabaret but I know Rachel of old and her performance in Cabaret will have blown away anyone who didnt already know that she was capable of doing just that with one her of musical idols best known songs. It was just wonderful for this to be the one that finally got the panel sadly not the public on their feet. So for me it her final song of the series. The hurt, the determination to make something of herself, the strength of charachter needed to pick herself back up and again and succeed all came through to me during this song and although I was upset and hurt for her I had no doubt that Rachel would be the next best thing and that her dream was on just around the corner. To top it all I got to see that dream come true on her opening night of WWRU. Where I must admit whilst talking to Rosie in the interval I began to well up with tears. I felt like a proud older sister who had travelled a journey of 17 years to see it all come to fruition.
Thankyou to everyone who has supported Rachel and this blog during 2008. Onwards.... roll on 2009 xxx