Friday, 30 September 2016

WICKED 10: Lillie Flynn



Firstly, tell us what part you played and what year(s) you were in the company! 
I played Nessarose in 2012. 

Do you remember seeing WICKED for the first time? When and where was it?
The first time I saw Wicked was way back in 2008 in London and I loved every second of it!

Did you ever think you’d be in the show one day?
I had no idea that I would but I sure as hell wanted to be! There are very few shows that have had that impression on me.

What is your best memory from your time at WICKED?
The amazing cast I had the pleasure of working with at the time. They were all so brilliant and we made a good team! It was also my very first principle role so that first night was a pretty special one.
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Thursday, 29 September 2016

WICKED 10: Alex Louize Bird



Firstly, tell us what part you played and what year(s) you were in the company! 
I was in the ensemble (pineapple hair track!) and I stayed for 3 contracts! So about 2 and a half years. 

Do you remember seeing WICKED for the first time? When and where was it?
I remember everyone at college being so obsessed with Wicked that I didn't want to see it! But as third years our head of company was the resident director (Petra Siniawski) so we went to see it and my jaw was on the floor for the whole show! 

Did you ever think you’d be in the show one day?
Wicked was the one show I wanted to make it into. And I was so overwhelmed that it was my first west end show as an adult at 21 years old! 

What is your best memory from your time at WICKED?
My best memory is the fact I got to learn the choreography from the original choreographer Wayne Cliento. It was such an incredible experience and one I will never forget. 
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Wednesday, 28 September 2016

WICKED 10: Harry Francis



Firstly, tell us what part you played and what year(s) you were in the company! 
I did the show in 2012. I understudied Boq, but I also played the role of 'the rat'. The rat is possibly the most important role in Wicked. He appears on three occasions working as a servant to the humans. The thought that my rat would eventually lose the ability to speak would break my heart every night. It was sometimes impossible to break character. I then dressed up as many other characters including Averic, Fiyeros lovable chauffeur

Do you remember seeing WICKED for the first time? When and where was it?
It was actually a bootleg dvd when the show first came out (slapping my wrist as I type)! I was at a full time theatre school and we were all obsessed. The first I saw the show live was on Broadway with Eden Espinosa and Megan Hilty. It blew my mind! 

Did you ever think you’d be in the show one day?
It was definitely one I wanted to try and be in. 
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Tuesday, 27 September 2016

WICKED 10: Sabrina Carter



Firstly, tell us what part you played and what year(s) you were in the company! 
I was Phfanee and 1st cover Elphaba. I was part of the company for 2 contracts (just short of 18 months). 
Do you remember seeing WICKED for the first time? When and where was it?
I hadn't actually seen the show until I was auditioning for it. I think it was my before my 2nd audition (of 3 recalls). 

Did you ever think you’d be in the show one day?
Well, you can but hope. I remember hearing defying gravity for the first time and thinking how magnificent it was. At college I used to sing it all the time and then the chance came out of the blue to audition for it. 

What is your best memory from your time at WICKED?
It was my 1st big (London) professional job. The whole thing was such an eye opening experience. As a performer you dream of working in the West End so to be there and covering one of the biggest parts in musical theatre was extraordinary. My favourite ever moment was when I got to play Elphaba from start to finish (as my 1st show was mid way through a matinee) but that night it was my part. Retrospectively, it was such a massive moment for me. To share that stage with Dianne Pilkington (who in my opinion is one of thee finest actresses I've ever worked with) and my friends in the ensemble was a dream. 
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Monday, 26 September 2016

REVIEW: Save the Last Dance for Me at the New Victoria Theatre in Woking


From the Producers of Dreamboats and Petticoats comes Save The Last Dance For Me; a jukebox musical billed as ‘the greatest summer holiday of their lives’.

The show is set in Luton and Lowestoft in 1963 and centres around the two sisters Jennifer and Marie and their holiday romances. X Factor Alumni Lola Saunders takes the role of elder sister Jennifer and gives a strong performance in her musical theatre debut. A confident and ballsy singer and accomplished mover she towers over Antony Costa from boy band Blue who shares the top billing with her.
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REVIEW: Paradise of the Assassins at Tara Theatre


The Arabic word ‘assassin’ refers to the Nizari Ismailis, an Islamic sect which engaged, between the 11th and 13th century, in psychological warfare and assassination of key enemies. Its politics are the core of the novel Paradise of the Assassins, written in 1899 by the Indian Abdul Halim Sharar and recently adapted into a play by writer and director Anthony Clark. Its premiere at the Tara Theatre marks the inauguration of the new 100-seat auditorium, located within an arts space that, since the 1970s, is committed to fostering the contamination between different cultures through new writing and revisited classics.
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REVIEW: Macbeth at Redbridge Drama Centre


Marking the 400th anniversary of William Shakespeare’s death, 2016 is the year that saw almost every theatre company giving a go at the Bard’s repertoire, with multifaceted and often unexpected outcomes. Following the same line, Buckle Up Theatre has unusually put aside comedy and physical theatre to present a cutting-edge version of Macbeth set during the Cold War, where the king is depicted as a high-ranked member of the secret police. The result is a well-devised and upbeat 100-minute play which, however, resent the burden of the Elizabethan language.  

As a Shakespeare connoisseur, you might enjoy the innovative values within the original script but if you – like me – are unfamiliar with the subtleties of the plot, you might struggle to keep up with its development. Some of the lines remain hopelessly obscure and doesn’t help the fact that an exiguous cast of five is called to cover several roles, sometimes with hardly perceptible costume changes. If you add to this a noisy group of schoolkids at the back of the 130-seat Lovegrove auditorium, then you might have little attention left to appreciate the ground-breaking angle of this modern Macbeth.
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WICKED 10: Dale Rapley



Firstly, tell us what part you played and what year(s) you were in the company! 
I played the Wizard and Dr Dillamond in the first year of the UK and Ireland tour 2013/14. 

Do you remember seeing WICKED for the first time? When and where was it?

I first saw Wicked at the Apollo Victoria in the spring of 2013, when I knew I was likely to have an audition for the show later that year. 

What is your best memory from your time at WICKED?
My best memory was the amazing audiences at the rather cramped, but more intimate, Kings Theatre Glasgow, where I think the show worked best, even though they had to almost re-build the theatre to fit the set in. And even then, we didn't manage to get it all in! 

Tell us one embarrassing story from your time in the show…

The most embarrassing thing that happened was while I was playing Dr Dillamond in Dublin, when the blackboard completely collapsed onto the stage, after I'd tried to spin it round, and my next line was, 'Who is responsible for this?' It did get a laugh - not least from all the Shiz students who were facing me with their backs to the audience! 
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Sunday, 25 September 2016

WICKED 10: James Gillan



Firstly, tell us what part you played and what year(s) you were in the company! 
I played the role of Boq the first 2 years of the run. 

Do you remember seeing WICKED for the first time? When and where was it?

Yes my dearest friend Ashleigh Gray and I where on a break from the UK tour of Taboo, so we decided to go to New York, we saw wicked (not long opened) and said we both wanted to be in it and we where! It was magical. 

Did you ever think you’d be in the show one day?

I knew when I saw it on Broadway I wanted to play Boq. I was thrilled to be the original in London and I loved using my Scottish accent, that was all my idea, I just thought he suited it. 

What is your best memory from your time at WICKED?

Just the whole buzz with Idina (Menzel) coming over, all the principles got to meet the night before rehearsals for a meal with some of the creative team just to say hi ,and I think welcome Idina. But I've lots of great memory's, too many to go into. 
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Saturday, 24 September 2016

WICKED 10: Rachel Muldoon



Firstly, tell us what part you played and what year(s) you were in the company! 
The first time I joined the cast was in '08 - '09 and I played The Witch's Mother. The second time I returned on a maternity leave that ended up being a lot longer than expected so from '13 - '15 and I played a role in the ensemble (The one with the big feather boa).

Do you remember seeing WICKED for the first time? When and where was it?
I first saw Wicked in London the year it opened in 2006 and I saw Kerry Ellis on for Elphaba.

Did you ever think you’d be in the show one day?
I had always felt determined that I had to be a part of Wicked one day. It's such an iconic show for our generation of theatre so when I was cast I just couldn't believe it, I was over the moon. I felt extremely lucky and proud.
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Friday, 23 September 2016

WICKED 10: Kerry Ellis



Firstly, tell us what part you played and what year(s) you were in the company! 
Elphaba 2007- 2009 & 2014.

Do you remember seeing WICKED for the first time? When and where was it?
I never saw the show before I was in the cast , I did watch it after I left which was a whole other experience. 

Did you ever think you’d be in the show one day?
 When I auditioned I didn't really know anything about the show, it was only after we opened the show in London I began to understand the passion.

What is your best memory from your time at WICKED?
Opening on Broadway and my final two London shows will stay with me forever, they were magical.

Tell us one embarrassing story from your time in the show…
My broom broke in the middle of a scene once and we all fell about laughing. 
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Thursday, 22 September 2016

WICKED 10: Nicola Brazil



Firstly, tell us what part you played and what year(s) you were in the company! 
Wicked was my first Professional West End Job after graduating, I was honoured to get into the ensemble of such an amazing show. It's just coming to to 9 years I think.... I was part of the Second cast.



Do you remember seeing WICKED for the first time? When and where was it?

The first time I actually saw Wicked was when I was auditioning for the show, I'd seen clips and knew all the music but had not had the opportunity till that point to actually see the show in the flesh.



Did you ever think you’d be in the show one day?

I'd always hoped that one day I would get to perform on that huge stage at the Apollo Victoria in the show so when the audition came up I thought, this is it , go for it girl! The audition process was amazing and a great learning experience I found the dancing quite challenging at first but the show helped me build my confidence in that department.
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Wednesday, 21 September 2016

WICKED 10: George Ure



Firstly, tell us what part you played and what year(s) you were in the company! 
My adventure with the show started in 2008 when I joined the London company as 2nd U/S for Boq. In 2009 I was promoted to 1st U/S, and in 2010 I took over the role. I came back to the show in 2013 as part of the Original UK/Irelend Tour.

Do you remember seeing WICKED for the first time? When and where was it?
I remember it like it was yesterday. I saw the first week of previews in London, 2006 which was the start of my 2nd Year at drama school. I payed £6.50 for my ticket (I still have the ticket….) and sat in Circle Row S. I didn't care how far away I was - just being there was electric.

Did you ever think you’d be in the show one day?
I truly hoped I would be, but it honestly felt like such a far off reality. On the evening mentioned above, I stood in the Circle Bar and said quite firmly to my friend…”I’m going to be in this”. Fast forward to April 2008 and the phone call came. The rest, as they say, is history.

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Sunday, 18 September 2016

REVIEW: In Our Hands at The New Diorama Theatre


Founded in 2009 by a trio of students at the Rose Bruford College, Smoking Apples is a promising young company that specialises in puppetry and visual theatre, which – while Britain holds its breath in the aftermath of the Brexit vote – finds the perfect timing to re-propose the 2014 production of In Our Hands.  The play – at the New Diorama Theatre for three days as a part of a UK tour –  explores the difficulties that Cornish fishermen had to face after the imposition of EU quotas on fish, which appear quite easy to manipulate by larger corporations.
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Friday, 16 September 2016

Kara Tointon to lead a major new production of Patrick Hamilton's GASLIGHT with Rupert Young and Keith Allen


One of the greatest thrillers of all time Gaslight returns to UK theatres starring the celebrated stage and television actress Kara Tointon. Kara plays Bella Manningham, memorably portrayed by Oscar winner Ingrid Bergman in the classic 1944 film adaptation. Rupert Young of BBC 1’s Merlin joins Kara as husband Jack Manningham and the multi-talented Keith Allen is cast in the role of Detective Rough. The UK tour opens at Birmingham’s New Alexandra Theatre on January 6 2017 and heads to the New Victoria Theatre, Woking from Mon 23 – Sat 28 January.

While Jack Manningham (Rupert Young) is on the town each evening his wife Bella (Kara Tointon) is home alone.  She can’t explain the disappearance of familiar objects, the mysterious footsteps overhead or the ghostly flickering of living room gaslight - is she losing her mind?  Does the terror exist in her imagination or are dark secrets living in her home? The surprise arrival of retired Detective Rough (Keith Allen) leads to a shocking discovery that will shake her respectable Victorian marriage to its core.
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FIRST LOOK: Rachel Tucker leads the 10th Anniversary cast of WICKED the musical


WICKED, the award-winning musical phenomenon that tells the incredible untold story of the Witches of Oz, is pleased to release new production pictures of Rachel Tucker as Elphaba. Rachel Tucker returns to the West End production at the Apollo Victoria Theatre following an acclaimed engagement on Broadway. Her remarkable performance has won her both a WhatsOnStage Award and a Broadway.com Audience Choice Award

Wicked currently stars Rachel Tucker (Elphaba), Suzie Mathers (Glinda), Oliver Savile (Fiyero), Anita Dobson (Madame Morrible), Mark Curry (The Wizard), Martin Ball (Doctor Dillamond), Katie Rowley Jones(Nessarose), Idriss Kargbo (Boq), Alice Fearn (Standby for Elphaba) and Carina Gillespie (Standby for Glinda).
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Cast announced for All Star Productions WONDERFUL TOWN at Ye Olde Rose and Crown Theatre


All Star Productions are delighted to present a new chamber production of Leonard Bernstein's 1953 musical WONDERFUL TOWN.  

Based on the play, MY SISTER EILEEN by Joseph Fields and Jerome Chodorov, the Tony award winning WONDERFUL TOWN is a bright and cheery love letter to the colorful experience of living life in New York in the 1930's.  


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Wednesday, 14 September 2016

REVIEW: Little Shop of Horrors at the New Victoria Theatre in Woking


Sell A Door Theatre Company Ltd and Damien Tracey Productions in Association with Immersion Theatre, Libby Brodie Productions, and Ian Melding for Announcement Productions present LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS. 

Directed by Tara Louis Wilkinson, Little Shop of Horrors makes a triumphant return to the UK touring circuit. 

“Little Shop of Horrors is a charming, kooky and hilarious 1950s musical. Seymour Krelborn, the assistant at Mushnik's Flower Shop in downtrodden Skid Row, becomes an overnight sensation when he discovers a strange and exotic plant. He names it Audrey Two in order to impress glamorous Audrey, the colleague he’s secretly in love with.”
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Friday, 9 September 2016

Olivier award-winning KINKY BOOTS extends booking to Saturday 6 May 2017


Kinky Boots, now in its second year and the winner of every major Best Musical award, today announces the opening of a new booking period, with tickets now available until Saturday 6 May 2017. Tickets for this extended period will go on sale from Friday 9 September 2016, the day after the production celebrates its first birthday in the West End. 

Kinky Boots at the Adelphi Theatre has become a favourite with UK theatregoers having won three Olivier Awards for Best New Musical, Best Costume Design and Best Actor in a Musical for Matt Henry who plays Lola. Kinky Boots also won the London Evening Standard BBC Radio 2 Audience Award for Best Musical as well as three WhatsOnStage Awards for Best New Musical, Best Actor in a Musical for Matt Henry, and Best Choreography
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Tuesday, 6 September 2016

REVIEW: Kafka’s The Trial at the Jack StudioTheatre



When it comes to fringe theatres, there are so many more to be found North of the river Thames than South of it. As a South East Londoner, going to the Brockley Jack Theatre and witnessing a lovely piece of theatre is even more enjoyable as it’s in my neighbourhood. This week, Howard Coyler’s adaptation of Franz Kafka’s most famous novel, The Trial, was staged. I had seen The Trial on stage twice before, but this was particular as it was a monologue, performed by Brendan O’Rourke.
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Saturday, 3 September 2016

REVIEW: Adler & Gibb at the Unicorn Theatre


Conceptual art is that in which the ideas behind a project are more important than the actual end product. That certainly sums up perfectly Tim Crouch’s play Adler & Gibb, returning this week to London to daze, perplex and confuse audience at the Unicorn.

The play has several layers of storytelling - at its heart, the tale of deceased artist Janet Adler and her partner Margaret Gibb, told predominantly through the intrusion of actress Louise and acting coach Sam into the seemingly abandoned home of Adler more than 10 years after the woman’s death in order to research her as a movie role. This is framed by a nervous art student giving a presentation on Adler's influence only a year after her death, and the action unfolds as though appearing in the student’s slides.
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Monthly Obsessions: August 2016!



Actress of the Month – Celinde Schoenmaker (The Phantom of The Opera)

Currently starring as Christine Daae in The Phantom Of The Opera at Her Majesy’s Theatre, this angel of music wins our August Actress of the Month! It was announced this month that Schoenmaker would be extending her stay at Lloyd Webber’s Opera Populaire for Phantom’s 30th Anniversary, and we couldn’t be more delighted! To book tickets to see Celinde in Phantom of The Opera, click here


Actor of the Month – Matt Gillett (Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, UK Tour)

Chitty Chitty Bang Bang is one of the most loved shows of all time, and is currently taking the UK by storm with its current tour. This family friendly classic also features one of the most terrifying villains in theatre, The Childcatcher, and Matt Gillett is starring in this role on Chitty’s tour. I never thought I’d celebrate a role which is intentionally there to scare children, but here I am! Gillett wins August’s Actor of the Month. See Gillett singing with his co-star, Carrie Hope Fletcher (in full costume!), on her YouTube channel here

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Thursday, 1 September 2016

WICKED 10: Joseph Connor


Firstly, tell us what part you played and what year(s) you were in the company! 
I was Ensemble in the Original London cast back in 2006.

Do you remember seeing WICKED for the first time? When and where was it?
I never saw the show before I started rehearsals so I had no clue what the show was about or what I was about to do.

Did you ever think you’d be in the show one day?
I didn't really think I would ever get the show. I went to the first open calls for experience. I was ready to go off to a dance college. So when I got offered the show I was incredibly shocked.

What is your best memory from your time at WICKED?

My best memory of the show was not just one thing; the whole year was a crash course in theatre for me so learning daily from performers I had seen in other shows was the best memory I have. I learnt so much from so many incredible performers!

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WICKED 10: Sarah Earnshaw


Firstly, tell us what part you played and what year(s) you were in the company! 
I started in the ensemble, covering Glinda and Nessa, then became Standby for Glinda in my second contract. I was in the original cast and left in 2011. 

Do you remember seeing WICKED for the first time? When and where was it?
Yes, I saw it on Broadway after I'd been offered the job. It was quite overwhelming watching it knowing I was about to start rehearsals. 

Did you ever think you’d be in the show one day?
Not at the time, I knew and loved the songs but I hadn't been out of drama school for long, so I didn't even expect to be seen for it. At my first audition I got the wrong address and turned up at a dentist. Not the best start!

What is your best memory from your time at WICKED?

I'll never forget the first preview, I've never experienced an atmosphere like that in a theatre before or since. The first time I played Glinda was terrifying but a great feeling. But I also had a brilliant time backstage and really did meet some fantastic people. 

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WICKED 10: Sophie Linder-Lee


Firstly, tell us what part you played and what year(s) you were in the company! 
I joined the company in 2010 as swing. I was understudy Glinda from 2011-2013 and Standby Glinda from 2013-2015. 

Do you remember seeing WICKED for the first time? When and where was it?
I was in Mamma Mia at the time in 2006 and I went on my own on the weds matinee and saw the original cast. I was way up in the circle and everyone was teeny tiny. 

Did you ever think you’d be in the show one day?
I honestly didn't. I thought it was one of those dream shows that I just wouldn't be lucky enough to crack into. I used to sing the soundtrack in my car to and from work every day for 2 months when I was working 3 jobs and living at my Mum's house. It was a life saver. 

What is your best memory from your time at WICKED?
It has to be the first time I went on for Glinda.  I had 90 of my friends and family in and the noise that hit me when I came down in that bubble was unreal. I'll never forget that.
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WICKED 10: Gemma Atkins


Firstly, tell us what part you played and what year(s) you were in the company! 
I was ensemble, 1st cover Elphaba and 1st cover Nessarose.

Do you remember seeing WICKED for the first time? When and where was it?
It was on Broadway in 2006! 

Did you ever think you’d be in the show one day?
 I dreamt and hoped of being in the show!

What is your best memory from your time at WICKED?
Playing Elphaba for the first time. It was an absolute dream role.

Tell us one embarrassing story from your time in the show…
When I fell on my bum in Emerald City in my fishtail dress and had to be carried off because the dress was so tight I couldn't stand up!
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WICKED 10: Adam Pettigrew



Firstly, tell us what part you played and what year(s) you were in the company! 
I played Boq during 2011-2012. 

Do you remember seeing WICKED for the first time? When and where was it?
I do remember my first time seeing Wicked, I took my sister for her birthday when it first opened London and Kerry Ellis was playing Elphaba. 

Did you ever think you’d be in the show one day?
After seeing the show I thought the role would be good for me, however I'm not sure I ever thought I would actually be up on stage at the Apollo Victoria until getting to the final auditions for the show. 

What is your best memory from your time at WICKED?
Probably doing "Come Dine With Me" between shows with Gina Beck, Matt Willis, Lillie Flynn and Christopher Howell.
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