Downton Abbey cast as music ‘supergroup’?

Elizabeth McGovern. Photo: Reuters
Why not, says Elizabeth McGovern, who already has a band going
Published: 4:02 AM, September 17, 2013
Updated: 6:40 PM, September 17, 2013
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While Downton Abbey cast member Elizabeth McGovern may feel that appearing in Downton Abbey has “changed her life”, she has also said that her role as Cora Crawley, the Countess of Grantham, would come to an end eventually.

“No one connected with the show feels that it would or should go on forever,” she said.

Perhaps that’s why McGovern, a mother of two who also sings in a folk-rock group called Sadie And The Hotheads, has been talking about the “fun idea” of combining the musical talents of some of the cast members of Downton Abbey to form a group and perform for charity.

Music is nothing new for many members of the cast. McGovern has already performed alongside Michelle Dockery, who plays Lady Mary — her eldest daughter in Downton Abbey — when she joined Sadie And The Hotheads on stage. Dockery is a talented guitarist and trained jazz singer with a voice McGovern describes as “amazing” and a talent she refers to as a “natural ability.”

Allen Leech, the chauffeur-turned-gentleman Tom Branson, is another possible member of the “Downton Supergroup”. He is a guitarist with some performance experience, having been in the Fluid Druids band at university.

McGovern told the Mail on Sunday: “We happen to have a lot of musicians in the cast but as yet we’ve never formalised anything. It would be interesting and definitely very different, I wouldn’t know which way we’d go musically, but it’s a fun idea”.

She described sharing a stage with Dockery as “something special.”

She said some members of the Downton cast bring in guitars while they are filming, but it was hard for them to get time to play them together as the pace of filming gets faster and faster, so it’s often something they have to do outside.

McGovern’s musical career began in 2001, when she started singing and writing songs while at home with her children. She decided to try guitar lessons with Steve Nelson but developed such a love for music that they just started trying out new songs. She now writes and sings the songs, which she says are highly personal and about her everyday life.

McGovern describes performing in the band as “totally addictive” and suggested her entry onto the musical stage now could be the “rebellious” period in her life. She added: “I didn’t do this when I was young, now I know exactly how it should be done and exactly what I want to say.”

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