Molly Chesworth is currently at the Vaults Theatre performing the role of Josie in Teddy. Directed by Eleanor Rhode, written by Tristan Bernays with music by Dougal Irvine, the musical play teleports audiences back into 1950s London where the Teddy culture began. With original songs and performances, Teddy brings to life the post-war energy and celebrates the era with a post-show live-gig. I got to speak to Molly about her journey on Teddy‘s UK tour: how she manages to keep up with the fast-pace demands of her role and how special it is to perform in front of originals Teds. (Read my four-star review of the show here.)
Come and dance with a Teddy boy and Teddy girl
Many have never heard of the Teddy look before, yet for many people who lived in the UK during the 1950s this was a part of real life. It was a cultural trend that was found in many places; derelict buildings, and homes, which were destroyed by German bombs. Ten years after the Blitz (September 1940 – May 1941) young boys and girls, pretending to be adults, donned the Teddy aesthetic: a look epitomised by polished suits, super slick back hair and a passion for rock and roll music. It was Bill Haley and His Comets recording of ‘Rock Around the Clock’ in April 1954 that caused a musical shockwave across the Pacific – American culture had finally hit Britain.
Teddy, a musical by writer Tristan Bernays and composer Dougal Irvine, has arrived at the Vault Festival in Waterloo. The Vault Theatre has changed up its bar’s furnishings to a derelict and post-war feel to accompany the show. It is grabbing the attention of many original Teds, taking them down memory lane, and plenty of theatregoers who have never heard of the subculture before. Teddy is an immersive take of 1950s’ London seen through the eyes of displaced youths of post-war society, Josie (Molly Chesworth) and Teddy (George Parker).