Farting, Shrek, Harry Potter lego and Strictly Come Dancing...

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She’s a princess – but absolutely not your typical princess. After all, there is a lot of farting in the show – something Joanne Clifton is absolutely loving.

“I even get a round of applause for it”, says the former BBC Strictly Come Dancing professional. “I milk it! I love it! I take a bow! And let’s face it. Farts are funny!”

The show is Shrek The Musical at Southampton’s Mayflower Theatre from February 20-25. Tickets on https://www.mayflower.org.uk/whats-on/shrek-2024/

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“I mean everyone farts and everyone burps, don't they? And people say that it is the funniest thing in the show. And it is not just the children that find it hilarious. It's the adults too!”

Joanne in Shrek The Musical - pic by Marc BrennerJoanne in Shrek The Musical - pic by Marc Brenner
Joanne in Shrek The Musical - pic by Marc Brenner

Princess Fiona is a role Joanne has long wanted to do: “If ever I was going to play a Princess then this is the Princess that I was going to play. I am a world champion ballroom dancer and you think that a world champion ballroom dancer should be graceful, like Ginger Rogers, softly spoken and sophisticated and elegant.

"And, yes I am a world champion ballroom dancer but I'm none of those other things so if ever I was going to play a princess then Princess Fiona is the ideal one for me!

“And I love the fact that you can bring yourself to it. She is feisty. She is not your little timid shy princess that needs to be rescued. She thinks she is but she isn't really. She's someone who shouts back and she's definitely not someone who's just gracefully gliding around the stage!”

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Joanne’s first musical was above a pub in Walthamstow, Face The Music back in 2015: “And that's when I realised that I was home. I just loved it so much. It was just a black room but I just had the time of my life. I did singing and acting as a kid and then I concentrated on my dancing and I trained in Italy for a number of years and then I came back and did Strictly but as soon as I got back I started up my training for the musicals. I went to New York and I studied musical theatre.” So musical theatre was always the intention once she had finished Strictly which she did in 2016: “But I don't think you can really compare the two. When you're on Strictly you're not thinking about the millions of people watching. You're just thinking about the people in the room and playing to the camera but also you're concentrating 99.9 per cent of the time on your celebrity. You have to save it if something goes wrong because you know your celebrity just wouldn’t know how to get out of it. But when you are doing musical theatre, it is so different because you are actually living the story and telling the story through voice as well as movement. I just love live theatre and you get the adrenaline and you are just absolutely in the moment.

"Dance has always been a massive part of my life. Generations of my family have been ballroom dancers but really I achieved my goals. In 2013 I became world champion in ballroom dancing and I won Strictly in 2016 and I was looking for other things that would stretch me.”

Tickets from the venue.