Monday, 27 January 2014

Kerry Ellis | Interview

Kerry Ellis is about to return to the role of Mimi in the 20th Anniversary Concert tour of RENT, her other credits include Elphaba in Wicked (Apollo Victoria, London and on Broadway), Nancy in Oliver! (Theatre Royal, Drury Lane), Fantine in Les Miserables (Queens Theatre), Ellen in Miss Saigon (UK Tour), My Fair Lady (National Theatre and Theatre Royal Drury Lane), Merry We Roll Along (Yvonne Aenaud Theatre), Magic of the Musicals (UK Tour), Svetlana Sergievsky in Chess In Concert (Royal Albert Hall), Godspell (Palace Theatre, Mancester), Children of Eden (Prince of Wales Theatre), West End Men (Vaudeville Theatre) and Beth in The War of the Worlds - The New Generation (UK Tour). Some of her solo concerts include Kerry Ellis Sings the Great British Songbook (Shaw Theatre), Anthems (Royal Albert Hall and UK Tour), An Audience with Kerry Ellis (Shaw Theatre), The Born Free Tour (UK Tour) and Kerry Ellis in Concert (London Palladium). She has released three solo recordings; Wicked in Rock (2008), Anthems (2010) and Acoustic by Candlelight (2013). I caught up with her to talk about her appearance in RENT and her career… 

When did you realise you wanted to be a performer for a living? 
There was never a question, I was always going to perform.

You recently performed a solo show at the London Palladium, that must have been thrilling! How was it for you?
A dream come true. I loved it and felt privileged to perform and be supported in such an amazing venue that has such an incredible history. 
You’re returning to play Mimi in the 20th Anniversary concert tour of RENT, much like a lot of the other shows you’ve done through out your career it has a huge fan following. What do you think makes the show so special?
A good story and good songs. Musicals need to make you feel something and this one does just that.
Whats your favourite thing to sing in RENT? 
Without You! 
If you go back right to the beginning of your career, did you ever think that you’d get to play any of these incredible roles or do any of the things you’ve done so far?
I honestly had no idea, it has been a crazy but incredible journey. I feel very fortunate.
You originated the role of Meat in We Will Rock You, would you ever consider going back to the show?
Never say never, though I'd probably be more of a Killer Queen now I think!
And I take it We Will Rock You was the beginning of your friendship with Brian May? It must be pretty incredible to have worked extensively with a legend like him, the music you’ve made together really is great. Whose idea was it to start working together? 
Brian asked me if I'd like to record an album, or at least have a go.  Of course I agreed and 12 years on, 2 albums, many singles, performances and 3 tours later here we are.
And are there any plans for another album any time soon?
We are always working on stuff whenever we can, So definitely. 
We can’t not talk about WICKED, why do you think it has been such a successful show over the years? 
Great story and songs! Audiences really identify with the characters and it gives good reason to come back. Plus some incredible show stopping numbers! 
What were the differences between the show and the audiences when you performed with the show in London and Broadway?
Just an accent really! I think they were pretty much the same.
What would you say is your favourite thing you’ve done through out your career so far? 
There's so much - I have loved it all!
Who would you say is your biggest Musical Theatre inspiration? 
I'm inspired by the people I work with mostly.
Are there any other parts you would love to play in the future? 
So many, though I would like to do something new that I can help create.
And finally, have you got any exciting plans for the future? 
Lots more, 2 weeks in RENT, another tour with Brian, I'm working on an album with Pledge Music and doing my own tour in October. All details are on my website! 

Follow Kerry on Twitter @kerryjaneellis1     

From Left to Right: Kerry singing at the Sun Flower Jam, as Elphaba in Wicked, as Mimi in RENT, as Nancy in Oliver! 

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