Tuesday, 25 May 2021

COMING HOME: Holly-Anne Hull, in Les Miserables at the Sondheim Theatre and soon to be playing Christine Daaé in The Phantom of the Opera at Her Majesty's Theatre

Pocket Size Theatre and Liza Heinrichs (Captured by Liz) have teamed up again and created our new series 'Coming Home'. In this new piece, we look at the reopening of Theatres in London and around the country and celebrate our industry coming back. We got together some performers who will be some of the first to return to theatres and created this piece to bring some positivity to the theatre industry which has been through one of the toughest years in our lifetime. Whilst it is important to acknowledge the hardships we've all gone through, it's important we pull together as a community and celebrate our beloved industry finally coming back! 

The Phantom of the Opera is a musical theatre staple in the theatre industry, with a run of almost 35 years in the West End and over 33 years on Broadway, the show has certainly made its mark as a legendary piece of theatre and a must-see for everyone around the world. The lead roles have become iconic with huge stars across the globe snapping up the chance to play them. Christine Daaé is probably one of the most famous musical theatre soprano roles in history; with stars such as Sarah Brightman and Sierra Boggess having the role on their CV (amongst so many other fantastic actresses). The next to follow in their footsteps is Holly-Anne Hull. 

The West End production of The Phantom of the Opera has recently announced that Lucy St Louis will be playing the role of Christine when it reopens on the 27th July 2021, a huge mark in the history timeline for the show as she will be the first black actress to play the role. An important step forward for diversity and inclusion in our industry. Following her short run on the UK touring production, Holly-Anne will move her way over to Her Majesty's Theatre as the alternate Christine alongside Lucy. 

Holly-Anne opened in the UK Tour of The Phantom of the Opera as Christine in March 2020, not long before theatres shut their doors. After a very short run, she is returning to reprise this role in London and she couldn’t be more excited! When we asked her what shows most looking forward to, she put it very simply with "That first show!” 

As well as being in the cast of The Phantom of the Opera, Holly-Anne has just opened in the Les Miserables concert at the Sondheim Theatre, in the ensemble and covering the roles of Cosette and Fantine. She is no stranger to Les Miserables; having also appeared in the international touring production, in the West End production and was in the staged concert at the Gielgud Theatre, just next door to where she is performing the show right now. 

As well as her history with two of the biggest shows in the world, she has also appeared as Holly Manson in Loserville at The Union Theatre, was Gladys and Cover Lola in Copacabana on its UK Tour and played Maid Marion in Robin Hood at the Grove Theatre. She has also had her fair share of screen time, having competed in the Disney Channel talent competition ‘My Camp Rock’, (which, if you’re a certain age you’ll remember very well!). She went on to win it and even went on to audition for American Idol. 

Holly-Anne has been keeping pretty busy during the past year, she’s been teaching and plans to continue this through while she is appearing in Phantom. When chatting to her about the industry and her students she offers some advice and reflection on the theatre world; “In regards to whats happened over the past year, I think there is still a lot of work to do. But I hope this past year will change our theatre industry in a positive way.” And when we asked her what she’d say to others and even herself as that light at the end of the tunnel gets brighter she tells us it would be to “Take your time! There’s no rush!”. An important thing to remember, as everything comes back and new things are being announced all over the place. We must remember that this is a personal experience for everyone and we all need to take it at our own pace. 

Hull is also part of a girl band alongside fellow musical theatre star Lauren Byrne (Six, Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Cinderella) and Charlotte Steele (Choreographer). ’Remember Monday’ met when all three girls were in college where they discovered their mutual love for John Mayer and Harmonies. You may have seen them on The Voice in 2019 under the guidance of Jennifer Hudson! Most recently they’ve reached new highs on Tiktok, most notably with their version of Queen’s ‘Fat Bottomed Girls’ going viral, but also with their other outstanding covers of songs. 

Holly-Anne Hull can be seen in the cast of Les Miserables right now at the Sondheim Theatre and, from the 27th July 2021, will be in The Phantom of the Opera at Her Majesties Theatre. You can catch Holly-Anne as Christine at certain performances as she’ll be alternating the role with Lucy St Louis. Two incredibly talented women, both with give very unique performances and we cannot wait to see both give us what they’ve got in London’s West End. 

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