Tuesday, 18 December 2012

Alexia Khadime | Interview

Alexia Khadime is currently playing Eponine in Les Miserable at the Queens Theatre. Alexia's West End debut was in The Lion King where she appeared in the Ensemble and covered the role of Nala which she later returned to the show to play full time after her time playing Candy in the UK Tour of Whistle Down the Wind. She played the role of Nala for four years until she left the show in 2008. From June to November in 2008 she took over the role of Elphaba in Wicked while Kerry Ellis went over to Broadway to play the role, she later returned to the role in May 2009 and was succeeded by Rachel Tucker in 2010. After Wicked she was in Welcome to the Thebes at the Royal National Theatre and played Deb in Ordinary Days at Trafalgar Studios. Her TV credits include Grange Hill, The Bill, The Queens Nose and Comin' Atcha. She can be heard on Act One - Songs From The Musicals Of Alexander S. Bermange, her own single 'Ring' and the Amazing Grace and Pride film soundtracks. She was very kind to fit us in with her very busy schedule and to talk about her wonderful career...
Your career ranges from a wide variety of things, you must be very proud of all the things you've done in the past! Are there any special memories you have collected from these that stick out from the rest?
They are all just so different. What I like is they individually have helped me to grow as a performer so they all stick out for me. Something's have been bigger than other but hey all just really count a lot.
From doing TV and theatre you are obviously very familiar with the similarities and differences, what are your favourite and least favourite things about both?I like with theatre you get one chance and you can't say CUT. Least favourite thing is not getting to see family very much as we have 1 day off a week. TV is exciting because it's always changing like new lines etc, so you're always growing. Least favourite thing is the days can be very very very long and sometimes there lots of waiting around. I remember having call time at 6am and not finishing till really late!

You have spent a large portion of your career in The Lion King, what is so special about that show that you loved and enjoyed?I remember seeing the lion king with the original company and just being blown away. I was amazed how they were able to do such a phenomenal adaptation of a movie and put it on stage and with new songs that are still so great. Lion King was where I made my west end debut so it's always got a special place in my heart. The heart in that show is amazing that's why you want to stay.
Stepping into the role of Elphaba in Wicked at such a high point in the show successes must have been a daunting thing, how did you deal with the pressure?I think I was just too happy that I was playing such a great role. And working with a supportive crazily talented company makes it easier.
It's also a very demanding show, how did you manage to keep that up for eight shows a week?Rest healthy eating and taking one day at a time.
Elphaba is one of the most desired roles in the West End and is a dream for every aspiring actress, so how did you go about playing the role? Did you take anything from yourself or any past roles and put it into Elphaba?I think with everything there's a little bit of me in there. Because I think it's important to be able to empathise with a character and if there's something you can use in your own life to relate to the character there's better understanding overall.
The fans of Wicked are incredible; the show reaches such a wide audience. But what was the thing that touched you most about that show?Although its fantasy, (I mean who is actually green?!) There's a real story that so many people can relate to, and that's what touches me about that piece. It's just so well written, The music is just beautiful even without words it says so much.
The makeup regime must have been a lot of work to put on 8 times a week! But did it help with your character development?It does in some ways as its different and fun but a character like Elphaba is so easy to get lost into, adding the green makeup is like the cherry on the cake.
When approaching a new character, where do you start?I always like to read through the entire script a few times to truly get a feel for the piece. At lot of the time you'll get information from your director so you develop your character that way. Then I tend to find over time through rehearsal the character develops. But truly evolves in performance.
You played Deb in Ordinary Days at Trafalgar Studios, it's such an intimate space to play and from playing huge theatres throughout your career it must have been a drastic change. How was it performing in that space? Now if anything was scary, that was it! Being so close to the audience, I felt myself getting shy, nervous and my heart thumping at 100mph! But I found I had to really involve the audience to overcome it eg directing my sung dialog to individuals.
Being a part of such a successful show like Wicked must have been incredible how was it to go from that to Les Miserable, another phenomenal, long running show?I have to say I've been so blessed being in such huge show such as Lion King Wicked and Les Miserables. They are all so different and bring something to me as the performer. You learn so much from each show you do.
You're currently in Les Miserable, playing Eponine. But what's next for you?I'll have to keep you posted
Follow Alexia on Twitter: @alexiakhadime

Left to Right: as Elphaba (Wicked, Apollo Victoria), as Eponine (Les Miserables, Queens), as Nala (Lion King, Lyceum)
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