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Tuesday, 28 September 2021

Wicked: 15th Anniversary | Celebrating the wonderful Women who have played Elphaba!

Wicked has established itself as one of the biggest and best West End shows, originally opening on Broadway in 2003 it headed over here and opened at the Apollo Victoria Theatre in 2006. Today we're celebrating 15 years of the show, and after the slight 'pause' the show has taken, it's come back better than ever and what a good time to celebrate its Birthday! In this piece, we look back at all the wickedly talented Women who have played Elphaba in the UK. From the London production to the tours! Which one was your favourite?!

Wicked in London 

Idina Menzel
September 7 2006 - December 30 2006

Kerry Ellis 
January 1 2007 - June 7 2008, December 1 2008 - May 9 2009, August 4 2014 - October 25 2014 

Alexia Khadime 
June 9 2008 - November 29 2008, May 11 2009 - March 27 2010 

Rachel Tucker 
March 29 2010 - October 27 2012, September 5 2016 - January 28 2017


Thursday, 24 December 2020

REVIEW: All I Want For Christmas is Theatre at

For me, theatre should always be an event. It’s an evening out where you get to sit with hundreds of like-minded people and loose yourself in a living, breathing story. But, since March, this has scarcely been possible, so most of us are turning to online performances to either watch or work on. All I Want for Christmas is Theatre brings together some of the west-ends biggest names for a Christmas concert, featuring performers from Heathers, Dear Evan Hansen, & Juliet, Six and many more. Fifty minutes of festive joy beamed directly into your home... what more could you ask for as you polish off the final few chocolates of your advent calendar?

To praise every member of the 40 strong cast would take longer than a Downing Street press conference; the burning talent on screen is undeniable and sometimes joyfully overwhelming. With rich harmonies courtesy of Musical Directors Nick Barstow and Gareth Weedon, suitably cheesy choreography and the rousing vocals of some of the UK’s greatest talents, there is little that can go wrong.

Thursday, 9 July 2020

The Corona Diaries: Alice Fearn

These recent times have been some of the hardest challenges we've faced and as a community, it hit us pretty hard. However during these difficult times, here at Pocket Size Theatre, we wanted to spread a little positivity and share some peoples experiences because we are all in this together. Each day we'll be speaking to our friends in the industry to share their experiences with you all so take a read and see how people are getting through these hard times. 

Let's stick together, share the love and get through this as a community!

*Some information mentioned in this article may be out of date due to the progress of the current situation. Please keep that in mind when reading* 

Alice Fearn is currently in the cast of Come From Away as Beverley, Anette and others at the Phoenix Theatre. Her other credits include Elphaba in Wicked (Apollo Victoria Theatre); The Woman in White (Palace); Les Misérables (Sondheim); Awaking Beauty (Stephen Joseph Theatre, Scarborough); Annie Get Your Gun (Young Vic); Into the Woods (Regent’s Park); Shrek The Musical (Theatre Royal, Drury Lane); Dirty Rotten Scoundrels (Savoy) and Oliver! (Watermill Theatre, Newbury).

On Monday 16th March 2020, The Society of London Theatre announced the closure of all Theatres in London. This followed suit with regional venues. Where were you when you found out and what was your initial reaction? 

I was actually on stage at the Phoenix Theatre. I think we were all expecting it at some point in the coming week but were not expecting it that day. The government announcement that day that all of theatreland will close indefinitely. I was not necessarily shocked, but really saddened. Never had anything like this happened before. For an entire community/industry to be shut down instantly is remarkable and incredibly sad. Theatre is an escape, a place to lose oneself. All were gone in an instant. We all grabbed the nearest bottle of wine we could and raised a glass onstage knowing we would be back just didn’t know when. 

Can you tell us anything productive you’ve been doing? 

Well, I’ve noticed I am better at baking and cooking than I thought I was. I normally don’t have the time or inclination to spend much time in the kitchen but the lockdown has given me nothing but time so I’ve actually found it can be quite enjoyable. We’ve been doing up the house, decorating here and there, fixing things that we’ve been meaning to do for some time. Other than that I have been involved in many online streaming concerts and cabarets that are keeping my creative side working. I’ve even organised a series of concerts for July/August which are an online, live-streaming series called Intermissions. I think we all need to keep theatre and performance alive as best we can during this dark time. It is something people (and myself) can cling to. 

Sunday, 9 September 2018

THEN AND NOW: Wicked the Musical

Wicked has a huge place in the musical theatre hall of Fame now, being an international hit the show still runs on Broadway after 15 years and 12 years in the West End. Although the show hasn't changed very much from the original Broadway production, we look back at the years the show has been running across a few productions. The original Broadway production, one of the first West End companies, the non-replica production in Copenhagen, a few different companies along the West End run and the current cast we have here in London. Take a look and share your favourite moments of the show with us on Twitter! @PocketSizeBlog #PocketThenNow  


Idina Menzel (2003), Kerry Ellis (2007), Maria Lucia (2011), Louise Dearman (2012) & Alice Fearn (2018)


Krsitin Chenoweth (2003), Helen Dallimore (2007), Annette Heick (2011), Chandra Lee Schwartz (2012) & Sophie Evans (2018) 

Thursday, 16 August 2018

FEATURE: When understudies save the day!

Understudies are a vital part of what keeps shows all across the world going every night. Over the past few years, we've had stories all over the press about understudies taking on lead roles in extreme circumstances and absolutely smashing it. Here are just a few of the recent stories we love (All with happy endings!), we'd like to thank these performers for not only being amazing but also taking the time to chat to us briefly for this article. And make sure to check out the bottom of the page with a breakdown of the past understudies who are astounding audiences all across the UK every night! 

Jennifer Caldwell 

When sickness hits a cast, sometimes dramatic solutions have to happen! Knights of the Rose, a new musical running at the Arts Theatre, had a wave of sickness in the cast and when an understudy is already covering someone else, whats happens?! Jennifer Caldwell was working in the Box Office and was asked for help from the Producer, she agreed to go on at 7pm and by 7.30pm was on stage! 

"When the producer asked if I could possibly step up and perform in the show I was, I think it's safe to say, apprehensive, however, adrenaline and excitement took over pretty quickly. 

The company I had around me are some of the most talented people you could ever meet which could have made things pretty daunting, but, everyone was incredibly supportive and made it so easy to slot in to the show. I couldn't wish for a better group of people to be around."

She has now been made a permanent member of the cast and features as a swing. 

"I think, as performers, we should always be willing to accept any challenge as, in such an unpredictable industry, you never know if this kind of opportunity could arise again."

Steph Parry

Steph recently finished playing Donna in Mamma Mia on the Royal Caribbean before landing the role of the standby for Dorothy Black and Maggie Jones in 42nd Street at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane. She was called upon when Mamma Mia (at the Novello Theatre) needed someone to step in mid show for the lead role, Donna, when the understudy suffered a serious injury. 

"It was such a surreal night, there was a moment just before I stepped out onstage where I thought “what the hell am I about to do?!” But I walked out to such a huge cheer from the audience that I instantly knew they were behind me and it felt so awesome!" 

She completed the show to great acclaim and was promoted from stand by to lead as Dorothy Black in 42nd Street.

Wednesday, 20 June 2018

DREAM CASTING: Frozen the Musical

Alice Fearn as Elsa

Currently starring as Elphaba in Wicked in the West End, Alice has to be the best Elphaba we have ever seen in the shows history. Her portrayal of the role was original and incredibly layered whilst her voice absolutely blew me away! She'd smash this role and 'Let It Go' would be a highlight in the history of the West End

Gina Beck as Anna

After her stunning performance in Show Boat and her heart warming performance in Matilda, we think Gina would be a wonderful Anna. She has the heart and the enthusiasm and we know she'd win everyones hearts over.

Wednesday, 24 January 2018

INTERVIEW: Bradley Jaden, currently playing Fiyero in WICKED at the Apollo Victoria Theatre

Bradley is currently playing Fiyero in the London production of WICKED after having played the role in the international tour of the show earlier this year. His other credits include ‘Enjolras’ in Les Misérables (Queen’s and 30th Anniversary cast), ‘Freddie’ in My Fair Lady 60th Anniversary Celebration (St Paul’s Actors Church), Ghost the Musical (No 1 UK Tour) and Shrek The Musical (Theatre Royal, Drury Lane). He took time out his busy 8 show week schedule and health regime to give us an insight to his life in the smash hit musical. 

You’ve transferred into the London production of Wicked after playing Fiyero in the UK and International tour. What happened when you got the offer to come into town with the show? 

It was a bit of a dream really because when I agreed to do the international tour it wasn’t finishing until January 2018 so to have the opportunity to audition for the town production was out of mind and wasn’t even on my radar, and Oliver Saville was doing such a wonderful job, I don’t think they wanted to lose him so I didn’t even think it was on the cards! So, when I found out there was a chance I could audition for it, of course I wanted to jump on it. 

So you had to go back through the audition process again?

Of course, anything can happen over a year: you can become lazy and complacent and the creative team didn’t want that to then transpire from tour to town and they want to make sure they’re getting the best and if there’s someone else out there that can do it much better than you, I don’t think just because you’ve played the role somewhere doesn’t mean it’s a given you can play it somewhere else. 

Looking back on your time in the show, how has you Fiyero changed? 

I think it changes every night, I’m so pleased I get to work with some incredible actors in the ensemble and the two witches. The girls I had on tour were absolutely incredible but different to the ones who are equally incredible in town. The character relationships have changed and even little things like the set, because it was a touring set, so slightly different little actions and movements can make such an impact on a scene so it has completely changed. I think I’ve got a little more confident in the old dance moves, 'Dancing Through Life' still to this day scares the life out of me. Hopefully we're trying every night to change it and not keep it stale but it definitely has developed from our opening night in Bradford. 

Monday, 22 January 2018

INTERVIEW: Alice Fearn, currently starring as Elphaba in WICKED at the Apollo Victoria Theatre

Alice is currently playing the lead role of Elphaba in the London production of WICKED, after having previously been the standby for the role. The Woman in White (Palace), Les Misérables (Queen’s), Annie Get Your Gun (Young Vic); ‘Rapunzel’ in Into the Woods (Regent’s Park), ‘Gingy’ in Shrek The Musical (Theatre Royal, Drury Lane), ‘Renee’ in Dirty Rotten Scoundrels (Savoy) and ‘Nancy’ in Oliver! (Watermill Theatre, Newbury). She took time out of her greenifying to have a little chat with us.

You were previously the Standby for Elphaba in the London production of Wicked, when did you find out you’d be taking over as the lead?

Well I’d been auditioning for quite a few years for the show, when I’d be able or free to do so I’d be auditioning for it. Weirdly actually, this last time I auditioned, when I got the standby, I said that was my last time I was doing it. I think that might have been my fifth time auditioning, I remember calling my mum and saying “this is the la
st time now, I can’t be put through the wringer if I’m not going to get this.” I thought this was my last time and if I get it great, if I don’t then I can move on. And thankfully I got it, then obviously a year later I got the upgrade to play the lead full time. I think I was in the kitchen with my fiancée, Gavin, who was cooking lunch and my agent called me and I knew it would be about this because I’d auditioned to play the lead again so when I was the standby I had to go back and do all the stuff again so I knew I was waiting for a phone call with a yes or a no. My agent had me on loud speaker so I did think it was something quite important because the whole office could hear, and he said I got the job and I was so shocked and surprised I think I threw the phone across the room towards Gavin and he was saying “What?! What?!” and I just said they’ve given me the part. And immediately we got a bottle of champagne out of the fridge and started pouring it because it was something I wanted for so long. So, it was a pretty good day that day!
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