Samantha Barks on Starring in London’s The Last Five Years

first_img Samantha Barks came to worldwide attention as Eponine in the film of Les Miserables but has an extensive list of stage credits including Les Miz, Aladdin and City of Angels. The 26-year-old Isle of Man native can now be found in the intimate confines of the St James Theatre playing Cathy opposite Jonathan Bailey’s Jamie in The Last Five Years, the Jason Robert Brown song cycle first seen off-Broadway in 2002. Barks took time during rehearsals to talk about fulfilling a longstanding dream.Is this a show you knew already?Did I know it? [Laughs.] I’ve been obsessed with this show basically for years! When I first heard it, I thought, “God I’d love to play this part” [of Cathy.] That was my teenage dream: I could literally sing the entire score myself.What was it like when you went to audition for Jason Robert Brown for this production?When I met him, he asked me whether I was familiar with the show, and I basically had to be as cool as possible.Why do you think you responded so intently to the piece all those years ago?It was because the songs felt like contemporary pop music to me. I was 13 or something at the time, and it was one of the first musicals I’d heard to have that contemporary sound.Weren’t you too young to know firsthand what Cathy was going through?Yes, and what’s funny is I remember my heart aching without ever having had a relationship myself. I think I just thought, “Oh, men!” as you do when you’re a teenager. I was obviously on Cathy’s side.Have your thoughts changed with time?I guess what’s interesting as you get older is that you completely see both sides of [Jamie and Cathy’s] relationship. It seems clear to me that the intention is there for them to love one another, but life directs them apart. It’s all very complex.What do you make of the structure of the show, which tells Cathy’s story in reverse?It’s so intriguing to start in the place you would normally finish, but the beauty of Jason’s writing is in the simplicity of it. And it’s a weird thing, you know, when you have a breakup and you’ve got to get to grips with all the memories, and that’s kind of how her story works. We travel back to the place where she starts to crumble.Does that mean you and [co-star] Jonathan Bailey are in different emotional places at different times?What we’ve noticed is because Cathy’s story ends at a more hopeful beginning, I step out of rehearsals every day with a spring in my step whereas Johnny, as Jamie [whose story moves forwards], comes in first thing all springy and happy and by the end, he’s in bits!What’s it like starting the show with a song as mournful as “Still Hurting”?Every beat of that song is linked so deeply to the emotion that you just have to ride it. But it’s written so beautifully that it’s not hard to go to the places [the song] asks you to go.How did it feel to be starting in on this just as you were turning 26?I just think of it as such a great birthday gift! It’s like, what would my 13 or 14-year-old self think if she knew that on my 26th birthday, I would be rehearsing with Jason Robert Brown? She wouldn’t believe me. It was as if that girl then was saying, “Oh God, I want to talk about the show all the time,” whereas I look at her and think, “but you hadn’t had a relationship!”Was it hard to arrive at the evenhandedness you now feel towards the characters?Well, I’m a woman, obviously, so you think that’s going to determine your point of view. But what I’ve come to discover about the show is that we’re not just one character or the other: it’s not just a generalized man or woman. These are complex, sensitive people who have contrasting egos the way everyone has. I’m sure most people feel at times as if they have been Cathy or Jamie.Does it feel like a competition, or, at least, a relay race?What’s interesting once you get into the flow of it is that it really isn’t “my song/your song.” It feels more like passing the baton as part of one big monologue, and I have to say the time flies by so quickly.How does it feel playing an American—or at least this American?That’s interesting because I’ve not done a New York accent, though heaven knows I do love that place. There’s such energy about it, and a buzz. Everyone’s always in such a rush.  Do you recognize yourself in Cathy, who after all is also an actress?I do. I mean, I moved away from the Isle of Man to London myself so very much empathize with her moving to the big city to fulfill her dream. What happens then is that she finds herself alongside Jamie as these two very ambitious people in a place that is very right for him and not so right for her.What has been the impact of the recent Anna Kendrick/Jeremy Jordan film?The thing with the movie is that they brought it up to now whereas we’re doing the original script, which is set in 1993. But hopefully the film allows the show to reach another audience—I always think without films of some of these musicals, so many people wouldn’t know the shows at all.But doesn’t the movie make a snarky reference to Russell Crowe, your co-star in the Les Miz film?Yes, but we don’t have that in our show. We’re sticking with Linda Blair. Star Files Samantha Barks in ‘The Last Five Years'(Photo: Scott Rylander) View Comments Samantha Barkslast_img read more

Find out how Texans Credit Union created non-interest income growth of 17.89%

first_imgIt’s not uncommon for a company to find itself running on a different track than the one on which it started. When that happens, it may not be so easy to change course. Texans Credit Union found themselves in this exact situation and with the help of SWBC, they managed to refocus and find success.Texans Credit Union found themselves focusing strongly on business and commercial banking, and realized they had lost their focus on consumer accounts and the member experience. They partnered with SWBC in 2012 to amplify the services offered to their members, including credit life and disability insurance. continue reading » 12SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblrlast_img

SARS vaccine linked to liver damage in ferret study

first_imgDec 6, 2004 (CIDRAP News) – Researchers in Canada who found hepatitis in ferrets after injecting the animals with an experimental vaccine for SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome) are urging caution as other investigators develop and test SARS vaccines.As reported in the November issue of the Journal of Virology, the study involved a vaccine developed by senior author Jingxin Cao, PhD, of the Public Health Agency of Canada’s National Microbiological Laboratory in Winnipeg, Man. Cao had created a vaccine from recombinant modified vaccinia virus Ankara (rMVA) and the distinctive spike protein that marks the SARS coronavirus (SARS-CoV). The trial vaccine is called rMVA-S.The team chose ferrets for the study on the basis of their reported susceptibility to SARS infection, Cao told CIDRAP News.At the Canadian Science Centre for Human and Animal Health’s Biosafety Level 4 lab in Winnipeg, three ferrets were injected with the rMVA-S vaccine, three with parental MVA, and three with saline solution. They received booster immunizations 2 weeks later.Then the ferrets were exposed intranasally to the SARS virus, which infected more than 8,000 people and killed 774 between November 2002 and July 2003.On the plus side, immunization with rMVA-S induced a rapid immune response following exposure to the virus, the researchers wrote. The ferrets displayed no clinical signs of illness, but viral RNA was found in pharyngeal swabs and blood samples taken from all the ferrets.But researchers unexpectedly discovered a downside when they checked the ferrets’ liver health. Ferrets vaccinated with rMVA-S and exposed to SARS-CoV had elevated levels of an enzyme that indicates liver damage. Examination of liver sections showed that the ferrets had severe hepatitis. Only mild hepatitis was found in the ferrets injected with parental MVA or saline.It’s uncommon to perform the tests that revealed the hepatitis, said Kelly Keith, acting communications manager for the Canadian Science Centre for Human and Animal Health. This study will help ensure that any other SARS vaccine will be safer, as scientists should know to check for this possible side effect.”Extra caution should be taken in proposed human trials of SARS vaccines due to the potential liver damage from immunization and virus infection,” the research report states.Cao said he hopes that others recognize the significance of the hepatitis among the vaccinated ferrets. “For future human vaccine development, we must pay attention to that effect,” he said.The lead author of the study, Hana Weingartl, PhD, head of special pathogens for Canada’s National Microbiology Laboratory in Winnipeg, said she and her fellow researchers are seeking a grant to continue their work. “We would like to look more closely at why we saw the liver damage in those animals,” she said. “It would be good to know what not to do.”The findings underscore how little is understood about SARS, which emerged in southern China in November 2002. Since its discovery, scientists have raced to contain it and develop a vaccine. Weingartl and Cao’s study is one of several vaccine investigations in various stages in several countries.Researchers need a better understanding of how the virus damages the host, Weingartl said.In an unrelated SARS vaccine investigation, the Chinese government yesterday announced that a vaccine proved safe and effective in a phase 1 clinical trial. Thirty-six volunteers who had been vaccinated reported no unusual physical reactions after 56 days, Agence France-Presse reported (AFP). In addition, antibodies were found in 24 of those vaccinated, the story said.Testing began in May with 18 men and 18 women from 21 to 40 years old following what the government termed successful animal tests, AFP reported. The vaccine won’t be ready for commercial use until two more testing phases are completed.Weingartl H, Czub M, Czub S, et al. Immunization with modified vaccinia virus Ankara-based recombinant vaccine against severe acute respiratory syndrome is associated with enhanced hepatitis in ferrets. J Virology 2004;78(22):12672-6 [Abstract]last_img read more

Other Sports Lewis Hamilton wins Bahrain Grand Prix after Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc suffers engine problem

first_imgCharles Leclerc finished in third position, his first podium in F1.Lewis Hamilton and Valterri Bottas have won the first two races of 2019 F1 season.Sebastian Vettel, five-time world champion, finished in fifth. Four-time champion Sebastian Vettel finished fifth in the second Ferrari, after a late spin had damaged his front wing during a duel with Hamilton, ahead of British rookie Lando Norris who scored his first points for McLaren in sixth. Kimi Raikkonen, 39, was seventh for Alfa Romeo ahead of Pierre Gasly of Red Bull, Thailand’s rookie Alex Albon of Toro Rosso, who also had his first points finish, and Mexican Sergio Perez of Racing Line. “That was extremely unfortunate for Charles, he drove a great race,” said Hamilton, on the team radio. “We’ve got work to do to keep these guys off our tails. It must be devastating for Charles.” It was Leclerc’s first podium finish in F1 and he also scored a point for fastest lap. Bottas stayed on top in the drivers championship, one point ahead of Hamilton. “That was extremely unfortunate for Charles, he drove a great race,” Hamilton said over the radio. highlights Sakhir: Defending world champion Lewis Hamilton took advantage of Ferrari new boy Charles Leclerc’s wretched misfortune on Sunday when he claimed a dramatic victory for Mercedes in the Bahrain Grand Prix. The five-time champion, who looked to be heading for second behind the 21-year-old Monegasque, gained the lead with 10 laps remaining when Formula One’s new star, who claimed a record-breaking pole position for Ferrari on Saturday, was hit by engine problems. As he slowed, Hamilton hunted him down to claim his first win of the season, his third at the Bahrain International Circuit and the 74th of his career ahead of his Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas, who won the season-opening Australian Grand Prix. Leclerc came home third as the race finished behind a Safety Car, following the spectacular late exit of both Renaults at Turn Two, ahead of Max Verstappen of Red Bull. “It happens,” said a calm Leclerc afterwards. “It’s part of motor sport. It’s a very hard one to take, but I am sure we will come back stronger.” For all the Latest Sports News News, Other Sports News, Download News Nation Android and iOS Mobile Apps.last_img read more

Experts discuss implications of Vergara v. California

first_imgPolitical experts from both sides of the much-debated Vergara v. California met  on Sunday for “Life After Vergara: The Future of California’s Public Schools” on Sunday, an educational summit focused on the case’s implications and next steps.The event was co-hosted by the Jesse M. Unruh Institute of Politics, the Rossier School of Education, the Los Angeles Unified School District and KLCS public radio. Panelists focused on the need to improve California’s public education system, although they often disagreed on how this should be achieved.In Vergara v. California, nine public school children, under the guidance of Students Matter, sued the state of California with the premise that the laws directing hiring and firing practices for public school teachers left some students with an inherent educational disadvantage. The state’s Superior Court struck down several of these laws, including the “Last-In, First-Out” layoff stature, which allows districts to base layoffs on seniority, without considering actual teacher performance, and the Permanent Employment statue under which districts can grant teachers tenure after less than two years.A new USC Dornsife-Los Angeles Times poll revealed that the majority of California voters reject tenure and seniority based layoffs for public school teachers. Union advocates and others fear that the case will dissuade potential teachers from the field, however. The decision was appealed by attorneys representing the State of California.Dan Schnur, executive director of the Unruh Institute, moderated the panels. The event’s first panel specifically focused on the case’s legal implications and next steps. The side of the plaintiffs, or the students, was represented by Hillary Moglen, principal of the issue advocacy firm RALLY and students’ advocate who helped organize the plaintiffs for the case. On the other side of the debate was Glenn Rothner, an attorney who worked closely with the California Teachers Association during the trial. Howard Blume, primary education reporter at the Los Angeles Times, provided additional, unbiased contributions to the discussion.After a brief overview of the case by Blume, Moglen and Rothner launched into a lively debate. One of Rothner’s main concerns with the results of the case was the fact that it was based on the faults of just a small number of teachers.“Vergara focuses on a very small subset of teachers, but beats that drum nationwide … it’s warning potential teachers job [that] security isn’t what it used to be; [that] there may no longer be tenure, and seniority … so people are now questioning whether this is a profession for them,” Rothner said.Moglen responded by arguing that many teachers actually agreed with the elimination of tenure, saying “people want to be rewarded and encouraged for the work that they do everyday, not just for how long they’ve been doing it.”The second panel focused on the case’s political and legislative implications and next steps. The panel included Ben Austin, the head of policy development and advocacy for Students Matter, the organization which helped represent plaintiffs in the Vergara case. Doug Herman, a political strategist of the Strategy Group, provided additional insight. Drew Lieberman, the vice president of Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research and lead pollster for the poll involving the Vergara case, also contributed.While the first panel included a lively debate, the second panel served to explain the public’s perception of the debate. Lieberman explained the recent poll, while Herman discussed strategy and Austin described the background of Students Matter.After each panel, the discussion was opened to questions from the audience and community members, including pre-recorded video questions provided by KLCS.Though educational leaders and policymakers have their work cut out for them following the Vergara case, panelists seemed to agree that improving the quality of public education is a paramount issue.“We all agree that we ought to do everything we possibly can to support and train the teachers to do the best jobs they possibly can. We all want the same things, for public schools and the children who attend these schools, so we’re all ultimately on the same side,” Schnur said.Correction: A previous version of this story stated that Hillary Moglen is is the president of RALLY public affairs. She is actually the principal of the issue advocacy firm RALLY. The Daily Trojan regrets the error.last_img read more

Upgrade Complete! EveryMatrix launches new OddsMatrix platform at ICE 2017

first_imgShare Related Articles Erik Nyman joins EveryMatrix as US lead August 6, 2020 Submit StumbleUpon MoneyMatrix boosts wire transfer options by integrating Klarna’s Sofort August 24, 2020 PartnerMatrix drives user engagement with two new deals August 13, 2020 Share Industry platform and software provider EveryMatrix has launched its new OddsMatrix sportsbook platform at ICE 2017, stating that its new product will be the most flexible technology for all industry stakeholders.Having undertaken months of in-house development, EveryMatrix detailed a complete turnaround of OddsMatrix as a betting platform stating that the service had been ‘built from the ground up with no code reused’.Fresh to market the OddsMatrix platform has been developed on multiple components based on an architecture designed for horizontal scalability and high-availability. The complete upgrade gives EveryMatrix clients better integration options, combined with a customizable front-end with quicker loading times.Furthermore, the platform front-end is fully responsive and allows sports operators to deliver a customised experience to players. The platform will now cater to clients that want full independence of their market portfolios. Additionally, with the sports APIs, clients can build their own front-end with a unique look and feel.Detailing its latest product, Roee Weinberg, OddsMatrix division CEO a project lead commented on the platform upgradeThe new OddsMatrix sportsbook considerably cuts down the development time for adding new sports and markets. Furthermore, our settlement component received equal attention. For every point scored in a tennis or basketball match, for every corner kick or yellow card awarded in a soccer match we check, in a matter of seconds, if this allows any markets to be settled. Bet settlement operations now take place in close to real-time in the new OddsMatrix, resulting into faster-paying players and faster possibility to reinvest winnings.”“Having the possibility to introduce our new sportsbook at this year’s ICE is a long-awaited opportunity. Hard work is finally starting to bear fruit and it’s a great feeling that we can finally show it to clients. We’ll continue to invest into the new platform and more new components we’ll be deployed in the following months.”last_img read more