Monday, 31 May 2021

COMING HOME: Kody Mortimer, soon to be in the revival of Hairspray at the London Coliseum

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! 

Due to make his West End debut back in April 2020, Kody Mortimer was meant to be appearing in the London revival of Hairspray. But with the closures of theatres back in March, he didn’t make it to the stage of the London Coliseum and make his West End debut, however, he still will! 

Hairspray is due to open at the London Coliseum on the 21st June 2021, meaning Kody will finally make his West End debut in this fabulous show. Kody will be playing the role of Thad and appearing in the ensemble. A recent graduate from the Royal Academy of Music, he was in the new production of Gypsy at the Manchester Exchange and over lockdown was a part of the original concept album for the new musical, Black Widows. Kody tells us what it was like to work on his first original piece of work Black Widows: “it was great fun, I learnt new material no one had ever done before and got to record and it just felt amazing!” 

When talking to Kody about what's been going on in the industry over the pandemic he tells us how he thinks Hairspray actually embodies the last year, with the theme of pushing for progression and fighting for what you believe in it really does capture what's been going on. “This last year has taught us how powerful and important speaking out and sticking together is, especially on social media. Whether it’s in person or online, this I believe is the best way to move forward with wanting change in our industry. I also think the industry has changed quite a bit in terms of listening to us and wanting to become more inclusive of all types of people, especially in their castings.” 

Aside from performing, Kody has been working on a podcast that launched in July 2020. Kody, along with his friends Harry and Joe, hosts the ’3am Chats’ podcast. It focuses on topical events from recent weeks in the style of a deep, meaningful 3am chat! Kody tells us how useful this has been over the lockdowns, it has kept his creative juices flowing and has also been a great time filler. 

If this year has taught us anything, it's to live in the moment. For a lot of creatives it's been mentally taxing with so much uncertainty but, going forward, it's important to relish in each and every single moment that we get to ensure we get the most out of life. And Kody sums that up quite nicely; "It’s been a really tough and mentally draining year for a lot of people in our industry. Many not having hardly any auditions or knowing when their next job will be. My advice would be to stay present and keep going. We spend so much time thinking about the future or the past. Staying present will keep your mind steady and much healthier.” 

Hairspray is a show about change and the world has changed a lot since the beginning of the pandemic. Kody reflects on this and says “We are changing and learning all the time and this last year was no different. It’s been one of the biggest years for change in a lot of people, myself included.” And if there's a show to celebrate and highlight, I think Hairspray does a very good job at that. 

Hairspray will open for a limited run at the London Coliseum from the 21st June 2021, after being teased with this show for so long now we cannot wait to be taken on the emotional journey of that story and also to dance away our troubles to that finale song. We can already see the electricity that will be beaming out of the London Coliseum every single night once this show opens, this is one show not to miss. 

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