Wednesday, 2 June 2021

COMING HOME: Lizzy Parker, about to feature in the UK touring production of Heathers

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! 

Heathers is a cult classic in every sense of the word. The 1989 film has a huge following and following the musical version opening Off-Broadway in 2014, the story was suddenly introduced to a whole new audience. Now a cult classic musical in its own right, the show originally premiered in the UK in a public workshop at the Other Palace in 2017 and later opened for a full-scale production run at the same theatre the following year. After a hugely successful run at The Other Palace, Heathers transferred to the West End and played at the Theatre Royal Haymarket, which will reopen on the 21st June 2021 for a limited run until the 13th September 2021. Simultaneously, the show will head out on its first-ever UK tour, opening at the Leeds Grand Theatre on the 28th of July 2021 and is currently booked to go through to December 2021. 

Lizzy Parker is a name you may not know right now, but there's no doubt you will very soon. Lizzy makes her theatre debut in Heathers as Heather McNamara. This being her first show after graduating she’s bagged herself a pretty good job, don’t you agree?! Lizzy only graduated from the London College of Music in 2018, since then she has been featured in the workshop of No Limits: A Song Cycle by Sam Thomas. The show was featured in ‘From the Wings’ with Musical Theatre superstars like Laura Pick and Dougie Carter singing Sams work. Lizzy is featured on the concept album but other than this show, Heathers will be her professional debut. We spoke to her about how she feels about finally getting back to theatre and she is obviously excited, "I can’t wait to be back in a rehearsal room again being creative - it’s been so long. Also, just thinking about being part of an audience, sat waiting for a show to begin gives me goosebumps!”

The industry is a very different place than it was before the pandemic, lots of important issues have been raised over the past year and we must all pull together to make these necessary changes. Lizzy agrees and tells us that people must remember to simply be kind to one another, “We need to continue to listen to each other and learn from each other and most of all be kind! I think (and hope) that the industry is moving towards being a more inclusive place as a result of the past year.” 

Having waited for Heathers to start for such a long time, we asked Lizzy how she feels this past year has changed her; “I feel as though I know myself far better now than I did before. I know what I need to do to pick myself up when I’m having a down day and also think now I’m aware of trying to live more in the present rather than thinking about the future or what’s coming next too much.” 

Talking about what helped her through the multiple lockdowns she tells us all about her love for cooking and baking, whilst she finds it relaxing she also tells us that she’s found it to be a very important part of her own self-care; “You get the reward of getting to eat what you made afterwards so it’s a win-win! I won’t lie, I make an absolutely banging set of cookies and my pizza isn’t too shabby either!” Whilst she’s been indulging in her cooking skills which, I’m sure, will come in handy on tour, she tells us how the arts have been a huge help in getting through these times, specifically film and television; “I’ve definitely watched way more TV & Films than I ever did before - my biggest recommendation is ‘This is Us’ on Amazon Prime - it’s just beautiful. Make sure you have tissues at the ready!”

Thinking about when theatre comes back, Lizzy tells us she cannot wait to get back into a theatre once again. When we asked her what show she’d like to get back to she went for a very popular choice, Come From Away. “I’ve seen it twice before and to me, that show is a massive hug, so full of hope and light and just all-round gorgeousness celebrating humanity coming together - I think after the year we’ve all had it’s going to be a lot of people’s first choice too!”

Heathers is touring the country up until the end of this year, the message at its core is about following your own instinct and breaking away from what people expect you to be. Lizzy takes this message and thinks it should certainly apply to peoples every day lives, “Trust yourself and your instincts and don’t try to be anybody else. Don’t try and second guess what other people may want of you either because you’ll likely never succeed that way.” Lizzy will be playing Heather McNamara on the tour from 28th July 2021. This is sure to be a night at the theatre you don’t want to miss! 

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