Saturday, 26 June 2021

COMING HOME: Aimée Moore, soon to be on the UK Tour of Disney's Beauty and the Beast

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! 

Disney has been providing theatre magic to audiences all over the world since bringing their first full scale musical of Beauty and the Beast to the Broadway stage back in 1994, since then we’ve seen stage adaptations of The Lion King, Tarzan, Frozen, Aladdin, The Little Mermaid, Newsies and so many more on our stages. With their productions of Mary Poppins and The Lion King announced to reopen in London’s West End and with the much-anticipated production of Frozen at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane opening this year, its only natural that Disney adds to this list and brings back the much-loved classic, Beauty and the Beast

After a hugely successful run at the Dominion Theatre and a few tours later, we’re finally seeing this beloved story being told again. Aimée Moore will be appearing in the ensemble of the show and also covers the role of Babette. Aimée was last seen in The Wedding Singer at the Troubadour Wembley Park Theatre in early 2020, her other credits also include Rumpleteazer in Cats at Kilworth House, playing the role of Connie and understudying the role of Stephanie in Saturday Night Fever on tour and playing the role of Amber in the UK touring production of Hairspray. She will also be seen in the new musical movie ‘Tomorrow Morning’, starring Samantha Barks, Ramin Karimloo, Fleur East, Omid Djalili, Harriet Thrope and so many more musical stars! The film, which is being directed by Nick Winston, is based on the musical of the same name and started shooting in May, we absolutely cannot wait to catch it when it's released! 

We spoke to Aimée about what she’s been up to over this past year and even though she’s been away from performing, she sure has managed to keep herself pretty busy! When Aimée isn’t performing she is a qualified massage therapist and in situations where there isn’t work in the industry she would turn to this, however, she was unable to do this when lockdown hit. But this didn’t stop her; candle making filled her time and even helped pay for her weekly shops. As well as this business, she’s worked in a local restaurant, qualified in reflexology, taught it online to the elderly, worked as a receptionist in a gym, moved house, got a job in a wellness clinic and even managed to find some time to sing to her elderly students on zoom accompanied by her ukulele! 

Talking to Aimée it's very clear she is super eager to get back on stage. But aside from performing, she mentions a few small things that we all take for granted so it's lovely to hear someone bring these up. “I've missed the views of the auditoriums, the busy hustle and bustle of the backstage areas, the bright costumes and warm lights, the laughter from the dressing rooms and that sound when you hear the overture begin!” She even goes on to compare being away from it to that of Harry Potter under the stairs, which we think is the best analogy! “The reason I do what I do is because I LOVE being in a theatre, It’s such a magical place and I've hated being apart from it. I almost feel like Harry Potter when he's away from the wonderful Hogwarts, longing to return whilst being trapped in a cupboard!” 

Talking to Aimée about how this pandemic has affected the industry she really highlights the impact its had on creatives mental health, “Working in the arts is demanding so we have to be kind to ourselves as we rebuild our beloved industry. In the past mental health has been something that we have really glossed over but now, more than ever, artists will need the guidance for entering back into such a demanding industry.” We couldn’t agree more, the emphasis on mental health we’ve seen built up over the past few years is vital in our industry, now more than ever. Reflecting on what she’s learnt herself, Aimee says “I have learned to look after my body and my mental health because I haven't been rushing through my busy London life! I've had time to stop and rest and put things into perspective.” 

Asking Aimée what kind of advice she would give out to people coming out the other end of this pandemic she, again, emphasises the importance of looking after yourself both physically and mentally; “Look after not just your body, but your mind. We have to process the loss we've all experienced and ease ourselves back in. Working in the arts is demanding and so we have to be kind to ourselves as we rebuild our beloved industry.” 

Beauty and the Beast opens on the 25th August 2021 at the Bristol Hippodrome, to see this beautiful story being told once again on our stages across the UK is more than welcomed and with this Stella cast, Aimée included, this is sure to be a show you cannot miss. Do we smell a West End transfer? I think we do! 

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