I played Frex, Elhpaba's father and I understudied and played Doctor Dillamond and the Wizard in 2010 and 2011.
Do you remember seeing WICKED for the first time? When and where was it?
I remember seeing Wicked for the first time in its first year, I had some friends in the show and I got to see Kerry Ellis and Olly together which was awesome. And the brilliant Martin Ball as Doctor Dillamond.
Did you ever think you’d be in the show one day?
I didn't really imagine being in the show when I saw it because I didn't know what I could really do in it! I danced a bit but nowhere near the level of the choreography of Wicked, i'm not short enough to play Boq I'm not handsome enough to play Fiyero! Of course as it turned out all it took was a shaving of the head and some make up and I just about got away with being in it!
What is your best memory from your time at WICKED?
I have many great memories from my time at Wicked, however a lot of the stories I tell people these days at almost always mistakes and moments that weren't really supposed to happen! Like when the bubble machine leaked and turned the stage into an ice rink and people were going down easier than the Spanish football team. Or for about 2 weeks solid when Lee Mead just couldn't catch his gun in the stand off scene with us as guards. Or Lee Mead calling Glinda "Elpheba" in the most poignant moment of the show. Come to think of it, any time I was on stage with Lee Mead, Tommy Sherlock and Niall Sheehy! But seriously, the company was amazing, we had a great dressing room and it was always a lot of fun to be in the building.
Tell us one embarrassing story from your time in the show…
I don't know if I have any embarrassing stories from my time at Wicked, there was one time when I was sat drinking tea backstage and heard my cue line in the monitor. Only to realise that I wasn't even in full costume for my next part! I was playing the Professor Nikkidik (check spelling), the rather evil guy that takes over from Doctor Dillamond. I quickly slapped the wig on my bald head, grabbed a jacket and as I ran onstage the whole company were facing me, staring in stony silence as I stumbled on, red faced and dishevelled by which time the wig had slipped off to one side and I realised my trousers weren't exactly safely done up which caused quite a lot of laughter. That was a bad one. That never happened again!
If you could return to WICKED and play any other character, which would it be and why?
If I could return to Wicked I'd love to play Doctor Dillamond full time! Fortunately when I was understudying I got to play him for over 4 months of shows in my time there and I loved it every time!
Do you have a favourite part of the show?
I had many favourite parts of the show, on a personal level shouting "the wizard will see you now" each night was pretty cool! Anything that Louise and Rachel did was always amazing. I loved them singing For Good together and lying onstage for Rachel's Defying Gravity each night and just watching her let rip was always a highlight.
The WICKED movie has confirmed its release date, is there any famous names you’d like to see in it?
I saw that Wicked had confirmed its movie release recently and I'm actually gonna be serious with my casting as there's some people that I would love to see in it! Firstly Shailene Woodley (Beatrice in divergent series) would make the perfect Elphaba, I don't know what her singing is like but she's got the attitude nailed on. Chloe Moritz as Glinda. Taron Egerton as Fiyero. Rhys Ifans as Doctor Dillamond, Nathan Lane as the Wizard and Elizabeth Banks as Madame Morrible. I've left out Nessarose.....maybe Eddie Redmayne, he'd do that well.
If you could describe WICKED in less than 5 words, what would they be?
What I love the most about Wicked is what it has done, much like Frozen, in empowering young people that maybe don't feel like they fit in. So if I had to describe it in 5 words it would be "be yourself, make your future" So cheesy.
Follow Gareth on Twitter: @GarethChart