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Joanne Clifton: ‘I’ve travelled so much in my dance career, so my favourite place is at home on the sofa’



Favourite book?

I don’t really have an absolute favourite. My favourite author is Michael Connelly. He has lots of crime books with a hero called Hieronymus ‘Harry’ Bosch, who is so ace. I know there’s a TV series of it too, but I prefer the books. It’s the same with Harry Potter: I loved the books and just cannot get into the films. I’m not particularly a reader, since I have a short attention span, but anything crime is great. I know all the best ways to torture.

​Favourite song?

MMMBop by Hanson. I always have and always will be a big Hanson fan. Me and my best friends from school, Angela and Helen, loved them. Angela and I still go to their concerts. MMMBop is also how I first heard and taught myself harmonies. I had all of Hanson’s albums, so I listened to the acoustic versions of the song and heard that the three brothers were on three different notes. I was like, ‘Hang on a minute.’ I’ve also recorded a cover of MMMBop on my album, Like Nobody’s Watching. It had to be done.

​Favourite film?

Sister Act 2: Back In The Habit. I adore the songs and how the main girl is so passionate about singing. There’s a line in it [that stands out]: “If you wake up in the morning and all you can think about is singing, then you’re a singer.” That line always stuck with me, even throughout my dance career, as I knew I wanted to also be on stage. It’s what I thought about when I woke up. My second favourite is Aladdin, the Disney cartoon. I was completely in love with him as a child. Third favourite is Kindergarten Cop with Arnold Schwarzenegger. A bit of a variety of films, I know.

​Favourite place?

Home. I’ve travelled so much in my dance career. I lived abroad for 14 years in Italy and flew to all different countries every weekend for competitions, shows or teaching. Now I’m in musicals and I do weekly touring around the UK. I’m on my fifth UK tour and have my sixth coming up, so I’ve been all around the country and have been to all the different cities many a time. This means that coming home, being on the sofa and watching a film with my partner is my favourite place. However, I do adore Sicily. My first Italian dance partner was from there and I think it’s absolutely beautiful.

​Favourite meal?

Even though I lived in Italy, with all that amazing pasta and pizza, it’s still a good old roast for me, or something like bangers and mash or pie and chips. I love a good ham, egg and chips too. Again, I think that travelling so much and eating out makes coming home and having good home-cooked food so good.

​Joanne Clifton is starring as Princess Fiona in the UK tour of Shrek The Musical, which is showing at the Grand Opera House, Belfast, from April 2-6. After this, she stars as Velma Von Tussle in Hairspray, which shows at the Grand Opera House from August 26-31.

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