Sunday, 30 May 2021

COMING HOME: Serina Mathew, soon to be appearing in Pretty Woman: The Musical at the Savoy 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! 

Before the theatres closed, Serina Mathew was appearing in the London premiere of the musical version of the classic hit movie, Pretty Woman. With the show only just making its debut in town before lockdown, she will be returning to the production when it reopens at the Savoy Theatre on the 8th July 2021. 

Serina has previously appeared on the UK tour of Fame in the ensemble and covering Carmen, Miss Bell and Miss Sherman, as the Havana Girl in Guys and Dolls at the Kilworth House, played Buffy and covered Pearl in the German production of Starlight Express and played Rimpy and covered Jess in the West End premiere of Bend it Like Beckham at the Phoenix Theatre. 

Reflecting on the lockdowns and what the pandemic has done for theatre, Serina highlights some of the more positive aspects of what has come to light. “People holding free dance and fitness classes or creating online concerts and shows was just one example - it’s like we all came together to stay as motivated and positive as we could.” People offering their talents out has helped so many people over the past year and hopefully, this is something we can hold onto. As well as the positives, Serina talks about how some of the issues that have been raised are only the beginning and how we all have a responsibility to make this industry better, “We all need to work together to make our industry as inclusive as possible.” 

When we met Serina she told us how, not long before our shoot, she had only just cleaned out her dressing room over a year after theatres shut their doors. She told us about how one of her castmates found a piece of tangerine that had sat there since March 16th 2020, of course by then it was brown and shrivelled up! Being back in the theatre reminded Serina how much she misses it, “I can’t wait to get back on stage and perform to a live audience! To feel that atmosphere of performing live again.” 

We spoke about whether or not she feels like the same person she was 12 months ago and even though she does feel more or less the same she tells us it's normal practice for her to look at the positives in every situation, something that's helped her hugely over the pandemic. “If anything the last 12 months highlighted just how grateful I am for my career and the opportunity’s we all had pre - Covid. I think you never stop learning or growing as a person so I like to think I continued to do that throughout the last year.” In fact, she’s taken this time to learn the guitar and even fine-tune her cooking skills. 

Through the pandemic, Serina has worked hard to make sure she has been able to keep afloat financially, telling us “Night shifts in a supermarket just didn’t work for me! It’s fair to say my heart lies in theatre and on the stage!” She is grateful to have the money coming in through her current 9 to 5 job, but it has just made her want to get back to the stage doing what she loves to do. 

It is very clear Serina loves what she does and that she cannot wait to get back to Pretty Woman and finally be able to perform every single night. “I can’t wait to be in the wings waiting for the opening number to start! I’m so excited to see the cast again and get back on stage. Here’s hoping I remember the choreography and that I fit into my costumes!” After all of this, we’re all going to need a good night out at the theatre and Pretty Woman is the perfect show to do just that. In their new home at the Savoy Theatre, Pretty Woman reopens on the 8th July 2021. 

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