Tuesday, 8 June 2021

COMING HOME: Jason Winter, soon to be appearing in Frozen the Musical at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane

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!

It’s time to “Let It Go”, as the live stage production of the hit movie Frozen finally makes its way over to London, opening at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane on the 27th August 2021. After a number of pushbacks we cannot wait for this show to finally make its premiere in the West End. Jason Winter, who is no stranger to the West End stage, will be appearing in the show in the ensemble and as assistant Dance Captain. 

Jason has a CV to die for, with West End credits including Kinky Boots, Matilda, Wicked and Chicago. Other shows include The Rink, Gypsy, West Side Story, Flashdance, The Producers, Cats, Happy Days and Top Hat - this guy is very much one of the performers at the top of his game. Not only has he been featured in some of the most wonderful shows across the industry, he has also experienced the choreographer side too, having been the associate on the UK tour of Bring It On as well as an assistant on the Rink and Our House. 

With such a wonderful career so far, Jason talks to us about a recent injury he had. Telling us that through this pandemic he has been dealing with one of the most serious injuries of his life, spending most of his year in Physio Rehab. Jason has basically had to relearn how to walk and how to use his body, but he is actually thankful. “It kept me going, kept me focussed. I had goals to hit, and nothing was going to stop me.” 

Over the past year, with the many lockdowns, Jason has been pretty productive! Whilst bringing up two little puppies Hercules and Richie, he featured in the online film production of ‘In Pieces’, the song cycle written by Joey Contreras, as well as qualifying as a Personal Trainer. His ‘Summer Bodies by Winter’ business has officially launched and is available for all your personal training needs. He tells us how he’s actually shifted a lot of focus in his life and how he has been reminded to be thankful for everything he has. “I’ve had my eyes opened to things still happening in our world that I had no idea of, especially not so close to home and in the industry I love. I’ve learnt I'm really strong, mentally and emotionally. And I’ve been reminded how much my family and friends truly mean to me.” 

We spoke with Jason about the issues that have been highlighted within the industry over the pandemic and how we can go forward. It saddens him that he has been in situations where people may have needed him to be an ally but he wasn’t aware. But his view on it is important and everyone should follow suit, “We have only just scratched the surface of the issues within our business. People need to be able to speak out about abuse or inequality and need to feel safe to do so, supported by their friends and colleagues. I know I will do better in the future and I hope after what we have all been through in the past year or so, so will many others. Just be open to listen and understand someone else experiences, research things you know nothing about, and be able to admit your mistakes and learn from them. None of us are perfect, but we always say in theatre ‘we’re a big family’, so let’s start acting like one.” 

Talking about what he’s most looking forward to upon theatre returning, Jason replies “A payslip”, and whilst he is kidding this is true for most, if not all, in our industry. There has been little to no work for well over a year so, as we move ahead, we’re looking forward to people being back doing what they love to do and getting paid for it! What Jason is looking forward to is bringing an audience into the world of a show, “The thing I love most about my job is taking people on a journey, being someone’s first experience of theatre, letting them feel emotions along with our story. It’s so rewarding and I can’t wait to make people happy again." 

Jason says “Go forward with love and kindness” which we think is a message that ties into the heart of Frozen so well. The opening of the show is not too far away, I’m sure the 27th August 2021 will come by in a flash! Think of how that first rendition of Let it Go will blast through the Theatre Royal Drury Lane, think of the magic that will be made night after night in the heart of Covent Garden.  

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