Top NZ entertainer / MC
Jackie Clarke gave up house cleaning when she discovered people would pay to hear her sing. Once she realised live performance was a licence to play dress up, her career path was set. Consequently she's performed with everyone from the NZSO to Dave Dobbyn and beyond!
Jackie is instantly recognisable from judging NZ Idol ... she was the one in the middle wearing the bling. Other TV credits include fronting the Scottish episode of the documentary series Here To Stay (TV1) and the Anzac documentary War Songs (TV1).
Jackie has also been seen judging the TV1 talent show Showcase, co-hosting Saturday Live (TV2), starring in TV3's hit comedy series Skitz and it’s spin off sitcom The Semisis, and crooning at Coca-Cola Christmas in the Park for many years. Jackie has also graced the tele presenting two documentaries - Wise Women and Song (TV1), Twins (TV2 ).
She is definitely no stranger to the stage having starred in Auckland Theatre Company’s 2006 Christmas production Sweet Charity as well as A Christmas Carol (ATC), Mum’s the Word (NZ tour), Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat (NZ tour), Porgy and Bess (Mercury Theatre), Little Shop of Horrors (Sky City Theatre) The Underwatermelonman (NZ International Festival of the Arts) and The World Goes Round (Sky City Theatre). Jackie was also a mainstay of the annual kids theatrical blockbuster The Hairy Maclary Show.
Jackie loves a good old show tune and has belted them out in several revues – Sirens (with Tina Cross) for the Auckland Philharmonia, Christchurch Symphony and Taranaki Arts Festival, Broadway Songbirds (with Ellie Smith) at Downstage Theatre and the Christchurch Festival and Love Hate Relationship (with Tim Beveridge and Penny Dodd) for the Tauranga Arts Festival.
Jackie’s performed for six people on a Tuesday night in a pub in Mt Maunganui and to 250,000 people at the annual Coca-Cola Xmas in the Park concerts in Auckland’s Domain and says Mt Maunganui is much scarier.
Jackie currently sings in many guises. As a soloist she has featured in many prestigious events such as Schweppes Showtime, NBR Stadium Spectacular, Sky City Starlight Symphony and Lakeside as well as performing with the NZSO (My Fair Lady, Around the World in 80 minutes) the APO (Blockbusters 2001, Decades of Rock 2004, 2005), the CS (The Proms, Fresh Sounds 2000) and the Dunedin Sinfonia (ENZO 2000, Carnival of the Animals 2002).
She sings in many groups including The Darlings (debut album The Cicada Sessions just released on Ode Records to critical acclaim) and the powerhouse vocal quartet The Lady Killers (Tina Cross, Suzanne Lynch and Taisha). She even finds time to sing in the gospel choir Jubilation and jam on Beatles songs at home with sons Stan and Ernie.
Jackie is well known as part of When The Cat’s Been Spayed, the kitsch kiwiana trio that boasted two successful albums, countless national tours, a plethora of Lotto advertisements and it’s own Country Calendar special! She’s also toured with Dave Dobbyn, Annie Crummer and the Netherworld Dancing Toys and guested on recordings by Crummer, Dobbyn, The NDTs, Wayne Mason, Greg Johnson and Jonathon Besser. She cut her teeth as a teenager in the band Marching Orders and went on to be a big part of the Wellington music scene in the 80s featuring in The Laundrettes, Putty, Big Fiddle and Strung Out.
She moonlights as a voice actor for advertisements and cartoons, featuring as the voice of both Buzz and Poppy in the series of the same name and playing several characters in the Massey Fergusson cartoon series.
Jackie is also a sought after MC at corporate events because she can speak and sing and scrubs up reasonably well in a sparkly frock!
Everybody loved Jackie! Perfect mix of comedy and professionalism, keeping the audience entertained and the awards part ticking along. I would definitely recommend Jackie for this type of event. She followed the brief perfectly and went over and above – posing for photos with the winners.
Carolyn Clark - Annual Store Awards Night
She was great! She had the crowd eating out of her hand. Her wit and natural talent made her a star with the crowd.
Jayne Ashby - CRT
Jackie Clarke is a whole variety act on her own. She is at home doing Mary Poppins and Whistle Down the Wind with the kids ensemble as she is belting out Don’t Rain On My Parade from Funny Girl or the comic characterisations of Nobody Does it better, from Seesaw. Her comic abilities were well to the fore in the letter songs from Tell Me On A Sunday, showing her superb talent right from the very first song, Lady is a Tramp.
Richard Mays - Broadway Bigger Than Ever review - Manawatu Standard
Compered by the hilarious Jackie Clarke….. (who’s) energy was infectious throughout her performances.
Sarah Clarke - Xtreme Artwear Awards review - Gisborne herald
We laughed. Oh how we laughed. Not polite theatre giggles but gut-gurgling, body quivering hysterics…..four kiwi co-stars – Tahei Simpson, Jackie Clarke, Michele A’Court and Rebecca Hobbs – were absolutely fabulous. The standing ovation was well deserved.
Kirsty Macnicol - Mum’s the Word review - Southland Times
A new jazz and ragtime swing to Jan Bolton’s music is admirably carried through out by Jackie Clarke as singer/narrator. She obviously relishes her role and delivers some fantastic numbers while wearing a few more fantastic numbers herself.
Jennifer Shennan - The Hairy Maclary Hootenanny review - Dominion Post
Clarke is a gem, an absolute natural on stage with her comic timing, asides and most of all, her outstanding voice. Someone to Watch Over Me showed her fluency as a balladeer, the Blues Medley her power and I Could Have Danced All Night her strength in a more operatic vein. Patrick Shepherd - Christchurch Symphony – Fresh Sounds review - Christchurch Star
There’s the slightly weird and wonderful Jackie with her astonishing bright brown eyes and chameleon smile sending out a barrage of conflicting signals; from sweet to cynical to petulant to plain wicked. All in about three seconds. And wearing a Madonna-style bustier.
Bernadette Rae NZ Herald - Sirens review
Jackie Clarke revels in the crucial role of the narrator, adding just enough eye rolling irony. Vocally she steals the show adding some much needed soul to the evening.
Nick Bollinger - Joseph and the Amazing technicolour Dreamcoat review - The Listener
Jackie Clarke has ignore DW Griffith’s advice never to perform with children, and even surrounded by 50 children who would melt the heart of the most errant misanthrope, her star quality is not dimmed…. Her sweetness always tinged with a hint of acid, she is never saccharine and belts out a song with guts and heart when the occasion demands.
Susan Budd - Joseph and the Technicolour Dreamcoat review - The Dominion