Heather Manley: Rent is your first musical after studying Acting at WAAPA. How do you find the rehearsal process compared to a straight play?
Ayeesha Ash: The rehearsal process hasn’t been extremely different, it’s just focusing on song lyrics instead of dialogue and making sure I know my choreography perfectly, so that I don’t accidentally hit someone in the head with a prop.
If you had to choose one cuisine to eat for the rest of your life what would it be?
Definitely Japanese. Sushi, sashami, wakame, edamame. SOY SAUCE.
What has been your favourite performing experience?
In my final year at WAAPA my class toured a show that we wrote to Dublin. It was such a great experience being able to perform a piece we were so connected to on the other side of the world.
What strange fact about you do not many people know?
When I was a kid I would only have a shower if I was wearing my rain hat (I’ve grown out of that phase now).
Would you rather be married to a man with a fish head and a normal body or a normal head with a fish body, and why?
Normal head and fish body because he would probably be a really good ocean swimmer. He could take me on ocean dates and introduce me to all of his whale friends.
Ayeesha Ash: What’s been the most challenging piece to learn in Rent?
Heather Manley: I think the whole thing was a bit of a challenge because it’s a return season and we are entering a cast where almost all of the members were in the first run and knew all the numbers already. My brain was so full of lyrics and choreography within the first week.
Who is your favourite character to play in the show and why?
I really like playing Mimi’s sassy mom and singing in Spanish. Who doesn’t love to be sassy when they get the chance?
If you were an animal, what type of animal would you be?
Definitely a bird. It’s always been a fantasy of mine to be able to fly. And I’m a bit obsessed with birds – I have four cockatiels as pets back home in Guam.
If you could turn any movie into a musical what would it be?
I think Miss Congeniality is screaming to be a musical!
Who did you prefer in the 90s: Britney or Xtina?
Britney Spears’ album with ‘Hit Me Baby One More Time’ was the first album I bought, so definitely Britney.
Ayeesha Ash and Heather Manley can be seen in the new season of Rent the musical.
Dates: 29 Mar – 17 Apr, 2016
Venue: Hayes Theatre
Click here for Suzy’s review of last year’s production of Rent.