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. 

What is your best memory from your time at WICKED?
Rachel Tucker, Nikki and our other Elphaba's singing Defying Gravity while I got to stand beneath them. So many talented ladies in that show. That was the stagey moment where I would always remind myself 'I'm in Wicked'. But also I loved making all backstage films with Chris Howell. 

Tell us one embarrassing story from your time in the show…
I'm sure I fell over a few times. But I had an occasion, as Boq in Witch Hunters, where my intro music wasn't played to sing the next section and the music continued without me. I quickly caught up and pretended I was very emotional and lost for words! Also, as Fiyero's chauffeur I brought his cart on too quickly and stopped too suddenly, and Matt Willis flew over my head and landed in front of me. Luckily this was a rehearsal.  

If you could return to WICKED and play any other character, which would it be and why? 
The Wizard. I will have to wait a few years I think. I love performing old school broadway/vaudeville style songs. 

Do you have a favourite part of the show?
The rat's third and final entrance. 
Actually, the opening. I got to wear a long Les Miserables style wig and run around pretending I was a mini Ramin Karimloo. 

The WICKED movie has confirmed its release date, is there any famous names you’d like to see in it? 
No, Personally I would like them to use Theatre performers. The show has been on long enough for them to have a huge choice.

If you could describe WICKED in less than 5 words, what would they be?
Simply 'green'. 

Follow Harry on Twitter: @HarryRFrancis

Photo credit: Steve Lawton
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