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Dannii Minogue speaks to BBC News Online
"I do want to inject some new energy into the show"
 real 28k

Wednesday, 14 February, 2001, 11:58 GMT
Dannii: Belle of Notre Dame
Dannii Minogue
Dannii Minogue as Emeralda

By BBC News Online's Jayne Douglas

Australian actress and singer Dannii Minogue has become the third Esmeralda in the West End musical Notre-Dame de Paris.

Dannii follows in the steps of Patti Russo and fellow antipodean Tina Arena who have both played the part of the beautiful gypsy girl who captures the heart of Quasimodo.

It's really fun revisiting how you reacted when you were 16

Dannii Minogue on her new role
Talking before her first official performance, Dannii appeared relaxed but insisted it was all a front.

"There's a bit of nerves before every show but particularly opening night because I'm going to have my family there and friends," she says.

"There's going to be media, the whole thing, it does get to you."

Soap roots

Dannii found fame in the UK as punk Emma Jackson in Home and Away and is hoping this production will re-launch her career after taking a break of nearly two years.

No stranger to live performance she has appeared on stage in Greece and as Lady Macbeth in Journey to Macbeth.

Esmeralda is 16 - portraying a teenager is particularly challenging for Dannii who turns 30 this year.

"It's really fun revisiting how you reacted when you were 16 because physically and mentally all your reactions are different.

"I'm having to remember back many years to know what that was like again."

Notre-Dame de Paris has received critical acclaim in France and Canada breaking both box office and soundtrack records.

Success in the UK has so far eluded the production.

Dannii likens Notre-Dame de Paris to Baz Luhrmann's Romeo and Juliet believing it can make a classic story a hit with a younger audience.

"I want to attract people to the theatre who have never thought of going before because they might think it's quite naff.

"I'd just like to inspire people to come along and have a look."

Return to pop

Dannii parted company with her record label Warner three years ago but is confident she'll return to her pop career.

During her career break she has spent time writing tracks for a new album and has tested her music at a couple of low-key gigs to gauge the reaction of her fans.

"I think people coming to see me perform live every night will give a new interest in what I'm doing with my pop music.

"I'd like to record those new songs in London, so while I'm here I'll get cracking on that."

Notre-Dame de Paris is at London's Dominion Theatre

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